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August Letter from the Pastor
August 3, 2019, 3:27 PM

Do you consider yourself resilient? Do you take a licking and keep on ticking, like the old watch commercial? Or when stressed do you lose your joy, get angry, and even quit? When stressed do you stop caring about others in order to focus on solving your problems? When the problem is solved, when the work is done do you ever have to apologize to those around you for hurtful words or behaviors? Do you find yourself lonelier than you would like to be? If so then you need more resilience.

What is resilience? One definition is “when a person’s health and development tips toward positive outcomes — even when a heavy load of factors is stacked on the negative outcome side.” Everyone experiences mess, brokenness, pain, stress. Resilient people still find the strength and resolve to continue hope and work for positive outcomes.

According to Psychology today “Psychologists have identified some of the factors that make a person resilient, such as a positive attitude, optimism, the ability to regulate emotions, and the ability to see failure as a form of helpful feedback.” Resilient people do not minimize their faults and failures, they may be acutely aware of them, but they are patient with themselves and others as they work to address their faults and failures. Resilient people stay together in the midst of stress, they work as a team carrying each other’s burdens. Resilient people take the long term view. They demonstrate resolve, patience, hope, optimism which are all very constructive traits that help a person overcome adverse circumstances.

Jesus was resilient. at Gethsemane Jesus received courage to go to the extreme agony of cross by relying on God. Jesus was so resilient He was transformed from a man sweating blood to resolutely facing captors and his fate, all because of His faith in His Heavenly Father.

As Christians we are to be resilient for the same reason Jesus was resilient: because trust God who made paradise from dark chaos, who makes faithful people out of an old worn out idolaters, who makes fruitful disciples out of sinners.

In contrast to a resilient person, A non resilient person might see the glass half empty and would be very afraid of losing what they have. Fear drains hope and brings discouragement. The stresses of life persuade non resilient people to react in anger and even become destructive and murderous because things are so hard for them.

A non resilient person separates from others. They see others as the cause of their problems or at least contributing to them. Non resilient people separate from others and are therefore lonely. In Scripture, who was not resilient? Judas, the Pharisees and Jews that killed Jesus and the Apostle Paul before his conversion.

How can a person become resilient? Resilience like faith, like any relationship, has to be developed. Resilience gets deeper and multi dimensional as it grows, which means that resilience is maintained even in the face of stresses from many and different sources. A Harvard study says the single most common factor for resilience in children is at least one stable and committed relationship with a supportive parent, friend, or other caregiver.

Development of resilience is also crucial for adults. We all need the support of the Holy Spirit as well as supportive parents, friends, loved ones and communities give us support in order to become can be resilient.

  1. relationships with people are vital to resilience, but deep eternal resilience does not come from human power because human resources are finite. The only one who can offer perfect and eternal support is the one true God. God is the ultimate source of resilience. God is constantly working to create life from nothing, to save sinners and give them new life. Who is more committed to you than the Creator who sent his son to save you and the Holy Spirit to encourage you?
  1. you and I are under stress our hearts demand tangible, visible reasons to have hope. We compare the size our tangible assets to the size of our problems, if the assets are greater than the problem then it’s a relatively easy day. Even a non resilient person can have hope in that case. But when the site of our problems are bigger than our resources or even about the same size, any claim to resilience goes away. But we profess faith in a God who brings blessing out of what is not seen, not tangible.

Heb. 11:1 Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see. ……3By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God’s command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible.

When you trust this God, you have resilience because you know God is sovereign, all powerful; and loved you so much that he sent his son to die for your sins. He is Immanuel, God with us…there is no more stable and committed relationship than the one the eternal God has established through the work of Christ.


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