Originally posted on August 31, 2021 @ 11:06 am

Life happens to everyone. Situations that are beyond our control are the real test of our resilience. Building resilience is essential. We have to be prepared for life challenges, facing them head-on. This post helps to understand how to build resilience. I shared the unexpected life challenge that helped me realise the importance of building a resilient attitude.

What is resilience?

According to the oxford advanced learners dictionary, “resilience is the capacity to recover quickly from difficulties or toughness”. It is the ability to come out of challenges stronger and not broken. Often, we have to face unexpected life challenges, which make life seem uncertain. We can only try to build a resilient spirit on days like this, giving it all it takes.

No one can achieve success without having a resilient spirit. From the moment we are born, we have to make an effort to reach different developmental milestones. While learning to walk, we fall many times, but with a strong spirit, everything falls into place. I remember when my daughter was trying to walk; she had a lot of falls. Sometimes, I got scared whenever she fell, but she never gave up. I’m happy she didn’t give up when I look at her now.

A resilient spirit is built over time. It takes a conscious effort to succeed eventually. However, some barriers make building resilience a little complicated. It is essential to overcome these challenges.

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Build Resilience, Building resilence
An athlete showing resilience as she jumps hurdles. Image credit: Photo by Andrea Piacquadio from Pexel

Resilience in the Bible

The Bible speaks about resilience in many profound ways. God admonishes us through his word to build resilience and come out strong in the face of challenges (if you fail, your strength is small). Whenever I remember the story of the persistent widow and the wicked judge in the Bible, the power of persistence and resilience comes to my mind.

Jesus narrated the parable of the unjust judge and a persistent widow (Luke 18:1-8). There was a wicked judge who did not fear man nor God; this widow wanted justice against her adversary, but the judge refused her. She kept disturbing the judge until one day, the judge couldn’t bear her constant pleading, and he gave her the justice she deserved.

This attitude of persistency and resilience is needed in the place of prayer and service unto God; it births restoration and peace eventually.

Barriers to Building Resilience

It is very easy to become complacent in this part of the world where I stay. Many issues come up that make it discouraging to fight for the future. These are barriers to building resilience. We must overcome these barriers to have a truly resilient nature. Some of these barriers include:

  • Having long-term health or physical issues
  • Mental health issue
  • Loneliness
  • Humiliating or negative experiences
  • Social issues

“Resilience is accepting your new reality, even if it’s less good than the one you had before. You can fight it, you can do nothing but scream about what you’ve lost, or you can accept that and try to put together something that’s good.”

 Elizabeth Edwards

Having Long-term Health or Physical Issues

Our body is an integral part of our being. Our health is vital in how far we are willing to go. Health challenges or physical disabilities affect our fighting spirit. A person without a disability may find studying to get a degree easier. In contrast, someone with a health issue or disability may find it difficult to chase their dream. Recent events have proven that health issues of disability are not a barrier. It is only the state of mind.

I love watching the Paralympics because it challenges me to improve and put up a fight. When I see the athlete’s courageous display, I’m reminded that life would only reward resilient and robust people in the face of difficulties.

Mental Health Issues

Mental health awareness is now gaining more ground these days. A man’s mental health determines the direction of his life. I have been in situations where I couldn’t make the right decisions because of the state of my mental health. I can confidently say from experience that “nothing is worth your mental stability”.

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         Loneliness is a feeling of sadness because of a lack o companionship. We all love the feeling of being needed. Living life alone is sometimes traumatic and can even lead to depression. Loneliness and depression are families. Being lonely makes you counterproductive. It allows an easy flow of negative emotions, which doesn’t encourage a resilient spirit.

Humiliating or Negative Experiences

Over the years, I have learned to understand people by trying to understand their experiences. I have realized that people behave in specific ways because of their backgrounds and previous life experiences. A lady who was raped may find it challenging to be around men. It is not her fault; her negative life experience is why she made this decision. If a boss humiliates his staff regularly, it will cause tensions in the workplace which may douse the resilient spirit of the organisation. Everyone tries to play it safe rather than take up challenges. (How to build your self-esteem)

How to Build Resilience

Never give up, be resilient. Building resilience is important
Never give up. Receive help if need be. Don’t allow challenges define you. Image credit: Photo by Allan Mas

The way to resilience is a thorny road; determination is crucial. There will always be challenges, but you must give everything to build strength. Some of the things I think you can do to make a resilient spirit include the following:

  • Accept that change is inevitable.
  • Make up your mind to see positivity in life
  • Count your blessings
  • Make Lifestyle Changes
  • Let God be your anchor

Accept that change is inevitable.

The only constant thing in life is change. We do not have control over the changes in our lives, but we can determine the eventual result. The COVID-19 pandemic was one change no one expected. The world wasn’t prepared for the pandemic. The effect of the pandemic strained many countries, and the most beautiful outcome is; we survived it.

