Unshakable ‘Resilience’ [v200]


Unshakable ‘Resilience’

Have there been times in your life when your hopes were ‘dashed’? Your dreams were delayed, derailed, deterred or even destroyed? You feel like your life has been a continual ‘string’ of difficult personal circumstances like a serious illness, loss of a job, broken relationships, or the death of a loved one? Add to that other traumatic events going on in the world like financial collapses, famines, and terrorist attacks, do you react to such circumstances with a flood of strong concerns, frustrations, and a sense of uncertainty?

Yet, some people successfully adapt to these life-changing situations and stressful conditions. So, what enables them to do so? Well, it’s all about RESILIENCE—the ability to bounce back from setbacks or failure by ‘digging in’ and giving it your best shot. It’s about playing until time ‘runs out’, and the final whistle blows.

In the November 4, 2001 edition of the “Plain Dealer Reporter,” there was a story titled “A Stunner and a Bummer.” It was about the game between the Cleveland Browns and the Chicago Bears. With only 28 seconds remaining in the game the Browns led 21-7. The Browns were all but packed up and ready to go home, when the Bears scored making the game 21-14. The Bears then recovered their onside kick and threw a Hail Mary pass that resulted in another touchdown tying the game at 21-21. The game went into overtime, and 2 minutes and 43 seconds later, the Bears intercepted a Browns pass and ran it in for a touchdown! The Bears won 28-21. The Bears basically scored two touchdowns in 28 seconds, and then a third in overtime to move from a 21-7 deficit to a 28-21 win.


I know it was just a football game, but games like that are metaphors for life. It might have looked and felt hopeless being behind 21-7 with only 28 seconds remaining in regular play—but it was NOT HOPELESS! [ Like the Osborn neighborhood I talked about last month—that their hope has fostered resilience, and the high school is now graduating over 80% of the students (up from 50% just a decade ago), transforming the surrounding neighborhood ]. So, can everyone ‘rise from the ashes’, and develop resilience?


Research has shown that resilience is ordinary, not extraordinary. People demonstrate resilience all the time. One recent ‘extreme’ example is the response of many Americans to the “911” terrorist attacks, and the ‘herculean’ efforts to rebuild the buildings, infrastructure, and more importantly many individuals’ lives. [ “Beyond 911: Portraits of Resilience” – Time Magazine: http://content.time.com/time/beyond911/ ].

Resilience is not a trait that people either have or do not have. It involves the interaction of behaviors, thoughts, and actions that can be learned and developed in anyone.


A combination of factors contributes to resilience. Psychologists have identified some of the factors that help bolster a person’s resilience, include:

– Having good relationships with close family members and friends
– Avoid seeing crises as insurmountable problems
– Accepting that change is a part of living
– Making realistic plans and taking steps to carry them out
– Taking decisive actions and avoiding procrastination
– Looking for opportunities for self-discovery
– Nurturing a positive view of yourself
– Having a confidence in your strengths and abilities
– Developing problem solving skills
– Keeping things in perspective (Avoid blowing something out of proportion)
– Building a high frustration tolerance
– Maintaining a realistically optimistic and hopeful outlook
– Reducing negative thinking
– Increasing you capacity to manage strong feelings
– Preparing better
– Building a tolerance for ambiguity and uncertainty
– Taking care of yourself (relaxing; exercising; proper sleep)
– Practicing mediation
– Developing spiritual disciplines

All this to say, resilient people possess primarily these characteristics: a dogged persistence; a strong confidence in their abilities; decisiveness; a staunch acceptance of reality; an uncanny ability to improvise; and a deep belief—often buttressed by strongly held values—that life is meaningful.


In his book “Man’s Search for Meaning,” Victor Frankl said: “We must never forget that we may also find meaning in life even when confronted with a hopeless situation, when facing a fate that cannot be changed.”

Resilience—what some call “grit”—is a way for people to construct meaning in their everyday lives. It’s easier to be resilient when what we’re doing is tied to something personally meaningful (Victor Frankl also pointed out that finding meaning in life as a prisoner in a Nazi Concentration Camp was essential to his survival). Finding meaning in your life will not ‘drain’ you. It will energize you.

Resilient people are ‘mentally tough’. Think of them as you would about the “Energizer Bunny”—someone who keeps going and going, no matter what. Those who are resilient are able to overcome difficult situations by remaining calm, cool, and collected. They are ready to seek solutions, get back on track, and don’t let disappointments deter them from what they want. Instead, they stay focused and ‘visualize’ being successful. Mentally tough people practice being happy and know it is up to them to make it happen. [ “If It’s Going to Be, It’s up to Me: The Eight Proven Principles of Possibility Thinking” – By Robert H. Schuller: http://www.amazon.com/If-Its-Going-Principles-Possibility/dp/0061044482 ].


A ‘secret’ to a person’s resilience is ‘perspective’—redefining success. When you take the perspective that everything is a learning experience, there are no winners or losers—you just keep getting better.

Failure is not failing to reach your dreams. Failure IS not having a dream. Failure is not setting a goal and missing it. Failure IS not having a goal. Failure is not falling down. Failure IS refusing to get back up!

We usually think of failure as being a negative experience, but resilient people think of it as a ‘positive’ experience—to learn from—and use it to their advantage. They use it as a ‘stepping stone’.


Resilience is a choice—so choose to change the things you can, and accept that there are other things that are out of you hands. After that, just have ‘faith’ that it will work out for the best (echoes of the “Serenity Prayer”?).

Psychologist Al Siebert, Ph.D., author of “The Resiliency Advantage: Master Change, Thrive Under Pressure and Bounce Back from Setbacks,” writes that “highly resilient people are flexible, adapt to new circumstances quickly, and thrive in constant change. Most important, they expect to bounce back and feel confident that they will.”

Resilient people are also adept at seeing things from another person’s point of view. When we empathize with others, we feel less alone and less entrenched in our pain. As a result, we recover faster.

Another key is adjusting how we think about adversity. Resilient people are characterized by an ability to experience both negative and positive emotions even in difficult or painful situations. They mourn losses and endure frustrations, but they also find redeeming potential or value in most challenges—tending to find some ‘silver lining’ in even the worst of circumstances. While they certainly see and acknowledge the bad, they’ll find a way to also see the good. They’ll say, “Well at least I didn’t have this other problem.”

