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David’s Example of Resilience

Romans 5:3 And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Spirit which is given unto us.

Resilience is being able to stand strong and recover quickly from difficult situations. Motivational affirmations such as ‘We Are Resilient’, ‘You Can Do Anything’, ‘Never Give Up’ and the like, can give us some degree of encouragement. However, sheer will power, and strength of mind is not enough. A drive to overcome suffering and troubles, can reorient our thinking and even change our circumstances, but the effects are limited and will not meet the need of our heart and soul.

The key to whether we overcome our times of difficulty and suffering or not is whether we tell ourselves a deeper story and find real meaning in our experience.

The good news is that in the gospel message an objectively true story has already been written, and it shapes and gives meaning to every detail of our lives. The gospel, when believed, generates hope in desperate circumstances and times of suffering. The good news that Jesus brings to our lives is the scaffolding on which our own individual stories are upheld, together with a personal relationship with our Savior. This is the key to resilience.

David in the Psalms teaches us how to bring the truths of the gospel to bear upon the story of his own suffering, and as a result, build resilience.

Psalm 143:3-4 For the enemy hath persecuted my soul; he hath smitten my life down to the ground; he hath made me to dwell in darkness, as those that have been long dead. Therefore is my spirit overwhelmed within me; my heart within me is desolate.

David laments. He does not withhold the true nature of his situation, but in honesty shares his feelings of pain, anger, grief and even feelings of desertion before the LORD. He says in Psalm 62:8 to ‘Trust in him at all times; ye people, pour out your heart before him: God is a refuge for us.’ Lament is an expression of trust that God hears and cares for us.

Psalm 36:5 Thy mercy, O LORD, is in the heavens; And thy faithfulness reacheth unto the clouds.

David remembers. David shifts his focus from the situation at hand and lifts his eyes to God. David recalls God’s promises and character, stating in Psalm 145:5, ‘I will speak of the glorious honor of thy majesty and meditate of thy wondrous works.’As David intentionally reminds himself of the LORD’s faithfulness to both himself, and the Israelites in the past, fresh hope rises in his heart.

Psalm 147:1 Praise ye the LORD; For it is good to sing praises unto our God; For it is pleasant and praise is comely.

David praises. Filled with renewed hope, David can move ahead with resolve and praise. Sorrow and concern are still present, but praise and vigor bolstered by hope in God’s faithfulness, are present too. And it is the latter that gives both David and us courage and resilience to move forward, despite sadness and sorrow. Our great-burden bearer sustains, comforts and strengthens our hearts to keep going and face a new day.

Psalm 60:12 Through God we shall do valiantly: for he it is shall tread down our enemies.

Mind power, strength of will and even the motivation of others, can never bring God’s hope and completely accomplish what He alone can do in our hearts. What a blessing that we do not need to conjure up our own strength to be resilient people, but as we rely on Jesus, who provides meaning to the story of our individual lives, we find all we need to carry on victoriously.

“Dearest Jesus, You are the great over-comer and my burden-bearer. Help me in my time of trial to know that You are writing a beautiful life story and that You will use all events, joyous and difficult to teach me Your ways. Thank You for the Scriptures and David’s example of how to grow in Christ-like resilience. May my life bring glory to Your wonderful name. Amen.”

About Jennifer Woodley

Jennifer is an Australian freelance writer who lives in a small rural town in sunny Queensland. She is passionate about encouraging others on their journey with Christ through writing and mentoring. Jennifer is a school chaplain, wife, mother of three adult sons and loving grandma of one adorable grandson. More of her writing can be found at www.inhisname6.com and www.faithwriters.com.

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One comment

  1. Jennifer,
    Thank you for this important message, so valuable especially in todays world.
    Have a blessed day my friend~

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