We all have heroes.
Whether they’re family members or historical/cultural icons…we all have figures we look up to1.
Of course, not all protagonists and champions are alike; however, when we consider their innate qualities, it’d be hard to find any who lacked some form of resilience.
What is resilience, you ask?
Well, for starters, it’s the theme of this year’s Acquire the Fire event (hence, the topic’s prevalence).
Yet, as far as definition goes, resilience bears rich substance2. In fact, when we dig into Scripture3, we find resilience to be a number of things. Among them…
- A refusal to quit…
- A pledge to stand firm…
- Courage maintained…
- Boldness with honor…
- …and a fearlessness rooted in two instinct-defying words…
Now, I know it sounds weird, but when we confess this itty-bitty sentence to God, it not only offers Him great delight, but it also allows us to see just how much “He can”.
Why? Because owning our weakness is the first step to being set free from it!
In other words, when we admit and release our crap to God, He doesn’t just listen – He intervenes, He intercedes…all the while, showing us the pathway to real, radical heart change.
Pretty cool, eh?
But resilience doesn’t stop there.
‘Cause when we drill a little deeper, we find resilience also enables us to know how…
- …our helplessness can be expressed as acceptable worship and reference (Hebrews 12:27-29).
- …our weakness can be flipped into God’s strength filling in the holes of our efforts (2 Corinthians 12:9).
- …and our problems can (and will) be fixed simply by fixing our eyes on the One who ultimately is in control (Psalm 16:8, Hebrews 12:2).
Honestly, when you think about, this can be especially encouraging, considering we will encounter adverse circumstances at some point, whether it’s an abusive relationship, financial and/or occupational turbulence, past woundedness, and/or the stubble of our sin. But even when life seems stuck on cruise-control and hope is nothing but a fleeting fairytale, we can still know “no fear”5.
‘Cause truth is: all it takes is one simple shout of surrender to bounce back…
…one victorious “Yes” to God in the face of apparent defeat…
…and one resolute declaration of “God is enough”…
…even if 6 we’re walking through hell, unsure of what’s to come (see Daniel 3).
And I’m sorry, Captain Nesmith, but the phrase, “Never give up. Never surrender” doesn’t fully capture the essence of true resilience. Because the only way to “never give up” is to surrender…abandoning any independent pursuit that suggests we’re strong enough to adjust our course.
At the end of the day, the only means of courage is to admit we must be filled with it to live it.
And that, my friends, is what real resilience is all about it.
Next time, we’ll examine some practical points on how to live resilience out in a transformational way.
In the meantime, I leave with some passages from Isaiah & one from Habakkuk:
“In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength” ~ Isaiah 30:15
“He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak.” ~ Isaiah 40:29
“…but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.” ~ Isaiah 40:31
“You wearied yourself by such going about, but you would not say, ‘It is hopeless.’ You found renewal of your strength, and so you did not faint.” ~ Isaiah 57:10
“The Sovereign Lord is my strength; he makes my feet like the feet of a deer, he enables me to tread on the heights.” ~ Habakkuk 3:19
1) Which is how we’re designed
2) And is arguably one of the most overlooked faith terms in Scripture.
3) Especially Joshua, 2 Timothy, Philippians and Romans
4) Point inspired by Christ Is Life Ministries
5) The fact this sentence contains a “triple-negative” doesn’t devoid it of truth.
6) The story of Shadrach, Meshach & Abednego really centers on these two words (Thanks to Kemtal Glasgow for the inspiration)
Cover photo from thefeministwire.com