This is not Pollyanna-ish denial. The resilient person isn’t ‘covering over’ the negative emotions, they’re just prone to thinking, “I’m grateful about ___________” (fill in the blank with yours). Called “Un-adapting,” it involves consciously drawing attention to the positive things in your life that you may have started taking for granted.

Acts of kindness are another ‘source’ to increase one’s resilience—and it so happens that the serotonin boost that accompany them, has a cumulative effect. Once you’ve added these things to your life in a consistent way, the benefits become exponential, so that in times of difficulty, you’ve got this ‘well’ of resiliency to draw upon.


The recent 2008 recession has left us with a sense of ‘siege’, and the collective ‘emotional tone’ of the whole world has seemed to have been changed. A convergence of big scares rattled people’s beliefs about basic things: Am I safe? Who can I trust? Is there anything I can do? So how, given everything that has happened, should I now live? It no longer seems possible to avoid failing simply by being conscientious and working hard (the ‘formula’ our parents, and their parents, took to the ‘bank’).

But, psychologist Jonathan Haidt argues that adversity, setbacks, and even trauma may actually be necessary for people to be happy, successful, and fulfilled. He terms it “post-traumatic growth.”

“I have failed over and over and over again, and that is why I succeed,” said Michael Jordan—as did Steve Jobs, Oprah, Walt Disney, Henry Ford, Winston Churchill, and Thomas Edison, in slightly different words. Indeed, so oft-repeated is this that we tend to lose sight of how strange it really is.

Achievement in America is very important—though I think disproportionately valued—and is often ‘connected’ with material success. But other dimensions actually have a potentially higher payoff. Though we easily become accustomed to material things, they are not enough to make us happy all the time. Other less tangible values, like kindness and purpose, don’t lose their happiness-making ‘punch’—at least not as much. A new unifying principle coalesces around some “higher purpose,” and it feels like a ‘life upgrade’.

Thus, does failure lead, in a roundabout way, to happiness? Well, “London and Chicago seized the opportunities provided by their great fires to remake themselves into grander and more coherent cities,” writes Jonathan Haidt in his “The Happiness Hypothesis” book. He adds, “People sometimes seize such opportunities, too, rebuilding beautifully those parts of their lives and life stories that they could never have torn down voluntarily.” So, maybe it does.


Everyone gets ‘knocked down’ by failure sometimes, however briefly. The real difference between people who pull themselves up somehow versus the people who do not, says Susan Nolen-Hoeksema, a psychologist at Yale, is that some slip into “rumination”—a spiral of morbid self-involvement that’s extremely difficult to shake. But what separates the ruminators from the resilients? Why is it that the same set of circumstances that drives one person deeper into the mud makes another stronger?

Well, there is a ‘temperament’ that some people have—a tremendous optimism, enthusiasm, and persistence in the face of setbacks—something that helps them find the ‘kernel’ of good inside the bad and to profit from it. Irish playwright, novelist, poet Samuel Beckett put it, “No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better.”

“Failing better” boils down to three things. It’s a matter of controlling our emotions, adjusting our thinking, and recalibrating our beliefs about ourselves and what we can do in the world.


Corporations have embraced the practice of “failing better” calling it “Intelligent Failure”—creating a safe place for innovation to thrive where effort and smart risk-taking are rewarded, not just outcomes and successes. It also uses those failures as opportunities to find ways to become more resilient.

Intelligent Failure is not about celebrating failure or even embracing it. However, since failure is largely inevitable, someone who fails intelligently is able to get beyond the negative experience and realize the best thing we can do with a failure is to maximize our learning from it (“Intelligent Failure Learning and Innovation Loop”: https://failforward.org/if-loop/ ).

Since most of us are not taught how to fail, our instinctive reactions to failure are usually defensive, dysfunctional, and generally don’t serve us very well. The ability to fail intelligently, whether personally or organizationally, is increasingly an essential skill in an ever-changing world. Eddie Obeng, a British organizational theorist, educator and author, talks about how the pace of change of our world has surpassed our ability to learn and have the knowledge needed to solve our most important challenges, so we have to create ‘space’ to experiment, figure out what does and doesn’t work, then adapt. If you are like most people, you will probably find that the times in your life when you grew and accomplished the most were also the times when you made the most mistakes and had to overcome the greatest obstacles.


Thomas Edison once said, “Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.” This from a man almost as famous for lauding perspiration as he is for inventing the lightbulb. It is said that perseverance, tenacity, and grit are far more important than I.Q. when it comes to success—and the world’s leading expert on measuring and strengthening human resilience, Dr. Paul G. Stoltz, has given it a new name: the “Adversity Quotient.”

“A.Q.” is the bedrock of human endeavor, and enhances real gains in productivity, capacity, performance, innovation, morale…and more. A.Q. is the most scientifically robust and widely used method in the world for measuring and strengthening human resilience. Top leaders, industry-leading companies, and governments worldwide use A.Q. to enhance or transform: Performance; Productivity; Innovation; Agility; Change; Pace; Problem solving; Optimism; Engagement; Morale; Retention; Energy; Hiring; Development; Coaching; People; and Leadership Culture. [ http://www.peaklearning.com/about_aq.php ].

Well, I’m thinking that Abraham Lincoln could be the ‘poster child’ for “A.Q.” In 1832 he was defeated for the state legislature. Then he was elected to it in 1834. In 1838 he was defeated for speaker of the state house. In 1840 he was defeated for elector. He ran for Congress in 1843, and guess what, he was defeated. He was elected to Congress in 1846, but then lost re-election in 1849. He ran for U.S. Senate in 1855 and was defeated. In 1856 he was defeated for Vice-President. He ran again for the U.S. Senate in 1858 and lost. BUT, in 1860, he was elected President of the United States, and was one of the best ones we’ve ever had. Now THAT’S RESILIENCE!

Today the Pacific Rim countries may best exemplify resilience. Think of Japan’s astounding rebirth following its defeat in World War II, transforming itself from a near-feudal empire to a modernized republic and economic powerhouse—and now China has ‘one-upped’ Japan in this by becoming the second largest economy (by GDP) in the world!


