“You will not need to fight in this battle. Position yourselves, stand still and see the salvation of the Lord, who is with you, O Judah and Jerusalem! ‘ Do not fear or be dismayed; tomorrow go out against them, for the Lord is with you.” 2 Chronicles 20:17
Turnaround has been defined as “an abrupt or unexpected change, especially one that results in a more favourable situation.” (Wiki). According to Frank Damazio, “Supernatural Turnaround is a divine encounter where God reverses your circumstances, turns the negative into positive, and shifts your thoughts and life to a new direction.” It can be instant, but in most cases it is a process.
Some of us are familiar with the popular ABC Network programme entitled “Extreme Makeover.” Typically, a person is picked up (maybe a homeless man on the street) and different experts are brought in to work on him. When they are through with him, only few people would recognize that it was the same person. The change can be so drastic that even close family members may find it difficult to identify him. There was also the Extreme Makeover, Home Edition. In a segment, you could see a poor widow given a surprise home makeover. The transformation that takes place can be as extreme as moving from a ‘face me I face you’ apartment to owning a house in Banana Island!
The truth is that our God specializes in giving such surprises to people. It must have been one of those surprises for the Psalmist when he said, “When the Lord brought back the captivity of Zion, we were like those who dream. Then our mouth was filled with laughter, and our tongue with singing.” (Psalm 126:1-2). Consider the case of Joseph: one day he was a prisoner, the next day he was made a Prime Minister in Egypt. That was also what happened to Mephibosheth. He was wasting away in the land of Lo-debar. But one day King David sent for him and his life turned around (2 Samuel 9). From that moment his life changed from a pauper to a prince! No wonder the Psalmist observed this about God: “He raises the poor out of the dust, And lifts the needy out of the ash heap, 8 That He may seat him with princes— With the princes of His people. 9 He grants the barren woman a home, Like a joyful mother of children. Praise the Lord!” (Psalm 113:7-9). God still does this kind of turnaround in our time. What we need to know is how to engage the supernatural for our Turnaround.
THE POOL OF BETHESDA
From the text, we are told about a pool in Jerusalem which was rightly called Bethesda, meaning: “House of Mercy or Kindness.” It was a place where people with impossible medical conditions were abandoned. The pool was said to be over 50 feet wide and also very deep. A person could literally jump to his death if he presumptuously jumped in when the water had not been stirred. The whole system was designed for the survival of the fittest – if you weren’t quick enough; strong enough; fast enough; you had no chance of making it in that place!
This was where this crippled man found himself. He had no chance to succeed in the competition. That’s probably why he was there for 38 years. From Jesus’ statement when He found the man in the temple after his healing, we can deduce that there must have been something this man did decades earlier that crippled him for life. “Afterward Jesus found him in the temple, and said to him, “See, you have been made well. Sin no more, lest a worse thing come upon you.”” (John 5:14). For about 38 years he had lived with the result of the poor choices he may have made as a young man! One can only imagine the guilt; the regrets etc. For 38 years he had been imprisoned in his own body!
From the human point of view, this man was the most unlikely candidate for a Supernatural Turnaround. However, God’s ways are not our ways. Supernatural Turnaround is rooted in God’s mercy and grace.
None of those invalids around the pool had the power to stir the water; none of them knew the time when the water would be stirred; all they had to do was position themselves in the right place. The Preacher said: “I have observed something else under the sun. The fastest runner doesn’t always win the race, and the strongest warrior doesn’t always win the battle. The wise sometimes go hungry, and the skillful are not necessarily wealthy. And those who are educated don’t always lead successful lives. It is all decided by chance, by being in the right place at the right time.” (Ecclesiastes 9:11 NLT).
A key factor in experiencing Supernatural Turnaround is being in the right place at the right time, doing the right things. When you read the stories of people who had a sudden turnaround, you will always find this element of being in the right place at the right time, doing the right things. They were there when the door of opportunity opened. Sometimes in life, people may have to change their position for God to change their situation. Unfortunately, there are people who always seem to be in the wrong place at the right time.
We need to be connected to the next level people assigned to our lives. This should be a passionate prayer for every person who wants to have a turnaround. God can order situations and arrange circumstances that will bring us in contact with people who can move our lives to the next level. Jesus seemed to have come by this pool specifically for this man. There is a dimension of favour that can make God pass over a thousand people just to get to you!
Also, we must learn to connect faith with power; to release our faith in the atmosphere where God is working. Faith activates the supernatural. The supernatural power of God is always available for our turnaround but we must connect to it by faith. It was Oral Roberts who said that “miracles are either coming towards you or passing by you” but people fail to appropriate them. In the ministry of Jesus we find that people either made this connection or failed to do so. For instance, in Luke 5:17, the people could not connect faith to power while in Luke 8:42-44 we find a woman who did.
There is a need to develop a turnaround attitude. It involves taking action. Obedience to divine instruction is a vital key to supernatural turnaround. When God said to Isaac, stay in the land and I’ll bless you. He obeyed and had a turnaround. (Genesis 26:1-14). It is instructive that everyone that Jesus healed, He always asked them to do something as an expression of their faith, e.g., rise up! Take up your bed and walk etc. Passivity is an enemy to supernatural turnaround. When Jesus told this man to take up his bed and go home, he didn’t hesitate to do so.
Finally, in order to sustain supernatural turnaround, it is necessary to depart from anything that predisposes us to our former condition. We must consciously depart from the lifestyle of sin. Jesus told the man, “… See, you have been made well. Sin no more, lest a worse thing come upon you.” We need to cultivate a lifestyle that can sustain supernatural turnaround in our lives. There is no doubt that God has chosen to visit us in this season but we must be rightly positioned.