Pastor Steve Williams : When You’re Up Against an Unchangeable

RISE · 49:21 · Recorded April 5, 2020

1 Samuel 17:40 (ICB) David chose five smooth stones from a stream. He put them in his pouch and held his sling in his hand. Then he went to meet Goliath.

1. Make the freeing turnabout of ACCEPTANCE

Ecclesiastes 9:11-12 (CSB) “The race is not to the swift, or the battle to the strong, or bread to the wise, or riches to the discerning, or favor to the skillful; rather, time and chance happen to all of them. For certainly no one knows his time: like fish caught in a cruel net or like birds caught in a trap, so people are trapped in an evil time as it suddenly falls on them.”

2. Choose the empowering posture of RELIANCE

2 Corinthians 1:8-9 (NIV) “We were under great pressure, far beyond our ability to endure, so that we despaired even of life. Indeed, in our hearts we felt the sentence of death. But this happened so that we might not rely on ourselves but on God, who raises the dead.”

1 Peter 5:6-7 (NIV) Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.

Ecclesiastes 4:9-10 (NLT) Two people are better off than one, for they can help each other succeed. If one person falls, the other can reach out and help. But someone who falls alone is in real trouble.

3. Seek the quieting wisdom in REVERENCE

2 Corinthians 12:8-10 (TEV) “Three times I prayed to the Lord about this and asked him to take it away. But his answer was: ‘My grace is all you need, for my power is greatest when you are weak.’ I am most happy, then, to be proud of my weaknesses, in order to feel the protection of Christ’s power over me. I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and difficulties for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”

4. Take the focusing steps of EMERGENCE

Isaiah 43:18-19 (NIV) “Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland.”

Isaiah 40:29-31 (NAS) He gives strength to the weary, and to him who lacks might he increases power. Though youths grow weary and tired, and vigorous young men stumble badly, yet those who wait for the LORD will gain new strength; They will mount up with wings like eagles, they will run and not get tired, they will walk and not become weary.

5. Relish the increasing victory in TRANSCENDENCE

Philippians 1:12-14 (NIV) “What has happened to me has really served to advance the gospel. As a result, it has become clear throughout the whole palace guard and to everyone else that I am in chains for Christ. Because of my chains, most of the brothers in the Lord have been encouraged to speak the word of God more courageously and fearlessly.”

Ephesians 6:20 (CEB) “I’m an ambassador in chains for the sake of the gospel. Pray so that the Lord will give me the confidence to say what I have to say.”

If God puts a Goliath before you, it’s because he sees a David within you!

  • When you look back on this series about turning setbacks into comebacks, what’s the main thing you’d like to remember?

  • Steve highlighted several persons who made comebacks in his message. Review who they were and how they got back on their feet again, and the kind of “unchangeable” they were up against. Which one connected with you in a personal way?

  • Steve likened his sermon points to the 5 smooth stones David carefully selected from a streambed. Which of these “stones” are you less inclined to choose for yourself? Which do you think has paid off the most in your experience? How?

  • Read 1 Peter 5:6-7. What does this verse say to you about God’s desire to see people make comebacks from setbacks? Peter was a guy who’d experienced a comeback from major failure. Examine the phrases he emphasizes in these two verses – what do they actually look like in real life?

  • Which of the scriptures in this message spoke to you with greatest impact or significance? What do you need to do to internalize or personalize its message?

  • How does this message relate to the time of isolation & challenges we’re all in right now? How can your group pray for you right now?

  • Parents – Check out the information on our kid’s page at where you’ll find info on Sunday services and family resources to help you as you navigate through this current season.

  • Raise A Hallelujah

  • Great Things

  • Goodness Of God

  • Highlands

  • Build My Life

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