Your Church +Portland


How To Be Resilient


If you’re like me then you’ve probably heard the saying, “God will never allow you to go through more than you can handle.” I’ve had people tell me this, knowing that this one statement alone has helped them through many a trial. That is great for them, but to be honest I can’t say that I’ve ever cared for the saying much mostly because it’s not true and secondly, because it doesn’t really make sense. It sounds a lot to me like God actually creates our adversity and willingly allows the situation to compound and get worse until we reach the breaking point, then He lovingly makes it stop. Try explaining that theology (actually philosophy) to an unbeliever and you’ll get some interesting questions fired back at you.   

In 1 Corinthians 10, Paul encourages the church to not give over to a lifestyle of lust and sexual immortality.  He adds that when we are tempted to live that way our God provides the way out (His grace) so that we can learn how to get through it and live a life pleasing to the Lord. That’s pretty awesome and amazing! So when it comes to going through tough days, it doesn’t imply that God created our tough day nor does it say He will make the situation stop if it becomes more than we can handle. I’m sure the Apostle Paul can attest to that on day 3 of hanging onto a wooden board fighting for his life in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea or the time he confronted the Lord wondering why Jesus didn’t intervene when it came to the ‘thorn’ in his flesh. How about the countless number of martyrs in the early church who died brutal deaths for defending their faith - seeing your entire family murdered would be over the top!  

Contrary to popular belief I’m not upset or bitter, I don’t have a bone to pick with anyone and I’m not grouchy and I’m not on a diet. I’m overweight and happy and I actually wrote this blog to encourage you, but not by using cheesy sayings like the one in my first paragraph. A big factor in us making it through tough days and tough times depends on our ability to be resilient. Our resiliency, when we are in the middle of our mess, is what God uses to reinforce, strengthen, equip and enable us to press through – His grace. Paul put it best when he addressed the church in Ephesus: 

“God is strong, and He wants you strong. So take everything the Master has set out for you, well-made weapons of the best materials. And put them to use so you will be able to stand up to everything the Devil throws your way….Be prepared. You're up against far more than you can handle on your own…”  

In other words we have an enemy, the Devil, who purposely throws overwhelming ‘life crap’ at us designed specifically to sabotage us and force our hand to give up and quit. We have a viable enemy who knows how to do it and how to get to us, but as Paul put it, that’s not the end of the story:

“…Take all the help you can get, every weapon God has issued, so that when it's all over…you'll still be on your feet. Truth, righteousness, peace, faith, and salvation are more than words. Learn how to apply them. You'll need them throughout your life. God's Word is an indispensable weapon…” 

Paul lists five weapons, like five fingers that make into a fist to help us fight our way back to the top. 

It takes truth – or knowing the fact God is for us. 
It takes righteousness – don’t stop doing what is right. 
It takes peace – don’t freak out. 
It takes faith – seeing your situation the way God sees it. 
It takes salvation – a better day is on the way! 

Paul says these are God’s weapons – meaning that when you use them, God gets involved! I like that.  

“…In the same way, prayer is essential in this ongoing warfare. Pray hard and long. Pray for your brothers and sisters. Keep your eyes open. Keep each other's spirits up so that no one falls behind or drops out.” 

Simply put, keep praying and don’t give up. Pray for and encourage others when you’re in the middle of your mess, even when you don’t want to. Resiliency is what gets your fight back and it’s what catches God’s attention. 

*6 Habits of resilient people:
1. They Build New Relationships. 
2. They Reframe Past Hurts. 
3. They Accept Failure.
4. They Have Multiple Identities. (Have more than one area from where you get self worth)  
5. They Practice Forgiveness.
6. They Have a Sense of Purpose.

(Ephesians 6:10-18 from THE MESSAGE: The Bible in Contemporary Language © 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson. All rights reserved.)
* author Gwen Moran - freelance writer.

Pastor ShianComment