ODJ: Resilience

April 19, 2016 

READ: Matthew 7:24-27 

Anyone who listens to my teaching and follows it is wise, like a person who builds a house on solid rock (v.24).

In recent years, researchers have begun exploring what leads to human resilience. What helps someone bounce back after physical, emotional, or spiritual trauma? Psychologist Martin Seligman suggests four main factors:

Emotional fitness: having the ability to amplify positive emotions like peace, gratitude, hope, or love while managing bitterness, sadness, or anger. Family fitness: having strong relationships by building trust and extending forgiveness. Social fitness: having good friendships and work relations by developing empathy and emotional intelligence. Spiritual fitness: having a sense of purpose by serving something greater than ourselves.

In many ways this research is only catching up to what Jesus said will help us to be resilient amid the storms of life (Matthew 7:24—27). His teaching strengthens us in those four areas: We’re strengthened emotionally by being the “blessed” ones who are comforted in our mourning, cared for by the Father, and equipped to manage anger and worry (5:3—4,23—26, 6:8,25—32). We’re strengthened relationally by living out His faithfulness, honesty, grace, and forgiveness (5:27—48, 6:12). We’re strengthened socially by loving others as God has loved us. We’re strengthened spiritually by serving the One who gives us a mission to become salt and light to our world (5:13—16).

The storms of life will come—loss, betrayal, illness, tragedy, assaults on our faith, or just plain difficulty. Jesus’ teaching is more than simply gaining heaven when we die; it’s about living a resilient life now by His power. His words and presence help us build a base for our lives that will withstand even the fiercest of winds.

—Sheridan Voysey

365-day-plan: 1 Kings 18:16-46

Read James 1:22 and consider what it takes to develop a resilient faith. 
How have you seen a resilient faith lived out by strong believers in Jesus? What part of Jesus’ teaching do you need to act on today?