Probably one of the most important ‘organizations’ that needs to have resilience is the military, and the commander of the Brewster Islands Military Reservation (built in 1942 to protect the Boston Harbor from air and naval attacks) was concerned about the heightened state of ‘distress’ on the base. It was leading to feelings of despair, hopelessness, and depression among the troops. After some analysis, he recognized that one of the best tools there is to cope with trouble is “spiritual resilience”—or ”faith.”


Faith is so crucial to our everyday functioning (trusting the chair will hold us; we will get safely thru an intersection; the bank will give us our money; etc.), yet faith can be so fragile. A resilient faith is a quality that’s able to see us through trouble, temptation and trials—and even come through stronger.

The Bible gives us many examples of people who followed God’s ‘leading’ to become resilient—Job, the apostle Paul, Peter, and even Jesus come to mind. These “never say die” folks believe God for His promises regardless of the circumstances. They were filled with an overcoming attitude that expected God to use them regardless of their ‘handicaps’. They resigned themselves to being a resilient believer because they knew that God is greater than any problem they had, and His mighty power working through them would enable them to do anything God asked them to do. The thing is, that was not only for then, it can be the same for you today! God is “the same yesterday, today, and forever” [ Hebrews 13:8 ] and He “is no respecter of persons” [ Romans 2:11 ]. (God does not show favoritism, and treats everyone equally).


There’s a phrase used by Bible teachers that expresses ‘resiliency’–it’s “facing your giant.” It is derived from the story of David and Goliath, where David slays the giant Goliath with one stone thrown from his sling (1 Samuel 17).

Many of us have ‘giants’ (seemingly insurmountable obstacles) that we are facing today. Even though the story is about 3,000 years old (and your ‘giants’ may not have swords or look like Goliath), your ‘giant’ might be unemployment, debt, sickness, work overload, depression, addiction, doubt, fear, discouragement, temptations, a broken relationship, a family tragedy, an impending divorce, or a host of others things. They may seem unconquerable, and you may feel overwhelmed. Since it’s been happening to you for so long, you may just want to give up and ‘run away’ from it. But, as the story goes, David did not run away from his giant, he confronted it head on. He RAN TOWARDS Goliath for the confrontation, knowing that he could sleigh him with the power of God on his side—and God wants to GIVE YOU that ‘power’ today!


So, let me encourage you today to think of what your ‘giant’ is, ask God for His help, and ‘roll up your sleeves’ and say: “Enough is enough, ‘giant’…I’m going to defeat you!”


The apostle Paul—a very ‘resilient’ person—encouraged the Corinthians by saying, “The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you can endure” [ 1 Corinthians 10:13 ]. This is also A ‘PROMISE’ FOR YOU TODAY!

Realize that God has promised to help you defeat your ‘giant’, and that He is greater than any ‘giant’ you may be facing right now—or will face in the future!


So then, you may ask, why does God allow these ‘giants’ in our life? Primarily because there’s nothing like ‘confrontation’ to turn a person into a ‘warrior’. As long as we run away when the ‘giant’ rears his ugly head, we’ll have to face him tomorrow and the next day, and the next day. [ https://markbesh.wordpress.com/failure-prompts-introspection-v197/ ]. He won’t go away until we stand up and defeat him!


So how should you go about doing this? Well, it’s very important to turn to God in PRAYER—to ask Him for guidance; ask Him for strategy in which you can be facing your giants; ask Him for wisdom to make the right decisions towards facing your giants; and ask Him for strength (acknowledging that you cannot face your ‘giants’ by yourself). Spend time in His presence (reading the Bible) and seeking Him for facing your ‘giants’ saying: “Lord, this ‘giant’ is far greater than me. Please give me Your strength to defeat it.”


The way to get real-life results in prayer is to seek God with an attitude that says, “No matter how long it takes, or whatever I have to do, I will not be denied.” This is not arrogance, it’s Godly ‘hunger’. It is not about ‘pushing’ God to do your will, but about ‘pressing into’ God to know His will. This is ‘desperate’ praying. This is praying to see the ‘hand’ of God move. This is the type of prayer that gets answers!

There’s an acronym that might help you remember this: “P.U.S.H.”—”Pray Until Something Happens.”

Seeking God merges the Word of God and the will of God into our lives. This is what Jesus was referring to when He said, “If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you shall ask whatever you will, and it will be done for you” [ John 15:7 ]. This kind of ‘expecting’ faith God honors—turning desires into ‘hopes’, and hopes into real life ‘realities’.


This is only realized by those who seek Him with their whole ‘heart’. The Bible says that, “You must be diligent so as to realize the full assurance of hope, so that you will receive the promise” [ Hebrews 6:11 ]. Growing one’s faith is hard work, for the Bible goes on to say, “Don’t be sluggish but be imitators of those who through faith and patience have inherited the promises” [ Hebrews 6:12 ]. But, it’s WORTH IT! God WILL ANSWER YOU, and you will get the ‘VICTORY’—just be patient!

So, DON’T GIVE UP! Seek Him till you ‘hear’ His voice. Let Him deal with your ‘heart’ and guide you—for as you do, He will ‘speak’ your answer to you.


A metaphor for this kind of ‘desperate’ prayer could be a tree in a desert. During prolonged drought conditions, surface water begins to evaporate. Prolonged periods without rain will eventually cause streams to become a dry bed. In such conditions we expect to see things that depend upon water suffer. It is not remarkable for the leaves on trees to wither in severe drought conditions—actually it is expected. On the other hand, it is quite remarkable to see a tree whose leaves have not withered when all around it stand many trees who have succumbed to the severity of the harsh conditions. That tree is a remarkable tree—it has overcome the drought.

Even when the surface water dries up, there is water to be had, but it will lie deeper beneath the surface. This is the ‘secret’ of the resilient tree—its roots go deep enough to find the hidden water source.

So, sink your ‘roots’ into God’s Word so you won’t ‘wither’ when your circumstance are ‘parched’ [ Jeremiah 17:5-8 ]. It will MAKE YOU REMARKABLY RESILIENT! (“He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak…those who trust in the LORD will renew their strength…they will run and not grow weary; they will walk and not faint” [ Isaiah 40:29-31 ]).


