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Emotional Resilience: The Key to Overcoming Adversity

By July 1, 2014 2 Comments
emotional resilience

More than 50 years of research has demonstrated that emotional resilience is the KEY to success in life. It is a better indicator of success than your intelligence! Resilient people learn to overcome adversity and find success in the process. Are you a resilient overcomer?

What is Emotional Resilience?

Resilience measures your ability to bounce back when you face challenges.

When something negative happens, resilient people quickly evaluate the situation, regain their positive outlook and move forward.

When you lack resilience, life gets you down. You may get too emotional or react negatively in the face of adversity. You tend not to deal well with the challenge you are facing.

For example, have you responded with a negative emotion or reaction in a challenging work situation? I know I have. I left my job once to avoid managing any more projects for a highly stressful client. I choose to flee the job rather than address and work through the issues with this demanding client. Healthy for me, but not a resilient response in business!

A person who demonstrates emotional resilience can regulate their emotions and reactions in a challenging situation. They can listen to negative feedback and respond cooperatively without displaying negative emotions. They can lose a job or face an unhappy client without losing their cool. You still have emotions, but you recognize and appropriately manage your emotions and reactions in any given situation. You manage your response with love.

We have so many examples of resilience in Scripture. Christians in the Acts of the Apostles and in Paul’s letters showed remarkable resilience in the face of tremendous challenges. Paul demonstrated Christ’s love through many persecutions, imprisonments, and shipwrecks. Paul overcame adversity and so can we!

Abraham Demonstrates Resilience Through Faith

One way to overcome adversity and to develop resilience is to declare those things in your life that don’t exist as though they do.

In Chapter 17 of Genesis, God told Abraham that he would have a son, Isaac, and become the father of many nations. Abraham was 99 years old when God spoke to him. He and his wife, Sarah, were childless and Sarah was definitely past her childbearing years.

Although their situation appeared physically hopeless, Abraham decided to live not based on what he saw he couldn’t do but on what God said he would do. Abraham chose to believe and have faith! When Abraham was 100 years old, Sarah conceived and bore him a son, Isaac, just as God promised (Genesis 21:1-2). What a God-given success!

You may have not been resilient in the past, but just like Abraham and many who followed him, your past does not dictate your future. God-given emotional resilience is just another name for the gift of faith.

No matter your situation, you simply have to BELIEVE IN and declare WHO you are with faith through Jesus Christ. When you are weak, He is strong. When you come to the end of your own devices, He can move freely. When facing challenges, you can call forth and stand on what God has already declared about you.

Increase Your Resilience by Declaring the Truth

Here are just a few scriptures to declare over your life. They will increase your resilience and your success.

  • I am the light of the world. (Matt 5:14)
  • I am a child of God. (John 1:12)
  • I am chosen and appointed by Christ to bear His fruit. (John 15:16)
  • I am a new creation. (2 Corinthians 5:17)
  • I have been blessed with every spiritual blessing. (Ephesians 1:3)
  • I am God’s workmanship created in Christ to do His work that He planned beforehand that I should do. (Ephesians 2:10)
  • I am righteous and holy. (Ephesians 4:24)
  • I have been given a spirit of power, love, and self-discipline (2 Tim 1:7)
  • I am born of God and the evil one can’t touch me. (1 John 5:18)
  • I am a sheep of His pasture. Therefore, I have everything I need. (Psalm 23 & 100)

For me, had I really understood who I was in Christ, I might have responded more confidently rather than with stress and frustration at my former consulting job. After all, I am blessed with every spiritual blessing! I am God’s workmanship created to do work that He planned for me before I was even formed in the womb. I could have demonstrated resilience and trusted where He had me.

I learned; I have changed. We all have it within our grasp! To discover what is true about you according to God’s Word, click here and download your free list of “Who I am in Christ” under My Identity in Christ.

No matter our situation we can be filled with hope and peace when we believe and trust in God and all that He has done for us. We are resilient overcomers who can be successful in all situations!



  • Lam says:

    I was very affected by something that happened at work recently. As I went back to worshipping God, I could barely sing but I chose to. I felt the Lord looking at me like the king looked at Nehemiah as he went about his duties and asked him why he was so sad. I didn’t answer him. I didn’t need to cos He knew. As I continued to worship, it was as though the Lord took everything that had happened that day away and I was not as affected as before.
    “The eternal God is a dwelling place and underneath are the everlasting arms…” I was very overwhelmed that this HUGE being in the entire universe would love someone like me. He gave me back my fight for another day.

    • karen says:

      Yes and Amen! So thankful for who God is and that He will meet us in our deepest needs. Thankful for your heart of praise and worship. Thanks so much for sharing.

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