by Nathan Barnard
While contemplating global events of 2020 and considering what 2021 could bring, I was struck with the very real understanding that mental fortitude – resilience and spiritual resolve are necessities in these days. If believers in Messiah seek to endure until the end, they MUST ensure they are spiritually, mentally and physically prepared – but have Christians got such resolve? The reality is that most believers, and nonbelievers are ill-prepared for what is coming.
Now I know we will be able to endure only with God’s help, but we have to do our part. David had to meet Goliath for God to give him the victory. Furthermore, David had to acquire the physical skill of using a slingshot and develop mental resilience so that he would not to be afraid, all of which for David was rooted in knowing who God is and his strong faith in the LORD. David had learnt to overcome obstacles through being a shepherd; therefore, he was able to keep up with the footmen, and consequently could run with the horsemen – the Goliaths that he would face. What about you, have you developed spiritually through going through difficult times, or have you allowed the situations to overcome you?
“If you have raced with men on foot and they have worn you out, how can you compete with horses? If you stumble in safe country, how will you manage in the thickets by the Jordan? (Jeremiah 12:5).
It is common for older people to look at the younger generation and pass judgment. Still, today we see younger generations, for the most part, being raised without mental fortitude; they are the ‘snowflake’ generation. A group who feel entitled to everything, does not like to be criticised or chastised, but seeks praise for every little thing they do correctly. However, the sad reality is that while the ‘snowflake’ generation is ill-prepared for what is coming, so are their parents. Society has made people reliant upon the state and has failed to equip people with mental resolve. Instead, people have become emotionally illiterate, inept at self-reliance and bereft of the skills required to survive the catastrophic events and judgments that are being released upon the earth. Yet the blame does not sit solely with governments, but rather with the church, for it has, for the most part, lost its saltiness through its lawless idolatry and necromancy, praying to and venerating dead saints, hence the reason that judgment starts with the house of God. Today, the church is a self-seeking spiritual junky that seeks blessings rather than the righteous discipline of the LORD. The word of God was first removed from the pulpit before being removed from society. The church has pillaged and removed the sanctity and truth of God’s word and replaced it with spirituality that is inept of power and transformative grace. Consequently, the people perish for lack of knowledge and wisdom of the Living God!
My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, that thou shalt be no priest to me: seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy God, I will also forget thy children (Hosea 4:6).
The Bible informs us that the days ahead are going to be unlike anything that has been. We read in the book of Revelation that during one set of events one third of the world dies. That’s 2.3 billion people; are you prepared for that? As God judges the nations, the sad reality is that many people will continue in their deprived, sinful lifestyles rather than repenting before the Living God.
By these three was the third part of men killed, by the fire, and by the smoke, and by the brimstone, which issued out of their mouths. 19 For their power is in their mouth, and in their tails: for their tails were like unto serpents, and had heads, and with them they do hurt. 20 And the rest of the men which were not killed by these plagues yet repented not of the works of their hands, that they should not worship devils, and idols of gold, and silver, and brass, and stone, and of wood: which neither can see, nor hear, nor walk: 21 Neither repented they of their murders, nor of their sorceries, nor of their fornication, nor of their thefts (Rev. 9:18-21).
Have you ever wondered why God has warned us what is coming? A key reason is so that we can know what situations we will face and so that we can prepare and get ready. You see, the LORD knows our humanity and therefore understands we need to develop mental and spiritual resilience. As we make physical preparations, so we can be victorious and endure with His help and guidance in the days ahead.
So, what is mental resilience?
The British Army defines mental resilience as:
Mental resilience is a person’s ability to respond effectively to stress, pressure, risk and adversity… Mental Resilience Training (MRT) is the development of a soldier’s psychological capability and capacity to respond effectively to the circumstances with which they are faced.
However, a more simplistic definition is:
When you are able to calm your frantic mind after encountering a negative experience. It is intrinsic motivation, an inner force by which we can hold ourselves through all the downsides of life.
While it is important that people have mental resilience within a chaotic and ever-changing world, this generation needs to develop mental fortitude and faith in God if they seek to endure till Messiah’s return. Yet, while some people may naturally have mental resilience, it is a skill that can be developed and learnt.