Personally, the pandemic changed my life. I started seeing life in a different light. I was pregnant and not earning a salary at some point because I wasn’t going to work. In the harsh reality, I started this blog. It diverted my attention, and I overcame the negative thoughts that dominated my mind. I am so grateful I never gave up. Writing has become my hoppy, and I have come a long way.

Make up your mind to see positivity in life.

Life is indeed unpredictable, and our response to situations can be unexpected. It is crucial to have a positive approach to issues. A positive mindset is essential in building a resilient spirit. See life challenges in a positive light. Please don’t allow anyone to transfer their negativity to you. Counter every negative energy with positivity.

Count your blessings

We sometimes stop living because we do not value the beautiful moments. There is something to be grateful for always. We may face overwhelming challenges, but being grateful makes challenges look inconsequential. A thankful heart sees difficulties as bad dreams that will go away. When you feel like giving up, think about the things working well in your life. Are you in a toxic relationship? Pull yourself together and stand up for yourself.

Don’t feel as if you are alone, be grateful you have the opportunity to free yourself ad make the right decisions about your life. Are you going through a dire financial crisis? Be thankful you have energy, appreciate yourself and allow your heart to be filled with gratitude for the things working well in your life.

Make Lifestyle Changes

 lifestyle changes are necessary for building a resilient and robust spirit. Starting from your association, what you eat, where you live, and what you wear. Our lifestyle plays a prominent role in how we respond to issues. Something as little as changing your look and fashion statements can help build your confidence. The kind of friends and relationships we have determines the state of our mind. Friendship with positive and resilient friends helps to create a resilient spirit. Understanding relationships and how to build them is essential to ensure you have the right people around you.

Let God Be Your Anchor

I believe it is impossible to become resilient and strong without allowing God to lead and guide you. Many times believers fail because we do not yield to the voice of God. We become depressed and unsure of what the future holds because we are not grounded in the one who holds the future. I have learned in my walk with God that it is easier to build resilience when Christians move according to his plan and will for our lives. We become firm in his plan, knowing fully well that he can never fail us.

Bible Verses about Resilience

The Bible is my go-to place to find strength whenever I face difficulties or challenges. God knows we will meet many challenges in our walk with him, which is why there are bible verses about resilience. We are not born to quit or give in to depression, mental health or challenges. These scriptures serve as anchors to help you weather the storm.

   A. Drawing Strength from God’s Presence

      1. Psalm 46:1 – “God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.”

      2. Isaiah 41:10 – “So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”

   B. Trusting in God’s Plan and Providence

      3. Romans 8:28 – “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”

      4. Jeremiah 29:11 – “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

   C. Encouragement to Persevere in Challenges

      5. James 1:12 – “Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him.”

      6. Hebrews 12:1-2 – “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith.

   D. Finding Strength in Weakness

      7. 2 Corinthians 12:9 – “But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.”

      8. Philippians 4:13 – “I can do all this through him who gives me strength.”

   E. Hope in Difficult Circumstances

      9. Romans 15:13 – “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.”

      10. Psalm 30:5 – “For his anger lasts only a moment, but his favor lasts a lifetime; weeping may stay for the night, but rejoicing comes in the morning.”

   F. Renewal and Restoration

      11. Isaiah 40:31 – “But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.”

      12. Lamentations 3:22-23 – “Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.”

My Resilience Story

IT WAS A ROUGH TIME FOR ME when I was pregnant with my first daughter. Due to medical advice, I was on complete bed rest for about three months. I have suffered multiple miscarriages before that pregnancy. I needed to try my best to ensure this pregnancy didn’t end in a miscarriage. I am not someone who likes sitting idly. I love being able to do whatever I want to do whenever I want to. It was a difficult time, but I built resilience and didn’t give in to the temptation to disregard the advice.

 My companion was my phone, Bible, and supernatural childbirth book I kept reading. When the pregnancy was three months, I started doing chores to keep my mind active. I was always home except when I went to the doctor’s appointment. I carried the pregnancy till the 9th month, and I delivered a beautiful baby girl. The joy in my heart could not be measured when I held her for the first time. I was delighted and grateful to God for the opportunity to bear my child.

When I look back at this time, I’m proud of myself, and it reminds me of the importance of resilience. I saw myself almost giving up because that was my fourth pregnancy. At some point, I concluded that I might not carry the child with some of the circumstances surrounding the pregnancy. Even in my doubt, I kept keeping the faith alive. I decided not to give up, and I never allowed events around me to come in the way of the joy I’d receive later.

End Note

The habit of building resilience and overcoming challenges is a lifelong journey. Life doesn’t give us what we want; we have to create opportunities to have the kind of life God wants. Positivity and zeal to succeed will get you all you want. I encourage you to pick up your dreams and live it. While you’re unsure and afraid, the goal keeps fading in your mind, and you may become complacent. You find yourself doing something that frustrates you because you are so scared of being different. Building resilience may be a difficult task, but the reward is fulfilling. Be like an athlete who keeps pressing on, irrespective of the difficulty.

Allow yourself to grow.

Build your resilience and secure your future.

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