A Resilient Life

God turns setbacks into comebacks!

I started a sermon series on Easter Sunday called “A Resilient Life.” God turns setbacks into comebacks. T greatest example of that is the resurrection of Jesus Christ!

I began the series with a message called, “Bouncebackability,” a word I read in a book by Dr. Robert H. Schuller called, If It’s Going to Be, It’s Up to Me.

I remember hearing John Maxwell once say there are two kinds of people: Splatters and Bouncers. Splatters are people who hit rock bottom and splat; Bouncers are people who hit rock bottom and bounce back up. It reminds me of Abraham Lincoln who reportedly said, “Success is moving from failure to failure without losing your enthusiasm.” Rick Warren says that adversity will either make you bitter or better.

What do you do when you get knocked down? When you get knocked down, bounce back up! Ask God, “What are you teaching me?” and “What do I need to pick up while I’m down?” God helps us turn setbacks into comebacks! So, when you get knocked down, bounce back up!

My second message focused on Adversity Quotient, or AQ. The idea came from a book by Paul Stoltz, by the same title: Adversity Quotient.

I’ve always said, since reading the book, that Christ-followers should have the high AQs. In talking about AQ, I looked at the story of Joseph in Genesis. Stoltz says there are three kinds of people: Quitters (people who quit), Campers (people who quit after a while), and Climbers (people who keep climbing). I shared that People with high AQs keep climbing!

A series on handling adversity was certainly timely with the Virginia Tech tragedy. On the Sunday after the tragedy, I concluded the 3-week series with a fun message of “Filling Your Tank.” I read the story of Paul and Silas in prison found in Acts 16.16-28.

The image I had for this message was a cup that is overflowing, an image that comes from Psalm 23.5, “My cup overflows.” Truth is, we all get depleted from time to time, especially in the midst of adversity. “Keep your tank full so that you will always be ready to give!”

Jesus modeled such a life for us. Luke notes, “Jesus often withdrew to the wilderness for prayer” (Luke 5.16). And going all the way back to the story of creation, God set everything in motion with a pattern — engage and disengage (work and rest).

Take a moment and list the things that drain you. Then list things that fill your tank, the things that give you energy, the things you get jazzed about. Then begin to build some of these things that fill your tank into your daily routine.

What would it look like if all of our “tanks” were overflowing, and we were always ready to give? May God help us to have high AQs so that we can handle adversity well, to continually bounce back when life knocks us down. May God help each of us begin each day with a full tank! And may God always us turn setbacks into comebacks!

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