The British army’s resilience training teaches soldiers how to develop and hone mental resilience to enable them to be better equipped for the role they fulfil in modern warfare. The military has developed seven pillars of mental resilience, which I seek to use to discuss both mental and spiritual resilience. However this will only be an introduction and not an in-depth analysis. Building and developing mental and spiritual resilience requires time; it involves behaviours, thoughts and actions. It requires us to learn from our mistakes and develop and adapt. It requires us to see challenges and crises as positives to develop and hone one’s abilities rather than insurmountable problems that we look at and become instantly deflated.
- Self-belief – confidence in your own abilities and judgment.
Emotionally a person needs to know his limits, what he can and cannot do. If a person doubts himself and his abilities, he will not be able to overcome challenges, as he will be easily unsettled. Thus, for a person to achieve, he must know his weaknesses, then he can develop and strengthen them; bestowing self-belief and confidence in what he can do in a challenging situation. This is why it is important to apply what we know and also develop new skills.
Furthermore, a person needs to have confidence in himself to overcome every obstacle, regardless of the challenge or problems he may face. A positive mindset is important; however, many people, when contemplating a situation, think they cannot succeed, and therefore they accept defeat and give up.
Spiritually, we know our authority – it is the authority of Jesus the Messiah. The sad reality is that most Christians do not understand or appropriately use the authority availed them. Moreover, because of the powerless gospel preached in many churches, and the neglection of God’s word, many believers do not understand or know how to use their authority. Therefore, they do not develop confidence in what they can do as children of the Living God.
As believers, we have the greatest spiritual weapons available – they are, spiritually speaking, weapons of mass destruction. However, to be effective, a person must walk humbly before the LORD by surrendering his own desires and life and living his life according to God’s word. For through submitting to God, he resists the devil, who will flee, yet this is a way of life and not a one-time event. It requires a person to take captive his thoughts and bring them into submission to the word of God, as he uses the sword of the spirit, which is the word of God, to tear down strongholds.
Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you (James 4:7).
To be effective and confident in our spiritual authority requires a believer to spend time in scripture, getting to know what it says, and in prayer with God, as they draw close to Him.
It requires a Biblical faith that knows who God is and who they are in Messiah. This is different from mental knowledge, but rather that of trusting in God and obeying His word. It is as we shema – hear and do that we have the victory. Developing such faith requires spending time in God’s word, like the wise virgins. Buy the truth and do not sell it- wisdom, instruction and insight as well (Proverbs 23:23). You see you obtain the wisdom and faith in the LORD through spending time with God and in His word, hence why you cannot sell it but you can buy – acquire it.
- Positive affects – the ability to interact with life in a positive way.
Some people, when they face a problem instantly accept defeat – therefore, any adverse effects from the situation only reinforce the negativity and disbelief in oneself. To overcome and develop mental and spiritual resilience requires a person to look at the situation, take stock and plan a way ahead; a strategy that takes the situation head-on. Yet, as believers we do not do this on our own, but with God and at times with other believers.
We need to accept that life does not always work out how we may have planned, that it has challenges, yet we can overcome them if we do not give in to despair. Thus, we take captive the negative thoughts and bring them into a rational process – and submission to the word of God. As Christians, we know that we can do all things through Christ Jesus who gives us strength. Therefore, we can overcome regardless!
Mental and spiritual resilience, as already stated, requires us to be positive and not allow negativity to overwhelm and consume us. If this happens, we will not be able to effectively think and work through the situation. Having a positive attitude does not negate the reality of the situation. Rather it accepts it and seeks to use it to develop and navigate through life’s challenges in a way that allows a person to positively develop and build, rather than negatively demolish and uproot. This does not mean you disregard any errors made or weakness; on the contrary, it requires them to be faced head-on, allowing a person to develop weaknesses into strengths.
It requires us to understand the problem and then move forward and not to be transfixed upon the problem, therefore never moving but giving up, as the problem seems insurmountable. As Christians, we need to be aware of what is coming, the situation, then we need to remain steadfast in our focus upon Messiah, the author and perfecter of our faith. For it is as we focus on Messiah – Life, we will not give in to the perils of the situation that could overwhelm us – that bring death and despair.
Remember, Messiah came to bring us fulness of life, but He never said we would not know difficulties. On the contrary, Messiah repeatedly stated we would know persecution, tribulation and suffering for our faith, just as He did. However, He promised that we could, with His help, overcome and endure till the end, because He would never leave us or forsake us.  
Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.” (Deut. 31:6).
- Emotional control – the ability to understand and express emotions.
I am sure we all know people who are either too emotional or who show no emotion. Emotion is good; we are emotional beings, but there is a right time to express it. We cannot give in to our emotions during a challenging and stressful situation. We must be able to control our emotions at times and take hold of how and what we are feeling and use it to get through the situation. Then once through, we must allow ourselves time to take stock and exhale – let out any pain, but we must not dwell on it. Letting out our emotion is like a pressure valve; we let it out, learn, adapt and move on.
Cast your cares on the LORD, and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous be shaken (Psalm 55:22).
Spiritually, God instructs us to cast our burdens onto Him because He cares for us. Casting our burdens, along with confessing our sin, is a release. It requires us to communicate with God, express what we are burdened with or have done wrong, so we can give it over to God. The act of speaking is a release. If a solider is overcome by his emotion when going into battle, he could die. However, equally, if he does not deal with what he has witnessed, he will mentally breakdown. Similarly, for a fireman or a paramedic, if he is overcome by what he faces, then it could cost lives. Equally, he too needs to cast off his burdens, as he takes stock of what happened, apply lessons learnt and allow himself to open the value so he can deal with any emotion, but at the right time.
We must also ensure we do not harbour any bitterness, as this will grow like a spiritual cancer eating away at a person. We must cast all hurt, pain and burdens onto the LORD and allow Him to ministry to us; regardless of the pain. It is the only way we can have complete healing and victory.
- Mental control – the ability to control thinking, attention, concentration, focus, self-awareness, reflexivity, problem solving.
We must focus on the goal and not the situation. We must take control of the situation we are in, rather than allowing it to control us. In certain situations it seems impossible to take control; however, taking a step back, allowing ourselves to assess the situation, controlling our feelings, and then seeking a way forward is possible if we remain focussed and do not give in to anxiety or despair.
In warfare, an experienced, battle-hardened soldier is able to relax, plan and move forward when less experienced soldiers succumb to fear or are overcome by the situation before them. What sets the two apart is the mental ascent and preparedness. The experienced soldier is familiar with certain situations; ones the younger is not aware of. Consequently, it is important to rehearse, acquire skills that will allow us to walk through situations others will freeze or run from.
A fireman learns – acquires skills and the mental fortitude that enables him to run into burning buildings to save people, to put fires out. Without these skills, he would not be able to do his valued job. Similarly, we need to think and plan, mentally, spiritually and practically for the days ahead. The Bible informs us that there will be famine, natural disasters, wars, economic depressions, and pestilence. Therefore, we should plan physically by having provisions, mentally by gaining skills that would allow us to endure such events. Spiritually we need to draw near to God, make Him our refuge and ensure that we understand the devil’s tactics and know our strengths and weaknesses. As believers we need to know how to be victorious.
- Sense of purpose – the motivation that drives you forward.
While many things can drive us in the natural from family, friends, our job and financial rewards, spiritually it is to fulfil the calling on our life, to make ready for Messiah’s return. Therefore, seek to be a light in the darkness as you live a life according to the word of God; ensuring your focus and motivation are not on physical things – of this Kingdom, which is crumbling, but on the coming Kingdom of God.
If we gain our sense of purpose from things of the world, then as the present system is dismantled we will lose hope and purpose, but if our lives, our purpose is fixed within God’s economy/Kingdom then we will not be swayed or disheartened by what takes place.
The question is, where have you built your home? Is it in this world system that is crumbling, or in the Kingdom of God?
As believers, we should desire to serve God, see people saved, and the Kingdom of God established upon the earth; for we are in the world, but not of it. If we love the world, we will hate God and, therefore, know conflict when world systems fall.  We cannot serve two masters; we love one and hate the other.
I urge you to examine what motivates and drives you to ensure that your life is built upon the word of God and not the temporal things of this world.
The Great Tribulation, while being a period of great judgment, is a time of redemption of God’s people. It is a time when God judges those in sin, as He removes His hand of protection, allowing the curses of Deut. 28-30 to come upon the world. However, for people who are seeking God and working out their salvation in fear and trepidation God pours out blessings. He protects and guides them. However, that does not negate the need for preparation, for God always works in unison with man.
- Coping – adaptability, natural coping strategies you have learnt through coping in previous stressful situations.
