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  • Writer's pictureDale Walker

Resiliency: Going from resignation to transformation

“To succeed you just have to get up one more time than you fall down.”

The higher you go the more failures and setbacks you will have. The more you succeed, the more you will fail. The more you stretch and grow, the more times you will not only stumble but will feel like quitting.

“I’ve missed more than nine thousand shots in my career. I’ve lost almost three hundred games. Twenty-six times, I’ve been trusted to take the game-winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.” — Michael Jordan

“Success is going from failure to failure but never losing your enthusiasm.” — Sir Winston Churchill

More people are giving up and quitting than ever before.

Though there are times to transition, it is always wise before we quit on the outside that we look to see what God might be doing on the inside. Often people quit not because of the trouble on the outside but the trauma on the inside, not realizing God may want to use this as an opportunity to heal them. He may not want to make life easier; He may want to make them braver!

God sometimes wants to use a place of resignation to bring us to a place of transformation. He turns graves into gardens, failure into fuel, and crap into character.

Get up!

People who finish on top find the power to get up and bounce back again and again. As Christians, we have God’s promise to have the power to rise again.

“For though the righteous fall seven times, they rise again.” — Proverbs 24:16 (NIV)

“We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. We always carry abound in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body.”

— 2 Corinthians 4:8-9 (NIV)

Keys to responding to failure and setbacks in a way that helps you grow up instead of giving up, rebound instead of forfeit.

Examples from David’s life (I Samuel 30:1-10, 17-20 NIV)

David didn’t have less failure or reasons to quit than other people, he just chose to think and respond differently than others.

“Virtue is not the absence of fault but the speed and grace which fault is recognized and corrected.” — Dr. Henry Cloud.
The biggest difference between victims and victors is in the way they think.

Victims are externally focused; they see their future based on circumstances on the outside.

Victors are internally focused; they see their future based on choices they have the power to make on the inside. A victim might decide I need to quit trying to win because I feel anxious; a victor will say I need to find a way to overcome anxiety so I can keep trying to win.

Both victims and victors quit and give up on things

One gives up on the negative and one gives up on the positive choices.

VICTORS give up: VICTIMS give up:

Complaining Trying and hoping

excuses Believing and owning responsibility

Worry and Fear Praying and standing in faith

Judging, hating, and resentment People and relationships

Striving to handle things themselves Trusting that God can handle it

Key ways David responded

1. David didn’t deny the grief and disappointment he felt or the responsibility for the mistakes he made.

“So David and his men wept aloud until they had no strength left to weep.”

— 1 Samuel 30:4

2. David refused to let discouragement become despair. He took ownership of his response and turned everything over to God.

“But David found strength in the Lord his God.”

— 1 Samuel 30:6b

3. David didn’t make a decision based on a reaction but chose to make a decision based on revelation. He sought a word from the Lord. “David inquired of the Lord…” (vs. 8)

Critical things we believe in times of setback and failure:

  • God is working behind the scenes.

  • For every seemingly impossible situation, God has an exit and overcoming strategy. He has a way He will turn graves into gardens.

4. David surrendered his will. David didn’t resign to his circumstances; he did surrender completely to his God. We rise again when we die to ourselves. We soar high when we surrender deep. He didn’t go with a reaction; he chose the way of surrender.

“We aren’t defeated by the mountains before us but the pebbles in our shoes.”

“He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful.”

— John 15:2 (NIV)

5. David confronted the enemy.

6. David learned from mistakes and carried with him the spoils of the battle he fought and won.

“As long as you’re down on your face you might as well pick up something on your way up.”


To rise up and make it to the top there are things that you have to quit and ways you have to recommit. Our Victory challenge is to make a decision of resignation to what will keep you down and recommitment of faith to what will let you rise up.

Today, I __________________, choose to resign and quit ______________________, I choose to recommit to ___________________________.

In Jesus’ name, I believe God is going to give me a resurrection of hope and a new beginning in the area of my _________________________.

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