People are messy and since we're in the people business, our work and lives are often messy too. In this messy life, how can we stand firm and face our challenges? Resilience.
One of the best examples of resilience was the expedition of Lewis & Clark. In the 1800's they took off from St. Louis, Missouri to head west and explore a massive territorial addition to the United States. For two straight years, they faced unbelievable problems: unfamiliar territory, hunger, heat, cold, exhaustion, hostile enemies, illness, death, and more. After two years, they finally reached the Continental Divide. According to the information they had at the time, they thought that once they crossed the Continental Divide, they would arrive at the Colombian River and float to the Pacific Ocean. Lewis left the group and climbed to the top of the divide expecting to see a huge river, instead, he became the first American to see the Rocky Mountains. Sometimes you have to climb the mountain to get to the easy part. History tells us that the group pressed on and crossed the Rockies, ultimately reaching the Pacific Ocean. By crossing these huge mountains, they developed a resiliency that they didn't know they had.
We will all face a mountain at some point. It might come through financial problems in your church, lack of time or energy, dissent in your ministry, or something else. Most people will get discouraged by their mountain and return back the way they came, but the great people will face their mountain with resilience. What sets these people apart from the rest? Here are four things that resilient people do.
1) Resilient people take responsibility for their own hope
There are two things that you can control: your attitude and your effort. You can develop an attitude of hope and a spirit of optimism. Don't let an attitude of despair invade your life.
"Don't let an attitude of despair invade your life."
2) Resilient people accept failure as an important part of the learning process
In order to grow, you have to be willing to try new things. Inevitably, you will fail at some point. Resilient people embrace failure. As Rocky said, "Life ain't about how hard you hit, it's about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward."
3) Resilient people regularly do reality checks relative to their hope
How is your hope doing? It's sounds like a silly question, but if unanswered, your hope could start to get washed away in the current and waves of life. It's important to ask yourself this question and frequently determine where your sources of hope (or despair) are coming from. Press into the things that give you hope.
4) Resilient people master the art of dealing with negative people
In life, you might be surrounded by negative people. The most important thing you can do is guard your heart. Be aware of your surroundings and what you are letting influence your spirit. Negativity is contagious! Keep your hope tank full and surround yourself with people who can infuse hope in you.
We leave you with this, God is a God of hope, peace, and joy. Take heart in the promises that He has for you! Stand firm in the authority that He has given you. Speak to your mountain and face it with confidence and a spirit of resilience.