1st March 2023
I have been impacted in recent times as I meet with and witness so many women battling hardships, often unseen and unknown. I see these women bowed down with heavy burdens, yet they bounce back again and move on. They are resilient women!
When I think of the word resilience it brings to mind those tall, blow up figures that move with the wind. Each time they bow down, they then bounce back to their original form.
This is a prophetic picture of resilience. So what is resilience? The meaning of resilience is the power or ability to return to the original form, or position after being bent, compressed or stretched.
Resilience is the capacity to recover quickly from difficulties, and tough times.
2 Corinthians 4:8-10
We are hard-pressed on every side, yet not crushed; we are perplexed, but not in despair;
Persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down but not destroyed –
Always carrying about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body.
The reality is many are experiencing difficult circumstances right now. They are bowed down in brokenness, desperation, and helplessness. However, resilience has us quickly bounce back, choosing to move forward no matter what may assail us. It is learning practically how to be struck down but not destroyed. Difficult as it is the Lord is our ever-present help in times of trouble, and with Him we can learn to become more adaptable and flexible in and through life’s trials.
The Holy Spirit is always moving and a greater ability to ‘go with the flow’ is required so we don’t remain stuck. As evil increases we will need to be willing to go and do quickly as He leads, even if it brings discomfort.
We live in times of great challenge. The body of Christ is in a challenging season – where we need to know what we truly believe. If we hold to the Truth then how do we navigate our way through the trials and persecutions?
This is why we need resilience, and the ability to be flexible and adaptable.
We in the body of Christ should be coming into greater maturity, particularly in this apostolic/prophetic age, and resilience is part of this process. Resilience is dependent on our relationship with the Lord, being strong in Him, regularly praying, and studying the Scriptures.
So what attributes do we need to help us to be resilient?
1. Giving thanks in the difficult situations: This is always easier said than done however it is an important strategy to help us bounce back quickly.
2. Knowing God is on our side, trials happen in life, and they are for our good and most importantly for His glory. Our trials become our testimony.
3. How do we react emotionally when trials come? It is always good to keep a check on our first reaction when things don’t go according to what we think or plan. This is a key to gauging our level of maturity, and its accompanying resilience. If we react and stay in a place as a victim, or our emotions take over then this can stop us from becoming resilient.
4. Are we reaching out to others in the difficult times? It is easy to hide, and try and work things out trusting in our own way of doing things instead of going to others and acknowledging our need. God gives us people to stand with us, we were never meant to do it alone.
5. Do we trust God when things don’t go our way? Fear and anxiety with negative thoughts can quickly take hold when trials come, however resilience builds a quick response – running into God and trusting Him with our difficulties.
6. Do we have a bad attitude when what we thought was going to happen does not go the way we hoped? Resilience will have us quickly acknowledge, repent of, and choose to follow the Lord no matter what.
A Biblical example of a person who was resilient is Job. Job neither sinned nor accused God with wrong doing during his hardships.
And he (Job) said:
Naked I came from my mother’s womb,
And naked shall I return there,
The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away;
Blessed be the name of the Lord.”
In all this Job did not sin nor charge God with wrong.
Joseph was another one who was resilient – no matter what came against him he accepted his situation, and in God used it mightily for good.
Resilience is an aspect of our character that God wants to develop and mature us in. For some people it is easier than others. Life’s challenges have forged an overcoming fight in many, however like all things God does sanctify it. Just because you are a fighter doesn’t necessarily mean you are resilient. It can be a false coping mechanism rather than a character attribute. It may be a fleshly reaction rather than a Godly response.
The greatest key and sign of a resilient person is after bouncing back they keep moving on! Moving on can sometimes be the hardest thing to do. There is something comforting about ‘licking our wounds’, however the greatest sign a person is resilient is their ability to move on even if it hurts.
It may sound strange but there is a battle on against resilience. People who are resilient are a threat to the enemy as they are the ones who are overcomers, who are prepared to count the cost. The opposite of resilient is weak. The enemy targets the weak, as they are easy to pick off, often leading many to losing their way.
Past generations have learnt to be resilient as they lived through hardship in wars and the depression. They had a toughness about them that forged a resilience of character. We are in danger in this and coming generations of losing what it is to be resilient. This is not a criticism but rather a concern. Self-entitlement and a self-focused younger generation are a target for the enemy to keep them in a state of weakness so they can be picked off. Tragically this can lead them to bow to every doctrine that pleases the flesh.
We all in these ever changing times, no matter our age, need resilience if we are to stay strong, and stand firm.
How resilient are you when trials and difficulties come?
Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.
And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces a perseverance; and perseverance, character; and character, hope.
Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.