directory-466935_1280Turn on the news, listen to the headlines and then consider the stress in your daily life. It can all be depressing.

In difficult times, we need to know how to stand in the face of stress and change. This is called resiliency-that ability to bounce back from adversity and handle life.

For years, researchers wondered if resiliency was a genetic trait or a process that could be developed in a person. We now know that the ability to adapt to difficult behavior  can be taught through responsive relationships. When children are taught to plan, monitor and regulate behavior and then to adapt to difficult circumstances, they build resilience. Part of that process is to teach them not to let adversity define them, to refuse victimhood and to look for the positives in every negative circumstance. This requires believing in yourself, but also believing in God who works all things for your good.

Building resiliency requires the ability to reframe a situation–to take a negative view and convert it to a positive or strength building perspective. It is the ability to see the glass half full, not empty. It involves the resolve to grow from difficulty rather than stay stuck.

Because God is in control, we can trust that He will give us what we need to face any hardship or adversity. Our relationship with God is significant, as are other relationships, because relationships foster resilience. Our God relationship builds hope and faith-two ingredients necessary for resilience.We are not alone and have the power of the Holy Spirit in us. His promise is to walk us through adversity. He actively works in our lives now, but also gives us hope for a better future.

In addition to hope, resilience for the Christian is based on God’s faithfulness. It is more than  mental toughness, rather a complete trust that God is looking out for us. It is a response to the goodness and promises of God.  Hope in Him, be confident in His faithfulness and face each day with the belief that nothing happens away from His watchful eye. Grow from problems and allow His grace to be sufficient.

We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair;  persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. 2 Cor. 4:8-9


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