We must learn and develop as we go through situations. However, if we have allowed situations to overcome us, then we will have developed what is referred to as ‘learnt helplessness’ and will not be victorious. We must, through perseverance and steadfastness, endure the challenges of life, so that we can overcome.
As believers we can have the victory; scripture promises us that we can overcome, but this requires us to walk humbly before God and maintain our focus on the LORD rather than the situation. It requires Biblical faith and not doubt or despair.
But Thou art holy, O Thou that inhabitest the praises of Israel (Ps 22:3).
Worship allows us to remain calm and focus on the LORD, as the Holy Spirit comes bringing the peace of the LORD. Likewise, meditating on the word of God, reading it aloud increases faith.
So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God (Rom 10:17).
- Social support – the social network you have and the ways you use it.
A good support network is crucial in developing mental resolve. God never made us to live in isolation but rather to dwell together in community with God and with one another. In fact, He stated that it was not good that Adam should be alone, so God created Eve. Community is part of our humanity, our very being.
To endure the days ahead, we need to develop a network of like-minded people – a community that can share resources and knowledge, and support each other, practically, physically and spiritually. Currently, the LORD is revealing the need to establish communities of believers who can be salt and light during the time of Jacob’s Trouble – the Tribulation. These communities will offer support to members and those who seek refuge; however, a central aspect is that without God, everything done is in vain. For it is the LORD who guides, protects and provides for His people, as He leads them through the valley of death, back to the promised land during the Greater Exodus.
The above is a brief explanation of mental and spiritual resilience. I pray it will assist and cause you to think, and help you to plan. However, the sad reality is that many Christians do not see the need to prepare, and therefore their failure to plan prepares them to fail. The refusal to prepare robs them of acquiring and developing mental and spiritual resilience and will result in many of them losing their lives. Now you may say that that sounds harsh, but it is the sad truth. We cannot play games or give lip service to making ready for what is upon us. There is still a limited window of opportunity for people to make physical preparations for what is to come. Preparing physically will allow you to think ahead and contemplate what could transpire; this small act also develops mental fortitude. However, more needs and must be done! Time is short, and many will be like the foolish virgins who have not made good use of the time availed them to prepare.
I urge people to do the following in the subsequent order:
Fall on your knees and repent for your sin and seek God. Commit to living a life in obedience to the word of God and make God your refuge. Read the Bible and see what lies ahead and prepare.
The Bible tells us that we will go through natural disasters, famine, plagues, pestilence, wars, financial collapse, and much more. Therefore, make preparations to go through these. Ensure that you have food for your family for a minimum of three months, along with water and the means of purifying rain and other water sources. Obtain the means to light your home in the event of a power outage and the means to cook food. Have some money in the house if you cannot get money out of the bank. Seek out likeminded people. If you need help, please email firstname.lastname@example.org I am more than happy to give further guidance.
The sad reality is that many Christians believe the unbiblical pretribulation rapture lie, and therefore fail to prepare. Please do not remain idle – doing nothing. Please ensure that you prepare!
A dark winter has fallen – one that will bring a darker new year. The Beast is emerging to take his place. Therefore, let the Bride of Messiah make ready and shine her light in the darkness; a beacon that draws those seeking to the truth of the Living God, while also signalling to Messiah that His Bride is ready for His return.
The question is, are you ready to endure the days ahead, as Messiah guides His people on a transformative journey? Remember, there are three destinies for believers during Jacob’s Trouble; we can either endure till the end, go into captivity or be martyred.
 Hosea 4:6; Isaiah 5:13
 British Army (n.d.). ‘Mental resilience.’ MOD, online, accessed 27th December 2020, available from https://www.army.mod.uk/people/join-well/mental-resilience/
 Madhuleena Chowdhury, (2020). ‘What is emotional resilience and how to build it?’ Positive Psychology, online, accessed 27th December 2020, available from https://positivepsychology.com/emotional-resilience/
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 James 4:7.
 2 Corinthians 10:5
 Ephesians 6:17.
 Matthew 25:1-13
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 Philippians 4:13
 Hebrews 12:2.
 Matthew 24:9.
 John 15:18.
 1 Chronicles 28:20.
 Deuteronomy 31:6-8.
 Matthew 28:20
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 John 17:14-16
 James 4:4
 1 John 2:5-17
 Matthew 6:24
 Philippians 2:12
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