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I recently have been learning and teaching on the idea of resilience, i.e., the ability and strength to bounce back.  In life and in ministry we often experience the body slams of trouble and tribulation.  Jesus told us we would face these experiences but adds, “But take heart I have overcome the world” (John 16:33).   When we face hardships and difficulties, we can either break like an egg or bounce like a ball. The difference is how well we have prepared for the storms of life and how strong is our faith in the Jesus – the ultimate resilience warrior.  If anyone has ever showed us how to bounce back, it is our Lord.  Crucified, dead, and buried, but on the third day rose again.  And no one showed us better as a mere mortal how faith in Jesus is the key to resilience than the Apostle Paul.  In Romans 8 he reminds us that God is for us and that not even tribulation, distress, death, persecution, danger or any other thing can stand up against the love of God, that in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us (v.37).  With such confidence in Christ, Paul would declare that we are afflicted but not crushed, perplexed but not despairing, persecuted but not forsaken, struck down but not destroyed. (2 Cor. 4:8-10). On our own it is impossible to overcome the trials of life and the assaults from our enemy.  But God has given us Christ as our example, the Spirit as our strength, the Word as our guide, and the communion of saints as our companion in the storms and in the battle.  Let us draw upon what God has provided and learn to lean on each other, and together we can walk in the victory Christ has accomplished on our behalf. – Dr. Gary Mathes