When you have God on your side, you should not be afraid of your ‘giant’! “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind” [ 2 Timothy 1:7 ]. God will give you ‘extraordinary power’ to conquer your ‘giant’!

Even though there can be a lot of fear evoked when you are facing your giant—because you are small and that giant you’re facing is big—God IS BIGGER and He will strengthen you! (“When I am afraid, I will trust in you. In God, whose word I praise, in God I trust; I will not be afraid. What can mortal man do to me?” [ Psalm 56:3-4 ]).


The secret is found in affirming God’s presence. The world says give up, drop out, run away, but God says to just trust Him, lean on Him, and fall into His ‘arms’. God is with you to support and sustain you—to give you hope, courage, and strength to continue. He has promised, “My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest” [ Exodus 33:14 ].


Ignance Paderewski, Poland’s famous concert pianist and prime minister, was giving a series of concerts. A mother, wishing to encourage her young son’s progress at the piano, bought tickets for a performance. When the night arrived, they found their seats near the front of the concert hall and eyed the majestic Steinway waiting on stage. The mother spotted a friend in the audience and walked down the aisle to greet her. Seizing the opportunity to explore the wonders of the concert hall, the little boy eventually made his way through a door marked, “No Admittance.” When the house lights dimmed and the concert was about to begin, the mother returned to her seat and discovered that the child was missing.

Suddenly, the curtains parted and spotlights focused on the impressive Steinway on stage. In horror, the mother saw her little boy sitting at the keyboard, innocently picking out, “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star.” His mother gasped, but before she could retrieve her son, the great piano master appeared on the stage and quickly moved to the keyboard. He whispered to the boy, “Don’t quit…keep playing.” Leaning over, Paderewski reached down with his left hand and began filling in a bass part. Soon, his right arm reached around the other side, encircling the child, to add a running obbligato. Together, the old master and young novice held the crowd mesmerized.

In our quest for contagious character, unpolished and incomplete though we may be, it is the ‘Master’ who surrounds us and whispers in our ear, time and again, “DON’T QUIT…KEEP PLAYING.” And as we do, He augments and supplements until a work of amazing beauty is created. What we can accomplish on our own is hardly noteworthy. We try our best but the results aren’t exactly graceful flowing music. But with the hand of the ‘Master’, our character can truly be beautiful. Our responsibility is to not quit, to keeping playing. His part is to fashion a ‘masterpiece’ in us!

Remember God doesn’t ‘call’ the equipped, He equips the called—and, He will always be there to love and to guide you to great things!


God has set us apart and has plans for us to do something with our existence. The Bible says, “We are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” [ Ephesians 2:10 ].

So, whenever you are tempted to denigrate, devalue, or dismiss yourself as of little or no consequence, God says, “Hey! Wait a minute! That is simply not the case. You were created in such a way to serve Me and others as ONLY YOU CAN DO!”

When you are tempted to give it up, you need to revisit your ‘call’ and hear God say once again, “I have appointed you, set you apart and consecrated you to live purposefully. The struggles of life do not negate the reason for your existence.”

God assures us that despite any circumstances in life, He will always be graciously present in our lives, empowering us and sustaining us through the challenges.


As an example, this is what God said to Joshua when he called him to lead the Children of Israel into the Promised Land: “Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” [ Joshua 1:9 ]. No matter how complex, chaotic, or confusing your circumstances may be, God will not abandon you. He will give you all you need in order for you to persevere through to the end.


When we find ourselves questioning who we are and why God has placed us in a particular circumstance, we should affirm three things:
– God knew me before I was, and formed me as I am
– God called me to this place and this time for a purpose even before I was born
– God will never, never, never, leave me or forsake me

Sometimes, even when you feel you have faithfully followed God but find yourself feeling disillusioned or disappointed, find a quiet place and pour your ‘heart’ out to Him. Tell Him about your frustrations, disappointments and even your unmet expectations. It is in being honest with God that we find that we are trusting God. He can ‘take it’ and is totally sympathetic to our struggles.

To illustrate this, God had asked Jeremiah to do a rather unusual thing. Jeremiah was to visit a local potter, purchase a clay pot and then in a public setting, smash the jar and say, “I will smash this nation and this city just as this potter’s jar is smashed and cannot be repaired” [ Jeremiah 19:10 ].

His little ‘object lesson’ did not go over well with the people or with the priest who upon hearing of Jeremiah’s antics, ordered him beaten and put in stocks. Jeremiah was not pleased—this was not part of the ‘deal’. We think that when we are in the place God wants us to be and doing what God wants us to do, this kind of stuff isn’t supposed to happen. So Jeremiah reacted. He complained to God about being ridiculed all day long and how having spoken God’s words have brought him nothing but insult and reproach.

He was so discouraged by the way things turned out that he wished that he had never been born, so he would not have had to go through this. Jeremiah was either: Crazy and sacrilegious for thinking he can talk to God like he did; So ticked-off that he didn’t care anymore what God thought about him or did to him; or he trusted that God was big enough and gracious enough to hear what he is feeling. Well, it was the latter.

But, Jeremiah is not the first person to ‘lay it all out’ to God. Moses prayed, “If this is how you are going to treat me, put me to death right now” [ Numbers 11:15 ]. When Elijah was totally exhausted, he prayed, “I have had enough, Lord. Take my life” [ 1 Kings 19:4 ]. Even King David—a man after God’s own heart—cried out to Him, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” [ Psalm 22:1-2 ]. (Jesus actually prayed that exact prayer when He died on the cross).


So, are you close to quitting? Please DON’T QUIT! Are you tired of trying to live the Christian life? HANG IN THERE! Can’t resist a temptation? Ask God’s for forgiveness and keep on living rightly. Do you feel that sorrow and disappointment greet your every morning? HOLD ON!…help is just around the corner!

While the apostle Paul was going through some tough trials, God told him: “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” He then responded: “Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me” [ 2 Corinthians 12:8–9 ].


RESILIENCE PREVAILS! The disciple James encouraged his readers with: “Blessed is a man who endures trials, because when he passes the test he will receive the crown of life that He has promised to those who love Him” [ James 1:12 ]. Remember you are not a failure until you give up!

