“Then I, Daniel, was exhausted and sick for days. Then I got up again and carried on the king’s business; but I was astounded at the vision, and there was none to explain it.” (Daniel 8:27, NASB95)

Emotional resilience is the ability to mentally or emotionally cope with a crises or return to a “pre-crisis” status quickly. It has been said, “Resilience is accepting your new reality, even if it’s less good than the one you had before. You can fight it … or you can accept it and try to put together something good from it.”

Daniel is arguably one of the most resilient men in the Bible. He was taken from his land as a young adult, forced to serve in a culture that was in conflict with his faith, remained faithful to God regardless of adversity, and was given insight to dreams and visions that were incomprehensibly dark and depressing.

Daniel’s resilience came from a faith that trusted God, and yet he fully experienced human emotions and feelings like all of us. In chapter 8, Daniel was given a vision that revealed the anti-christ and the terror he would bring upon the world. This vision exhausted him and made him physically ill for days; however, Daniel got up and continued to serve an extremely ungodly king. How could Daniel continue? Where did this inner strength come from? His ability to be resilient came from his faith in God and obedience to his calling.

God empowered Daniel with the power of the Holy Spirit – “Then this Daniel began distinguishing himself among the commissioners and satraps because he possessed an extraordinary spirit, and the king planned to appoint him over the entire kingdom.” (Daniel 6:3, NASB95) Divine power was given to Daniel by God for the purpose of fulfilling ministry and enduring hardship. Today, every believer has been given the same ability to remain resilient in hard days (Acts 1:8) and fulfill their higher calling. Consider the disciples of Jesus and the early church and how they endured through trials, persecutions, and even death. What made the Apostle Paul so resilient that after all his beatings, imprisonments, and persecutions, he kept serving Jesus? It was the power of the Holy Spirit.

Serving God in a fallen world will not get easier. We will see things in this world that will make us sick and tired, wanting to just quit. And yet, God has given us the power to continue and the ability to not give up. Resilience in believers is not in their ability to pull themselves up after crises but faith in God’s ability to carry them through. How should we live? Live in recognition of your emotions and circumstances and then get up and serve God.

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