Dominated by my 2-year-old grandson’s cancer, the first quarter of 2023 delivered a slew of challenges for our family. And though perhaps different in circumstance and nature, I am sure you battled your own challenges, too.
The afflictions of life on earth pose this critically important question to all believers: ARE YOU SPIRITUALLY RESILIENT?
re·sil·ience: Toughness and the capacity to withstand or recover quickly from difficulties.
I started this morning by questioning my own spiritual resilience. That immediately positioned me face-to-face with this reality: The opposite of resilient is weak and our faith in Jesus cannot be resilient and weak at the same time.
We ARE weak without God! And though it’s far from automatic, we CAN BE resilient in and through Christ if we fully surrender to him as we trust his grace, love, and power. But we CANNOT do it on our own. We must look to Jesus for God’s truth as the Apostle Paul wrote to the people of Corinth:
“We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed.” 2 Corinthians 4:8
We know it IS possible because there are countless examples to cite. Just two that immediately come to mind are: 1) Nick Vujicic who preaches around the world with no arms and no legs; and 2) Joni Erickson Tada, the paraplegic and inspirational Christian leader who has shown spiritual resilience for decades.
I KNOW you can insert right here your own example of an inspirational figure who is spiritually resilient. And they do not need to be well-known Christians with dramatic and emotional stories . Heck, I put my daughter Megan in the spiritually resilient category as she shepherds her son Briar through round-after-round of Chemotherapy.
WHERE DOES SPIRITUAL RESILIENCE COME FROM?
So we see how important spiritual resilience is to our walk with Jesus. But where does it come from? How do we “get it”?
Put simply: spiritual resilience comes from where we place the focus of our heart and mind. Where we “fix our eyes.”
“Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.” 2 Corinthians 4:16-18
SPIRITUAL RESILIENCE is NOT about being a CHRISTIAN version of SUPERMAN with extraordinary strength and unlimited joy. Spiritually resilient Christians enter into periodic darkness just like ALL believers. Their resilient hope comes from the Holy Spirit available to all of us.
“If you faint in the day of adversity, your strength is small.” Proverbs 24:10
I ask God to give me the strength to activate the resilience of Christ by: 1) Surrendering To HIM; 2) Trusting HIM; 3) Praying To HIM; 4) Focusing On HIS Word; and Praising HIM.
WHAT ABOUT YOU?
Are YOU Spiritually Resilient? Are You Sure?
“We have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us. We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies.” 2 Corinthians 4:7–10