In the immortal words of Winston Churchill, “Never give in, never give in, never, never, never, never.” So don’t quit. Never give up. Keep going. Hold on. God says we will receive “crowns” (‘rewards’) in the future for things we do now—it’s just a bit frustrating that we don’t know how many ‘steps’ it will take to reach the ‘prize’. There are no ‘time outs’—we must ‘work it out’ every day of our life. It has been said, “Life is like reading a book. It begins to make sense when we near the end.” Resilience maintains the stamina needed to see the end, and embrace the ‘prize’. Just remember, that GOD IS ‘IN CHARGE’ of our lives! Trust Him to do the right thing at the right time in your life!


The thing is, as you look back over the circumstances and situations you have been through, you will discover that God was just preparing you to face the ‘giants’ that were ahead of you. It makes no difference what you are facing, and it makes no difference what your ‘giant’ may be. You can defeat any ‘giant’ that comes your way since “Greater is He [the Holy Spirit] that is in you, than He [Satan] that is in the world” [ 1 John 4:4 ].


When David defeated Goliath, others were blessed. Others are watching how you face your ‘giants’. When you allow God to give you victory over your ‘giant’, others will be encouraged and blessed. Suggestion: Don’t tell God how big your ‘giants’ are. Tell your ‘giants’ how big your God is!


Let God help you to BECOME RESILIENT—to strengthen you to obtain the ‘prize’: “Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus” [ Philippians 3:12-14 ].


When you have done the will of God, you will receive what is promised: His great and eternal reward (“So do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded. You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised” – Hebrews 10:35-36).

Measured by eternity, the HARDSHIPS of this life WILL NOT BE LONG, and “by your endurance you will gain your lives” [ Luke 21:19 ]—ETERNAL LIFE!!!


[ Excerpts from: Jamie Wright; American Psychological Association; Rick Warren; Jon Bloom; Rick Ezell; Greg Laurie; Ashley Good; Mary Scheer; Dr. Nancy D. O’Reilly; Monty Newton ]



A Resilient Life: You Can Move Ahead No Matter What
By: Gordon MacDonald

“It makes little difference how fast you can run the 100 meters when the race is 400 meters long. Life is not a sprint; it is a distance run, and it demands the kind of conditioning that enables people to go the distance.”

Running Strong

Whose heart doesn’t leap at the sight of a beautifully
conditioned runner, effortlessly gliding along, stride-bystride, mile-by-mile? And what runner gets to this place without a thankless—and often lonely—regimen of strategy and self-denial?

Isn’t this the perfect metaphor of what your heart is longing for—running life’s race with intentionality and grace? With strength and focus?

Well, you can. Veteran pastor and best-selling author Gordon MacDonald says you must develop resilience—the courage and ability to get up when you fall, to keep running when you’re bone-weary, and to keep your eye on the goal even in the murkiest moments. Using the backdrop of his own experiences as a champion runner, MacDonald demonstrates how resilient people.

– Practice spiritual self-discipline to build stamina and grit;
– Know what’s up ahead, what obstacles they will likely face; and
– Bond with special friends who share their commitment to finishing well.

Because he has also run many long, punishing laps in the tough race of life, MacDonald is uniquely qualified to coach and encourage you in developing that resilient spirit—to weather adversity, to finish what you start, and to never be satisfied with anything short of God’s best for you.


You’ll Get Through This: Hope and Help for Your Turbulent Times
By: Max Lucado

You’ll get through this.
It won’t be painless.
It won’t be quick.
But God will use this mess for good.
Don’t be foolish or nanve.
But don’t despair either.
With God’s help, you’ll get through this.

You fear you won’t make it through. We all do. We fear that the depression will never lift, the yelling will never stop, the pain will never leave. In the pits, surrounded by steep walls and aching reminders, we wonder: Will this gray sky ever brighten? This load ever lighten?

In You’ll Get Through This, pastor and New York Times best-selling author, Max Lucado offers sweet assurance. “Deliverance is to the Bible what jazz music is to Mardi Gras: bold, brassy, and everywhere.” Max reminds readers God doesn’t promise that getting through trials will be quick or painless. It wasn’t for Joseph—tossed in a pit by his brothers, sold into slavery, wrongfully imprisoned, forgotten and dismissed—but his Old Testament story is in the Bible for this reason: to teach us to trust God to trump evil.

With the compassion of a pastor, the heart of a storyteller, and the joy of one who has seen what God can do, Max explores the story of Joseph and the truth of Genesis 50:20. What Satan intends for evil, God redeems for good.


Why Did This Happen to Me?: Bouncing Back When Life Knocks You Down
By: H. Norman Wright

Inevitably, crisis, loss and change touch every one of us. No one is immune from trouble. Top-selling author and counselor H. Norman Wright says that before some personal disaster knocks us down, we can take preventive steps so that we can bounce right back. So don’t be taken by surprise. Let this book teach you how to understand the nature and pattern of crises so that you can be prepared for whatever comes your way. Become predisposed to receive God’s grace when something bad happens to you.


Never Give Up!: Relentless Determination to Overcome Life’s Challenges
By: Joyce Meyer

Joyce Meyer is probably better equipped than anyone when it comes to never giving up. She overcame an abused childhood, a bad marriage and extremely limited opportunities to become one of the most popular author/speakers in the world. Joyce Meyer Ministries was the first ministry in America to be headed by a woman, and it’s one of the largest in the world. If anyone knows how to hold on to a dream and realize it, it’s her. Packed with examples of people who pursued their goals relentlessly, the book profiles nearly fifty individuals who prevailed against all odds. From the builder of the Brooklyn Bridge to the chemists who invented Post-It notes we meet people like Bessie Coleman, an African-American who had to go to flight school in Paris in order to learn how to fly. But she did, becoming the first woman in America to earn her pilot’s license in 1920.


Don’t Give Up, Don’t Give In: Lessons from an Extraordinary Life
By: Louis Zamperini

American hero Louis Zamperini shares his wisdom, values, lessons, secrets, and other insights gleaned from his remarkable experiences in this powerful and inspiring book.

