Readers are sometimes introduced to speakers and authors through social media. That was the case for me when it came to Louie Giglio. I watched a Youtube video shared online entitled, Indescribable. While the video is several years old, the impact of his message remains the same. It shows a space telescope zooming out extreme far distances from Earth. This displays the incredible size of the universe. Giglio is not trying to make viewers feel small; He is trying to tell viewers THEY ARE small and that God is VERY VERY Big. I never forgot Giglio's name again and always looked forward to any opportunity he spoke.
Giglio is the pastor of Passion City Church in Atlanta, Georgia. He is the founder of Passion Conferences. These are mega sized global movements uniting college students to live for Jesus. He has authored several publications and has spoken at various conferences and seminars. Giglio has this uncanny ability to inject unparalleled encouragement and hope. Even through the darkest storms of life, he is like an encouraging supportive father.
I was not sure what direction The Comeback would go. Giglio interchangeably uses stories from his life, from others, and from the Bible. From Abraham, Joseph, Samson, and Lazerus; to Elijah, Peter, Paul, and even the thief on the cross. There was no short supply of comeback examples Giglio provides from the Bible. If The Comeback does not stand out with its writing, the front cover will. This could be the brightest cover I have ever seen. I mean this thing is so bright, you almost have to wear sunglasses to look at this cover. Not mention the simple design and empty space brings more attention to it.
Using Giglio's own words from chapter 10 and 11, he explains the central message of The Comeback. He states, "at some point everybody needs a fresh start, a change of direction, a spiritual turnaround, a new beginning. God's Word and his voice will break into our hearts that we would embrace and believe what God says about who we truly are." He shares that the beauty of a comeback is the process of thinking one way about ourselves, and then God opens our eyes as we begin a whole new journey with God.
If there was any task involved in completing a comeback, it is in chapter 10 titled, "Vision on a Plane" which shares four tasks in 'waiting' found in Psalms 37:3-5. This was my favourite chapter. Not because of the practical tasks he provides through scripture. Instead he shares one of the most remarkable emotional stories of his past. I remember when he first shared this story in 2014 during the Global Leadership Summit. It struck a chord with me then, and it was rewarding to visit that story in his words 4 years later.
"You see, when God looks at you, he doesn't think things like "average, ordinary, or lowest common denominator." Instead, he's thinking, "I want to take you on a grand adventure where whatever you're dreaming about is not wide enough. I am God, and you and I are going on an epic journey in life beyond all you have imagined." That's the way God thinks about your life." - page 165
"The important part of your life is not your failings, even if you fail your entire life and have a comeback one hour before you die. That one hour of living in God's true purpose for you is more important than everything that went before it." - page 189
Giglio has become one of my favourite and most encouraging speakers I have ever known. This book delivers on encouragement, but often falls short on practical solutions. With no actual steps on how a comeback is to happen, Giglio's central solution is to wait and believe; God will show you. The overarching theme is that it is not about our story, but we a part of God's great big story. The solution is through repentance, giving up control, and trust.
The Comeback explains how it's not too late and we're never too far. My concern is that there is no game plan or blueprint on how to achieve a comeback. To be fair, Giglio does respond to my concern on page 163. He states that "God isn't in the habit of giving blueprints". He also mentions that comebacks are through God changing our identity. He alludes to the story of God changing a man named Saul. From being one of Christianity's greatest enemies, to one of its greatest messengers.
The Comeback delivers on powerful stories giving the reader much needed hope. The kind of hope that trusts God will design and deliver their own comeback story. Despite its practical examples, The Comeback is deficient on much needed answers towards achieving a comeback story. Yes we should listen and let God take control of our lives towards fulfilling a comeback. But there should be some biblical practicality that readers can respond with. Yes we should have faith in God's plan. But action is still required rather than an attitude of faith without works. James 2:17 tells us our faith without works is dead, and it seems faith is the central message given to readers. Faith is a great starting point, but there are no Biblical principles readers can follow up on.
The Comeback's most refreshing message readers can take away is that our story is a small piece of a greater story. This means regardless of any comeback that happens, it all points to God's greater story; not ours.
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