Summary: The greatest men and women of the Bible were not super-people but they had with great resilence.

The greatest men and women of the Bible were not super-people but they had with great resilence. To be resilent means that you are a person with an ability to bounce back from defeats, discouragements or hardships. When I think of the people who are most admirable the resilent always come to mind. These "never say die" folks believe God for His promises regardless of the circumstances. They are filled with an overcoming attitude that expects God to use them regardless of their handicaps. Resigning oneself to defeat is not a normal response for a resilent believer because they know that God is greater than any problem and His mighty power working through them enables them to do everything God asks them to do with the help of Christ who gives them the strength, wisdom and love to get the job done.

1. Paul, the apostle showed resilence when he met up with Jewish resistance, because he heard the Lord whisper, "Do not be afraid; keep on speaking, do not be silent. For I am with you, and no one is going to attack and harm you, because I have many people in this city. So Paul stayed for a year and a half in Corinth, teaching them the word of God." (Acts 18:9-11)

2. Job showed resilence after experiencing great hardships by saying, "LORD, now I know you can do all things and no purpose of yours can be thwarted." (Job 42:1,2)

3. Paul, the apostle showed resilence when he said, "Now, COMPELLED BY THE SPIRIT, I am going to Jerusalem, not knowing what will happen to me there. I only know that in every city the Holy Spirit warns me that prison and hardships are facing me. However, I consider my life worth nothing to me, if only I may finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me - the task of testifying to the gospel of God's grace." (Acts 20:22-24)

4. Timothy showed resilence when the elders looked down on his youthfulness. Paul wrote to Timothy, "Do not let anyone look down on you because you are young. Be in speech, conduct, love, faith and purity, show yourself to be an example to the believers." (I Tim. 4:12) Too many young people fail to show an ability to recover from the put downs of their peers. With the help of the Spirit of God everyone can experience greater appreciation for God's love, power and overcoming enablement when pressures come from within and from without.

5. Paul expected everyone to be resilent to the pressures they are facing from the world, the flesh and the devil when he wrote, "Do not be conformed any longer the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is - his good, pleasing and perfect will." (Rom. 12:2) Sometimes, the world's pressures can weigh us down and make us feel like just "being normal". These feelings can be overcome with the assurance that Paul writes in that same chapter, "Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good." (Rom. 12:21)

6. Paul expected mature believers to be resilent to the pressures they receive from their authorities when he wrote, "It is necessary to submit to the authorities, not only because of possible punishment but also because of conscience." (Rom. 13:5) Occasionally, authorities can abuse their powers, but God's sovereign love, grace and wisdom can turn it for our good.

7. Peter evidenced great resilence after stumbling badly many times with great shame in the eyes of many. Eventually, Peter came to the realization, "His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and goodness." (2 Pet. 1:3) When we know Christ and continue to praise Him for every one of his attributes we become more mindful of Christ's abilities to deliver us from any discouragement.

8. Christ showed resilence when He resurrected from the dead showing everyone His power to defeat the world, the flesh, the devil and even death through His resurrection power that is greater than life itself. After his resurrection Jesus said to the disciples, "All power in heaven and earth is given to Me... Go and make disciples of all nations." (Matthew 28:19,20)

9. The Thessalonicans showed great resilence in their ability to overcome all kinds of spiritual forces of darkness. Formerly, the Thessalonicans were steeped in the occultic practices of idol worship. However, through the power of the Holy Spirit, Paul wrote to commend them when he said, "We continually remember before our God and Father your work produced by faith, your labor prompted by love and your endurance inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ." (I Thes. 1:3)

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Robert L. Scofield

commented on Dec 1, 2006

Great sermon. Just what I needed. The christian life is not a clambake all the time. We need to be sober and expect and accept the hardships...and then bounce back! Thanks.

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