Louis Zamperini’s struggle to survive the unimaginable—brought to life in his autobiography Devil at My Heels and in Laura Hillenbrand’s #1 New York Times bestseller and its film adaptation, Unbroken—elevated him to his rightful place among our country’s greatest heroes. Now, Zamperini reveals the wisdom he learned along his incredible journey.

Faced with one misfortune after another—a plane crash, the shark-filled waters of the Pacific, a brutal Japanese prisoner of war camp—Zamperini could have given up a thousand times. Instead, he chose to see every hardship as a challenge that he was determined to overcome. Enduring the perils of World War II, Zamperini continued to find adventure at every turn—from crashing weddings to facing down Frank Sinatra in a fight to getting mixed up in a bank robbery. Until his death at 97 he remained undaunted; happy, sharp-minded, and healthy, and continued to engage life to its fullest.

In Don’t Give Up, Don’t Give In, he offers never-before told tales that embody his simple, yet essential secrets of success: how his relationship with God, his ever-positive attitude, his constant pursuit of accomplishment—and a healthy dose of mischief—have helped him lead a long and fulfilled life, lessons we can all use to transform our own.


Adversity Quotient: Turning Obstacles into Opportunities
By: Paul G. Stoltz

Praise for “Adversity Quotient”:
“With AQ, Paul Stoltz has done something remarkable: He synthesizes some of the most important information on how we influence our own future and then offers a profound set of observations which teaches us how to thrive in a fast-changing world!” -Joel Barker, President, Infinity, LTD, author of Paradigm Shift.

“Adversity Quotient will show that you have more control over events than you think. The key is changing your beliefs. Believe it or not, that can usually be done in One Minute.” -Ken Blanchard, co-author, The One Minute Manager.

“Paul Stoltz’s AQ explains why some people, teams, organizations, and societies fail or quit, and how others in the situation persevere and succeed. With this book, anyone or or organization can learn to reroute their AQ and hardwire their brain for success.” -Daniel Burrus, author, Technotrends.

“AQ is one of the more important concepts of our time. Paul Stoltz’s book provides the direction and tools necessary for putting this idea into practice. It is a must read for anyone interested in personal mastery, leadership effectiveness and/or organizational productivity.” -Jim Ericson, Program Director, The Masters Forum.


Facing Your Giants
By Max Lucado

You know your Goliath. You recognize his walk, the thunder of his voice.

He taunts you with bills you can’t pay, people you can’t please, habits you can’t break, failures you can’t forget, and a future you can’t face. But just like David, you can face your giant, even if you aren’t the strongest, the smartest, the best equipped, of the holiest.

David. You could read his story and wonder what God saw in him. His life has little to offer the unstained, straight-A saint. He fell as often as he stood, stumbled as often as he conquered. But for those who know the sound of Goliath, David gives this reminder:

Focus on giants—you stumble; focus on God—your giants tumble.

If you’re ready to face your giants, let his story inspire you. The same God who helped him will help you.



Facing The Giants” (Movie)

With God, all things are possible. Never give up. Never back down. Never lose faith.

This is the action-packed drama about a Christian high school football coach who uses his undying faith to battle the giants of fear and failure. In six years of coaching, Grant Taylor has never led his Shiloh Eagles to a winning season. Devastated by his circumstances, he cries out to God in desperation. When Grant receives a message from an unexpected visitor, he searches for a stronger purpose for his football team. He dares to challenge his players to believe in God for the impossible on and off the field. Facing the Giants is a powerful experience for the whole family inspiring viewers to live with faith, hope, and love!





[P.S.: If you would like to investigate further about what the Bible has to say about how to GROW CLOSER to God in the here and now, visit the following link:


If you have a ‘neat’ story or some thoughts about an issue or current event that you would like me to try to respond to, I would be glad to give it a try…so, send them to me at: mbesh@comcast.net


Resilience is the process of adapting to difficult or challenging life experiences, says the late Al Siebert, PhD, founder of The Resiliency Center in Portland, Ore. Curious to know how your own resilience rates? Take this quiz, adapted from Siebert’s book “The Resiliency Advantage.”

Rate yourself from 1 to 5 (1 = strongly disagree; 5 = strongly agree):

– I’m usually optimistic. I see difficulties as temporary and expect to overcome them.
– Feelings of anger, loss and discouragement don’t last long.
– I can tolerate high levels of ambiguity and uncertainty about situations.
– I adapt quickly to new developments. I’m curious. I ask questions.
– I’m playful. I find the humor in rough situations, and can laugh at myself.
– I learn valuable lessons from my experiences and from the experiences of others.
– I’m good at solving problems. I’m good at making things work well.
– I’m strong and durable. I hold up well during tough times.
– I’ve converted misfortune into good luck and found benefits in bad experiences.

Less than 20: Low Resilience: You may have trouble handling pressure or setbacks, and may feel deeply hurt by any criticism. When things don’t go well, you may feel helpless and without hope. Consider seeking some professional counsel or support in developing your resiliency skills. Connect with others who share your developmental goals.

20–30: Some Resilience: You have some valuable pro-resiliency skills, but also plenty of room for improvement. Strive to strengthen the characteristics you already have and to cultivate the characteristics you lack. You may also wish to seek some outside coaching or support.

30–35: Adequate Resilience: You are a self-motivated learner who recovers well from most challenges. Learning more about resilience, and consciously building your resiliency skills, will empower you to find more joy in life, even in the face of adversity.

35–45: Highly Resilient: You bounce back well from life’s setbacks and can thrive even under pressure. You could be of service to others who are trying to cope better with adversity.

Used by permission. Copyright 2005 Practical Psychology Press, adapted from Chapter 2 in The Resiliency Advantage (Berrett-Koehler) by Al Siebert, PhD. All rights reserved.

By clicking on either the RS-14 (14 items) or the Resilience Scale (25 items) you can measure your current level of resilience.

These online scales are for individual use only. If you would like to measure resilience in groups of individuals (e.g., school, university, organization, counseling/coaching business, workshop, seminar, etc.) please contact us for a license.

Once you click on the Submit button you will receive a brief explanation of your resilience score.

