When The Going Gets Tough, The Tough Gets Going

When The Going Gets Tough, The Tough Gets Going

24 May 2014 Service – Dr Robi Sonderegger

Some people not only get back up from their challenges (resilience) when they get knocked down, but grow from the experience and come to a point where they were better off from where they were previously.

Eg, Joseph.
From the pits, to the prison, to the palace, to become president (Pharaoh).

They were able to maintain a unique perspective, and they were able to grow from their trials, and they were ultimately blessed abundantly.

Sometimes when we go through crisis, a small part of us needs to be thankful that it happened. Not thankful for it per se (because it could have been a horrible terrible incident), but thankful that it happened because you are now in a better position than you were to begin with. Not that you’d want to go through it again, but because of that incident, your life has completely changed, your life is better now.


What are the determining factors that help a person recover from their trauma?
There are 5 unique characteristics that these people possess, not only to become resilient, but to have post-traumatic growth

#1 Religiousness
It’s not about attending church or cg, it’s not even about believing in God. Believing in God doesn’t do anything for you, even the devil believes in God!

You need to believe in a God that actually cares!
“What kind of God allows this to happen in my life??”
“If God is good, why is this happening to me?”
“God help me get out of this mess!”

God doesn’t always answer these prayers. Because He wants you to go through it, to grow through it.

You should see God as, although you walk through the fire, God is walking beside you, and He will protect and help you.

Don’t ask WHY, ask WHO! Who is able to supply all my needs? Who is able to heal me? Who is able to provide for me? etc … GOD!

6 Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. 7 Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. 1 Pet 5:6-7 NIV

When you can understand that God cares for you, then you can go on to the next point….


#2 Gratitude
That I can be thankful no matter what circumstances I may be in. Start counting your blessings!

18 in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. 1 Thess 5:18 .. in ALL circumstances. Why? Because this is God’s will for you.

4 Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice! 5 Let your gentleness be known to all men. The Lord is at hand. 6 Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; 7 and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Philip 4:4-7 .. Rejoice always.. Peace that surpasses all understanding..

Ask yourself everyday, what can you be grateful for?

Money can’t buy happiness. Or not?

Yes it can IF you are at the poverty stage and get moved to the mainstream financial stage, then you will be happier at the mainstream than previously.

But if you are at the mainstream stage and are climbing the corporate ladder and trying to make more money, then you won’t be any happier.
There are 3 different types of happiness:
Pleasant life – lots of friends, go out socialise, boyfriend/girlfriend
Happy at the moment but not necessarily sustainable

Productive life – we love what we do. Play music, basketball, what we do at work, etc
Time stands still

Meaningful life – take the spotlight off ourselves, and be a blessing to someone else. Make their day or life better, make a difference.
Sustained over the long-term… which leads us to the next point

#3 Kindness
32 Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you. Eph 4:32 NIV

It’s not about the action, but the attitude on why we serve. Do not do things out of obligation, but simply because you genuinely want to help others! You are so into doing it that you GET to doing it, not because you HAVE to do it.

9 Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Gal 6:9 NIV

#4 Hope
Some people say that they have no hope, as if it’s a commodity that can run out. Hope is not something that you have or don’t have. It’s something that you have to cultivate, it’s a position or choice to believe the best about something.

Hope is the leading indicator of success in almost every aspect our of life.

Eg, No matter how good your communication skills may be, if you have no hope in the relationship, then that relationship will not work out.
Hope is also the leading indicator of academic success!! Two identically intellectual people may take the same exam, but the one with higher hope will do significantly better!

16 Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. 17 For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. 18 So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal. 2 Cor 4:16-18 NIV

Once you have hope, then we can go on to the next point…

#5 Bravery
Or courage. To dust ourselves off to go back into battle one more time.

It is in those circumstances that bravery comes to the surface for people to see.

Eg, No woman in her right mind would ever run into a building on fire. But if her children are inside, you will see her bravery surface.

7 For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline. 2 Tim 1:7 NIV – Sound mind .. we can have logical clear thinking, that we can know what to do…
In order for us to have the courage to get back up one more time and face your fears, you need to have hope. But in order to have hope, you need to take the spotlight off you, and bless others, or forgive others that don’t deserve it. But in order to do that you need kindness. Which comes from gratitude, which comes from knowing God cares.

Bravery/Courage may be the end result, but it all starts from knowing and believing that God cares for you.

When you embrace that God loves you, and nothing you do will make Him love you any more or less, that when you walk through the valley of the shadow of death He is with you, all things are possible!