Using Your Setback as a Setup

5 Mins read

Setbacks are an unfortunate part of life. It doesn’t matter how well you have your plans together; a single unexpected issue can lead to complete derailment. If you feel like your life is a vicious cycle of taking three steps forward and five steps backwards, today can be a changing day for you. When you learn how to use your setbacks as a setup for your future, you can stop living a life of derailment and defeat. Discover how to make that a reality today.

No one enjoys a setback. When you have a plan for your life, and you know which steps you need to take to turn that plan into reality, there is nothing more frustrating than suffering a setback. Perhaps your plans involved graduating from your dream college and embarking on a career that is going to change your life. A rejection letter from that college can feel like the biggest setback imaginable. Maybe you have dreams of moving up in the company that you’ve been working for over the last 10 years, but news of outsourcing has taken you from the fast track to the top to the unemployment line. These setbacks can leave you feeling frustrated, afraid, and angry.

What if you could change the way that you view your setbacks? They’re an unavoidable part of life. It doesn’t matter how well-constructed your plans are, there is going to be something that comes along that throws you off track. Life is not a linear proposition in which we simply get to start on a quest to fulfill a dream and move along a line without facing hindrances. Instead, setbacks come up, forcing us to adjust and adapt.

When you accept the fact that setbacks are a natural part of life, you can change the way that you view them. Instead of seeing them as something that leaves you completely derailed, despondent, and derailed, you can look at your setbacks as a setup. Doing so will put you in a position to live the kind of victorious life that God has for you.

Today can be the day where you shift your perspective. Instead of looking at your setbacks as something you can’t get past, start viewing them as another tool that God has made available to you. Your setback is the ultimate setup in your life.

Changing Your Mindset
Philippians 3:13 (TPT)
I don’t depend on my own strength to accomplish this; however I do have one compelling focus: I forget all of the past as I fasten my heart to the future instead.

When we face setbacks in our lives, we often become so consumed with them that we struggle to move forward. Whether the setback is something that we did on our own, or it’s the result of someone doing something to us, it’s easy to become so consumed by the setback that you don’t allow yourself to move past it. This leads to living with a victim mentality.

“I would have been farther along by now, but this happened.” “I should have already got my life together, but that failed relationship completely stopped me.” While those reasons may be viable, it’s important that you don’t allow yourself to become anchored to the setbacks in your own life. When you tie yourself to a setback, it is impossible to really move forward.

Paul didn’t provide some sort of deep, insightful resolution to getting past the things that held him back. He simply said, “I forgot about those things.” Essentially, Paul said that he simply didn’t think about the things that should have set him back. Instead, he fixed his focus o the future.

If anyone had a right to wallow in his setbacks, it was Paul. He was abandoned by friends, arrested on false charges multiple times, beaten, stoned, shipwrecked, and snake bitten. Paul faced more setbacks than any of us will likely ever endure. However, he chose to forget about them.

If you don’t think that’s possible, give it a try. Forgetting about your setbacks doesn’t mean that you truly forget that they happened. Instead, it means that you don’t “fasten your heart” to them. Instead of allowing your heart to be tethered to the things that should have stopped you, you can fasten your heart to God’s plan for your future. When you do that, you’re no longer a victim. Instead, you’re a victor!

What if It’s My Fault?
Romans 8:1 (TPT)
So now the case is closed. There remains no accusing voice of condemnation against those who are joined in life-union with Jesus, the Anointed One.

One of the most difficult things to do is move past a setback that is your own doing. All of us are prone to make bad decisions from time to time. While those bad decisions can be forgiven by God’s grace, grace doesn’t preclude us from consequences. To understand this principle, let’s look at a natural example. If you get pulled over for breaking the speed limit, but you provide a good reason to the officer who pulls you over, he may give you a break. It’s not uncommon for law enforcement officers to show mercy to people, charging them with speeding at a lower rate than they were actually going. Just because the officer doesn’t write you up for going 75 MPH in a 55 MPH zone doesn’t mean that he or she isn’t going to give you a ticket at all.

The ticket is meant to teach you a lesson. When you learn a lesson about speeding, you’re less likely to do it again, which protects you from yourself. In the same vein, God allows us to suffer consequences of our own bad decisions. That doesn’t mean that He holds them against us forever.

Forgiving yourself is one of the most important aspects of changing your view on your setbacks. God doesn’t condemn you because of the things you’ve done in the past. That means that even if your setback was the result of something that you did wrong, God has already moved on, choosing to silence any voice of condemnation that would rise against you.

If that voice is your own, make it stop today. You don’t have to continue to live in the condemnation of a bad decision from your past. Instead, you can choose to walk in the freedom of forgiveness that God has extended to you.

What’s Ahead > What’s Behind
1 Corinthians 2:9 (TPT)
This is why Scriptures say: Things never discovered or heard of before, things beyond our ability to imagine-these are the many things God has in store for all his lovers.

Have you ever taken a picture of someone in front of something that is incredibly large? For instance, maybe you’ve gone on vacation, and you’ve taken a photo of someone standing in front of Mount Rushmore. Depending on the angle of the photo, the person may appear larger than the landmark. Obviously, we know that no individual is bigger than Mount Rushmore, but when you are standing closer to the person than you are to the mountain, the person seems bigger.

We tend to do the same thing with our setbacks. When we tie ourselves to our setbacks, allowing ourselves to exist in a state of being closer to them, those setbacks seem bigger than our future. It’s not because they actually are larger, it’s just because our perspective is skewed. In order to fully set ourselves free from the pain of a setback, we must allow ourselves to move closer to the things that God has for us in the future.

Your future is greater than your past. However, for you to fully embrace that fact, you must allow yourself to move away from your past and closer to God’s plan for your future.

A Closing Prayer:
Heavenly Father, I need help in changing the way that I view my own setbacks. Help me to stop viewing the things that are holding me back as definitive and final. Most of all, help me to forgive myself for the things that I’ve messed up in my own life. I know that Your plan for my future is greater than my setbacks. In Christ’s name, Amen.

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