I barely caught the report on the radio this week, an inquiry on the difference between those who are ruined by tragedy and those who bounce back. The major differences between them are like a lot of things in life, coming down to attitude and response. Bounce-back people are those who see challenges in adversity and maintain a “can do” attitude, while remaining focused on those things in life that are bigger than they.
And the differences are seen across the board, with those facing major tragedy and minor. If you can’t handle the big things, you probably don’t do well with little things, etc.
If you are not experiencing adversity right now, you will, so this is going to be helpful to you. If you are experiencing adversity, then you get to apply these steps right away!
- Go to God. This is #1 for a reason. The first and best thing we can do when either overwhelmed or suffering is to run to God. Look to him for refuge and wisdom. Let your adversity drive you toward The Lord. Schedule a time to get alone with him.
- Decide to remain faithful. Make up your mind right away that you will not be a statistic, that you will endure and you will rebuild. Decide that now before God and remind yourself of that commitment throughout the time of trouble.
- Take care of your health. You need your best self to handle this so don’t let yourself go. Your physical well-being will affect your emotional and spiritual states. So make sure you get your sleep, eat healthy, work out, and keep as consistent a schedule as possible.
- Let go of some responsibilities. Most are too busy anyway. But now…when your emotions are overwhelmed, it’s important to see which responsibilities are draining and unnecessary, and which are necessary and good for refueling. Without “dumping” on others, let go of whatever you can, at least temporarily.
- Maintain the others. Try not to let this affliction become an excuse for poor performance in other areas. Don’t compound your trouble by neglecting necessary responsibilities (housekeeping, family relationships, job, etc.). Doing well in other areas of life will help build valuable strength.
- Make time for your spirit. If you have not been maintaining a daily quiet time for Bible reading, prayer, and other devotional reflection, now is the time to start. This is huge! Over-comers are those who learn to prioritize in times of adversity. Your relationship with God needs to be that first priority!
- Pursue Godly counsel. Solomon said, “In the multitude of counselors there is safety.” God has put wise and spiritually minded people in your life for your benefit (we have lots of them here at The Bridge). Make use of them. Get their feedback. Their perspective might be initially painful, but it will ultimately be refreshing.
- Go with God. This may look similar to point #1, but it’s different. Your way out of the wilderness is probably not the way your natural inclinations will take you. Let God lead you through this and accept what he has in it. Apply Biblical principles, listen to Godly counsel, pay attention to the Lord’s prompting, and let him bring you through whatever this is without you forcing something that you’ll regret later.
Adversity is no fun, but it is inevitable. It may seem like the end of the world when you are in the middle of it, but it probably is not. If you stick with the above eight steps, you can get through this and find valuable lessons and outcomes because of it. So don’t let this ruin you. Go to God and let him take you through it.