The Power Of Resilience

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What you do when you fail or fall is just as important as any success. That’s what you’ll find when you get the back story of those who have achieved great things. Most have had moments of failure or experienced setbacks of one kind or another. Instead of dwelling on the failure or the pain of the fall, there is a determination to get back into the race of life and move forward. Here’s how the Bible describes the life of one dedicated to serving God:

Proverbs 24:16 (ESV) — 16 for the righteous falls seven times and rises again, but the wicked stumble in times of calamity.

And what makes the difference?

Micah 7:8 (ESV) — 8 Rejoice not over me, O my enemy; when I fall, I shall rise; when I sit in darkness, the Lord will be a light to me.

Notice the words, “when I fall” and not “if I fall.” To fall or experience moments of failure or setback are going to happen. Resilience is often defined as having the mental, emotional, and behavioral flexibility and ability to adjust to both internal and external demands. Resilience can also be defined by the experience of the apostle Paul:

2 Corinthians 12:7–10 (ESV) — 7 So to keep me from becoming conceited because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations, a thorn was given me in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to harass me, to keep me from becoming conceited. 8 Three times I pleaded with the Lord about this, that it should leave me. 9 But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 10 For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

With the spiritual power and strength from God, Paul was able to bounce back from setbacks and keep going no matter what he faced, and that same power is available to all who believe as we see how Paul prayed for the church at Ephesus.

Ephesians 1:16–23 (ESV) — 16 I do not cease to give thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers, 17 that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of him, 18 having the eyes of your hearts enlightened, that you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, 19 and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe, according to the working of his great might 20 that he worked in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places, 21 far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and above every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come. 22 And he put all things under his feet and gave him as head over all things to the church, 23 which is his body, the fullness of him who fills all in all.

This power that caused us to believe, the same power raised Christ from the dead, is at work in us to help us in our journey of life. No wonder Paul could express such confidence as he described the resilience of God flowing through him.

2 Corinthians 4:7–10 (ESV) — 7 But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us. 8 We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; 9 persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; 10 always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies.

Practically speaking, when you face setbacks it’s important to refocus on your goal and assess where you are and what needs to be done to get back in the race. The longer you dwell on the past or the pain of the moment, the harder it will be to get back into the race. Even if you are physically, mentally, emotionally, or financially injured and you may need to work on healing and restoration, you still can be resilient by taking the initiative and doing whatever you can.

It’s the “never give up” attitude that flows from the power of Christ within. As you rely upon that power, every step of resilience will empower you to take another step which will soon lead to a momentum of resilience. Being resilient in one area of life will lead to resilience in all areas of life to the glory of God.


Bob Brubaker


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