In an analysis of available survey instruments to measure adolescent resilience, Ahern et al. wrote:
“One instrument (Resilience Scale [RS]) was determined to be the best instrument to study resilience in the adolescent population due to psychometric properties of the instrument and applications in a variety of age groups, including adolescence. “

Ahern N, Kiehl E, Sole ML, Byers J. (2006). A Review of Instruments Measuring Resilience.
Issues in Comprehensive Pediatric Nursing 29 (103-125). Test Your Resilience « Resilience Scale


(Content overview)

Resilient People are Committed to Finishing Strong:
– They believe that quitting is not an option
– They know that ‘walking’ is unthinkable.
– They are convinced that building resilience is a daily pursuit.
– They despise aimlessness.
– They have the faces of champions

Resilient People Run Inspired by a ‘Big-picture’ View of Life:
– They have a sense of life-direction.
– They forsee the great questions of life’s passage.
– They cultivate Christian character.
– They listen for a ‘call’ from God.
– They are confident in their giftedness.
– They live generous lives.

Resilient People Run Free of the Weight of the Past:
– They understand the importance of repairing the past
– They respect the power of memory- They practice repentance
– They are quick to forgive
– They overflow with Gratitude
– They squeeze the past for all its wisdom

Resilient People Train to Go the Distance
– They prepare themselves for the “Emergencies” of Life- They know exactly what has to be accomplished
– They keep themselves physically fit
– They grow their minds
– They harness their emotions
– They trim their egos
– They open their hearts to the presence of God

Resilient People Run in the Company of a “Happy Few”
– They value lingering
– They know the peril of a solitary life
– They know how friendship works
– They are those “certain people”

[ Gordon MacDonald ]

YOU ARE LOVED (Don’t Give Up)

Don’t give up
It’s just the weight of the world
When your heart’s heavy
I…I will lift it for you

Don’t give up
Because you want to be heard
If silence keeps you
I…I will break it for you

Everybody wants to be understood
Well I can hear you
Everybody wants to be loved
Don’t give up
Because you are loved

Don’t give up
It’s just the hurt that you hide
When you’re lost inside
I…I will be there to find you

Don’t give up
Because you want to burn bright
If darkness blinds you
I…I will shine to guide you

Everybody wants to be understood
Well I can hear you
Everybody wants to be loved
Don’t give up
Because you are loved

You are loved
Don’t give up
It’s just the weight of the world
Don’t give up
Every one needs to be heard
You are loved

[ Josh Groban – ”Awake” album ]


[ Nick Vujicic ]




This time your heart said it’s had enough
Sick and tired of everything that’s so messed up
You don’t wanna move on just playing games
Praying hard somehow that your life will change
When you feel like you don’t know what to do
Stuck inside this maze you can’t go through

Don’t give up
Help is surely on its way
And don’t give up
And the dark is breaking in today
And just keep on moving through these storms
And soon enough you’ll find the door
Just don’t give up
Oh, and don’t give up

These walls around you are caving in
And your life seems like it is wearing thin
And your hope is drowning in despair
It looks like you’re not going anywhere
Step inside this heart and then you’ll see
Such a love that is so amazing

[ Calling Glory – “Teach Me To Love” album ]



Oh what I would do to have
The kind of faith it takes
To climb out of this boat I’m in
Onto the crashing waves

To step out of my comfort zone
Into the realm of the unknown where Jesus is
And He’s holding out His hand

But the waves are calling out my name
And they laugh at me
Reminding me of all the times
I’ve tried before and failed
The waves they keep on telling me
Time and time again. ‘Boy, you’ll never win!’
‘You’ll never win!’

But the voice of truth tells me a different story
The voice of truth says, ‘Do not be afraid!’
The voice of truth says, ‘This is for My glory’
Out of all the voices calling out to me
I will choose to listen and believe the voice of truth

Oh what I would do to have
The kind of strength it takes to stand before a giant
With just a sling and a stone
Surrounded by the sound of a thousand warriors
Shaking in their armor
Wishing they’d have had the strength to stand

But the giant’s calling out my name
And he laughs at me
Reminding me of all the times
I’ve tried before and failed
The giant keeps on telling me
Time and time again. ‘Boy you’ll never win!’
‘You’ll never win!’

But the stone was just the right size
To put the giant on the ground
And the waves they don’t seem so high
From on top of them lookin’ down
I will soar with the wings of eagles
When I stop and listen to the sound of Jesus
Singing over me

I will choose to listen and believe the voice of truth.

[ Casting Crowns – “Casting Crowns” album ]



I woke up this morning and I told myself
Not gon’ worry about what I cannot help
People dying innocently, haters spreading rapidly
I’m not talking nepathy but some things God’s gotta (work)
Woah oh
(He’s gotta work) yeah ha
(He’s gotta work) woah oh
(He’s gotta work) yeah ha
Check it out

I ain’t gonna worry bout’ the money in the bank, I ain’t worried bout it
I ain’t gonna worry bout’ the gas in the tank, fill me up, fill me up, I ain’t worried bout’ it
I ain’t gonna worry bout’ the things I can’t control, it is, what it is
I ain’t gonna worry bout’ it, all I do is pray about it, hold up, why?
God’s’s got it…

I look around and my hearts a little hithered
The money scream fast and I’m looking for a blessing
People looking for jobs
No one looking for God
I know that your hurt but in time God’s really gonna (work)
Woah oh
(He’s gotta work) yeah ha
(He’s gotta work) woah-oh
(He’s gotta work) yeahah
I’m a let him do it cause…

I ain’t gonna worry bout’ the money in the bank, I ain’t gon’ worry bout’ it, I can’t worry bout’ it
I ain’t gonna worry bout’ the gas in the tank, I know who supplies my neeedds
I ain’t gonna worry bout’ the things I can’t control, God’s is in control
I ain’t gonna worry bout’ it, all I do is pray about it, hold up, why?
God’s got it…

When your loosing strength and your confidence
God’s got it (God’s got it) oh-ah (oh-ah)
When your money spent, can’t pay the rent
God’s got it (God’s got it) oh-ah (oh-ah)
Oh, when a storm is passing over, don’t loose your composure
God’s got it (God’s got it) oh-ah (oh-ah)
When your down for a while, wanna throw in the towel
God’s got it (God’s got it) oh-ah (oh-ah)

