Resilience is defined as ‘the capacity to recover quickly from difficulties; toughness’ and in scientific terms as ‘the ability of a substance or object to spring back into shape; elasticity.’ It’s a word not found in the Bible, but its presence nonetheless permeates the whole book.

God wants to develop resilience in us so that life does not break us or deform us into unrecognisable shapes. He gives us strategies for dealing with the stresses of life so that we can live whole, integrated lives that are pleasing to Him.

Prayer, the truths of God’s word, the virtue from obedience and fellowship (and the encouragement from this) are the key ways resilience is formed in us. As we allow our minds to be renewed by the washing of His word, as we listen for the guidance of the Shepherd, as we learn obedience through suffering and are encouraged in faith by God’s people reminding us of holy truth, resilience and elasticity are grown in us.

Trials, suffering, opposition and persecution can easily dent our confidence, weaken our resolve and leave us feeling broken and defeated. But resilience picks us up, dusts us down and prods us on.


David prayed, ‘create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit in me.’ (Ps 51:10) His actions – lust, adultery and murder – had diverted him from the person God wanted him to be, but the story doesn’t end with defeat and ignominy (and ours doesn’t have to either, even when we stumble and fall.) Steadfastness is the Biblical name for resilience, and repentance and trust the keys to walking this way. Ps 112:7 says of God’s people, ‘they will have no fear of bad news; their hearts are steadfast, trusting in the Lord.’ Being steadfast keeps us in perfect peace (Is 26:3) and the grace of God sustains so that ‘after you have suffered a little while’ we will be restored, ‘made strong, firm and steadfast in God.’ (1 Pet 5:10) Resilience is necessary to keep going, but God is the source of our resilience. We may not have this quality naturally, but we can access it as we hide ourselves in God.