1. Development of Resilience:Factors and ReligionBy Reverend Cynthia J. Alloway

2. Scriptural Guides “Do not be wise in your own eyes; Fear the LORD and depart from evil. It will be health to your flesh, andstrength to your bones.” (Proverbs 3:7-8)“More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowingthat suffering produces endurance, and enduranceproduces character, and character produces hope, andhope does not put us to shame, because God‟s lovehas been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spiritwho has been given to us.” (Romans 5:3-5)

3. Resilience definitions: “Resilience” in psychology is the positive capacity of people to cope with stress and adversity. This coping may result in the individual “bouncing back” to aprevious state of normal functioning, or using the experienceof exposure to adversity to produce a “steeling effect” andfunction better than expected (much like an innoculationgives one the capacity to cope well with future exposure todisease) (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Psychological_resilience

4. Resilience defined:  an ability to recover from or adjust easily to misfortune or change.  The study of resilience, or stress-resistance,originated in the 1970s with a group of researchers who directed their attention to the investigation of children capable of progressing through normal development despite exposure to significant adversity.

5. Who in the Bible demonstrated resilience?  Abraham, Moses, Joseph,Job, King David,Saul/Paul, Sarah, Hagar,Miriam, Deborah, Esther,Ruth, Mary. (others?) Our best role model is Jesus Christ. He showed us that when facing evil, resiliency is best achieved when we make our lives a pattern of healing servant-hood. Humans are freed to make a spirit-guided response to God and the suffering world;a response that is not fueled by greed, fear, or addictions.  In humility we are to give up our aspirations to being the center of the world, to give up our appetites of grabbing more than we need, and to have a desire to love “the other” so they can flourish.”(Diogenes Allen)

6. Research results show:All things being equal,religious people needand use fewer healthcare services; this isbecause they arehealthier, more likely tohave intact families tocare for them, and havegreater social support.Communities with highpercentage of religiousinvolvement recovermore quickly fromdisastersReligious involvementpredicts greater longevityand lower mortality, withreligious attendancebeing the strongestpredictor (and associatedwith 7-14 years ofadditional life)

7. More Research results: Religious involvement is related to better mental health, greater community resilience,and higher social capital following disasters(Journal of Community Psychology 2000, 28:169- 186; Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences 2006, 1094:303-307.)  Religious involvement predicts less functional disability with increasing age, and faster functional recovery following surgery(American Journal of Psychiatry 1990, 147:758-759.)

8. And more research: There is strong research evidence that shows that“resilience” is shaped by bio-psycho-social and spiritual factors. (R.R Greene, Resiliency: An Integrated Approach to Practice, Policy, and Research, (NASW Press: Washington D.C.,2002). The resilience literature suggests that religious and spiritual beliefs are key elements of resilience.  In addressing the research question regarding the relationship of spirituality, religion, and family resilience among military families, most of the couples indicated spirituality had a strong influence on their ability to bounce back from their crises.

9. Psychosocial factors and neurobiologicalunderpinningsFacing fears and active copingOptimism and positive emotionsCognitive reappraisal, positive reframing and acceptanceSocial competence and social supportPurpose in life, a moral compass, meaning andspirituality

10. Factors for building up Resilience: Religious involvement is associated with positive emotions(greater well-being, happiness, optimism, hope, and meaningful purpose in life) and higher quality of life. Well-being: Of research conducted prior to the year 2000, 106 of 131 studies (81%) reported that religious persons experienced more positive emotions (Handbook of Religion and Health). Religious involvement is related to a lower risk, healthier lifestyle, particularly among youth. This includes greater likelihood of wearing seat belts, better sleep quality, regular vitamin use, regular physical and dental visits, etc.(Psychological Reports 1991; 68:819-826; Health Education andBehavior 1998; 25:721-741).

11. Social and Spiritual Support =Resilience  Romans 8:28, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose… We are more than conquerors through Him” Suffering refines us though not pleasant and can often be unfair, but as suffering; it causes us to be more dependent on God in a very deep and personal way.  We benefit from fellowship with others that occurs when we reach out in suffering or others reach out to us.

12. 2 stories of Resilience

13. What Resilience Looks like

14. How to be Resilient

15. Ways to Be Resilient.  A combination of factors contributes to resilience.Many studies show that the primary factor in resilience is having caring and supportive relationships within and outside the family.Relationships that create love and trust, provide role models, and offer encouragement and reassurance help bolster a persons resilience.

16. 10 Ways to Build Resilience 1. Assertive Communication – identify needs 2. Change Faulty or Irrational Thinking Habits 3. Healthy Diet and Exercise 4. Expand Your Support System by Helping Others 5. Rational Confident Problem Solving 6. Goal Setting and Time Management 7. Be Body Aware of Tension and Anxiety  8. Accept Changes, Look Beyond Crises 9. Learn to De-Stress Daily: Relaxation techniques 10. Daily dose of Humor

18. Prayer for Resilience – Lord, Your Word promises that You “will refresh the weary and satisfy the faint.” Your Truth nourishes the root of our hearts, helping us bloom in the desert. Your love revitalizes us when circumstances threaten to dehydrate our faith.When we are surrounded by the dryness of uncertainties, fears, or change, saturate us with Your presence. Pour Your peace into every fiber of our being until we radiate with resilience. No matter where You have us planted, help us bloom for Your glory. We love You. We need You. We praise You. In Jesus‟ name, Amen. “I will refresh the weary and satisfy the faint.” Jeremiah 31:25, NIV

Leave a Comment