Resilience is the capacity to bounce back after facing life’s storms. Why do some seem to bounce back immediately while others struggle?
What psychologists are now uncovering, Jesus already knew. When He spoke to a crowd of thousands in the famous Sermon on the Mount, He outlined four factors of the resilient life.
Sheridan Voysey describes them in his book, .
“We become people who are able to amplify positive feelings like gratitude, hope, and love, and manage negative ones like bitterness, sadness, and anger.”
In the Sermon, Jesus declares us to be the blessed ones who are loved by God and comforted in our sadness, and we’re given hope for the future. He calls us to think rightly about forgiveness and bitterness, worry and gratitude, and anger and reconciliation. When we’re able to manage our emotions properly, our spiritual foundation is strengthened.
Strong relationships – good marriages and friendships and meaningful connections to the community.
Jesus deals with the four main forces that often destroy good relationships: anger, unfaithfulness, false promises, and retaliation.
“This is where He gives His famous teaching about loving our enemies… But it’s not just loving the enemies. It’s about not lusting after people. It’s about letting your ‘yes’ be ‘yes’ and your ‘no’ be ‘no.’ [Resilience] is about dealing with anger appropriately.”
A sense of accomplishment.
Jesus doesn’t tell His followers to find a hobby or practice a sport or set a career goal. Instead, He calls us the salt of the earth, the light of the world. Regardless of our position in life, we carry weighty influence into culture.
“He sets up the most unexpected people to be profoundly influential in the world, to be agents of the kingdom of God. Now if that’s not a sense of accomplishment, I’m not too sure what is!”
A sense of meaning.
Resilient people have a sense that they are part of something bigger than themselves, a transcendent purpose that is not just us and our little desires. The ultimate fulfillment of that is Jesus’ kingdom of God.
“All of those things add up to a deeply resilient life. And Jesus talked about them two thousand years ago, which I think is pretty cool. Jesus beat the psychologists to their discoveries by two millennia.”
Featured Songs: Good, Good Father by Chris Tomlin; Get Back Up by TobyMac; He is With Us by Love & The Outcome