I ain’t gonna worry bout’ the money in the bank, seen it over and over again
I ain’t gonna worry bout’ the gas in the tank, I ain’t gon’ worry about it cause he cares for me
I ain’t gonna worry bout’ the things I can’t control, can I hold
I ain’t gonna worry bout’ it, all I do is pray about it, oh oh yeah
God’s got it…

[ J Moss – “V4…The Other Side” album ]


On a consumer flight from Portland, Maine, to Boston in the summer of 1987, the pilot heard an unusual noise near the rear of the aircraft. Henry Dempsey turned the controls over to his copilot and went back to check it out. As he reached the tail section, the plane hit an air pocket, and Dempsey was tossed against the rear door. He quickly discovered the source of the mysterious noise. The rear door had not been properly latched prior to takeoff and it fell open. Dempsey was instantly sucked out of the jet.

The copilot, seeing the red light on the control panel that indicated an open door, radioed the nearest airport requesting permission to make an emergency landing. He reported that Dempsey had fallen out of the plane and requested that a helicopter be dispatched to search the area of the ocean.

After the plane had landed, the ground crew found Henry Dempsey holding onto the outdoor ladder of the aircraft. Somehow, he had caught the ladder and managed to hold on for 10 minutes as the plane flew 200mph at an altitude of 4,000 feet. What is more, as the plane made its approach and landed, Dempsey had kept his head from hitting the runway, a mere 12 inches away. According to news reports, it took several airport personnel more than a few minutes to pry the pilot’s fingers from the ladder.

That is a picture of endurance – the ability to hang on when it would have been easier to let go. Many people are blessed with certain attributes, but endurance jumps to the forefront for success in any endeavor. Endurance is the key that keeps us from giving up and letting go.

Endurance “the power of going on in spite of difficulties.” Popular colloquial phrases describe it as: “Keep on keeping on.” “Hang in there.” “Put up with it.” “Stick-to-itiveness.” “Don’t quit.” Its synonyms are determination, perseverance, tenacity, plodding, stamina, and backbone. When endurance is used in the Bible it means “to abide under,” “to bear up courageously,” and “to tarry or wait.”

Henry Dempsey would just say it is holding on for dear life.


Sometimes it is hard to go on
It’s hard to see the reasons for breathing, living
Letting love guide the way
But you must hold on

Don’t give up, don’t give up
Hold on for one more day
Don’t give up, don’t give up
Hold on for one more day

Sometimes we fall down
We get ourselves in trouble but it’s okay
‘Cause we still have another chance
To get it right, to get it right

Don’t give up, don’t give up
Hold on for one more day
Don’t give up, don’t give up
Hold on for one more day

I’ve come too far, I’ve seen so much
I’ve heard the call and felt the touch
I’ve tasted love that I cannot deny
I’ve come too far, I’ve seen so much
I’ve heard the call and felt the touch
I’ve tasted love, tasted love that I cannot deny

Don’t give up, don’t give up
Hold on for one more day
Don’t give up, don’t give up
Hold on for one more day

[ Shawn McDonald – “Closer” album ]



You can either be angry for what you don’t have, or thankful for what you do have. Faith is believing in something you can’t see. Don’t give up. Even the worse things in life can be turned into good. And even more special. William Barkley said, “The greatest two days of your life – the day you were born and the day you knew why.” There is a greater purpose for your life. You are here for a reason. I believe in a God of miracles, and that He could heal me. But if He doesn’t change my circumstances, He’s going to use my life to be a miracle for someone else. Dream big. There are no walls. Find your peace and you’ll make your walls doors.

[ Nick Vujicic – TEDxNoviSad Talk ]



[ Spiritual Inspiration ]




“Most of the important things in the world have been accomplished by people who have kept on trying when there seemed to be no hope at all.”
[ Dale Carnegie ]

“Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance, you must keep moving.”
[ Albert Einstein ]

“Whatever course you decide upon, there is always someone to tell you that you are wrong. There are always difficulties arising which tempt you to believe that your critics are right. To map out a course of action and follow it to an end requires courage.”
[ Ralph Waldo Emerson ]

“Don’t be discouraged. It’s often the last key in the bunch that opens the lock.”
[ Author Unknown ]

“A winner is someone who gets up one more time than he is knocked down.”
[ Author Unknown ]

“Don’t let the fear of the time it will take to accomplish something stand in the way of your doing it. The time will pass anyway; we might just as well put that passing time to the best possible use.”
[ Earl Nightingale ]

“Winners never quit, and quitters never win.”
[ Vince Lombardi ]

“It does not matter how slowly you go so long as you do not stop.”
[ Confucius ]

“Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.”
[ Thomas Edison ]

“I have not failed, I have just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”
[ Thomas Edison ]

“Sometimes adversity is what you need to face in order to become successful.”
[ Zig Ziglar ]

“It is not wanting to win that makes you a winner; it is refusing to fail.”
[ Author unknown ]

“In order to succeed, your desire for success should be greater than your fear of failure.”
[ Bill Cosby ]

“When you get to the end of your rope, tie a knot and hang on.”
[ Franklin D. Roosevelt ]

“Passion and perseverance may be more important to success than mere talent. In a world of instant gratification, grit may yield the biggest payoff of all.”
[ Peter Doskoch ]

“Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful.”
[ Joshua J. Marine ]

“Success is moving from failure to failure without losing your enthusiasm.”
[ Abraham Lincoln ]


Hope you enjoyed some of these insights—share them with your friends and colleagues—so we can have a larger ‘pool’ to receive from, and more to share with! Also, remember to include your name as the “source,” if some of this wisdom is of your doing—I would like to give credit where credit is due!

“Pursue righteousness and a godly life, along with faith, love, perseverance, and gentleness. Fight the good fight for the true faith. Hold tightly to the eternal life to which God has called you” [ 1 Timothy 6:11-12 ].


Disclaimer: All the above jokes & inspirations are obtained from various sources and copyright are used when known. Other than our name and headers, we do not own the copyright to any of the materials sent to this list. We just want to spread the ministry of God’s love and cheerfulness throughout the world.

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