On Easter Sunday of 2009 I shared a message with my church entitled Bounce. I was going through a challenging time in my life, and a friend of mine gave me an article to read that went straight into my heart and helped carry me through one of the greatest battles I have ever endured.
The article had to do with centenarians, people who live past 100 years of age. In an effort to find a common thread among them relating to their longevity, their lifestyles were examined. Among this stalwart group were: men, women, smokers, non-smokers, meat-eaters, fast-food lovers, believers, and atheists. The one remarkable commonality was their ability to swiftly recover from failure, loss and pain. Many of these individuals had experienced the loss of a spouse and children, some of them multiple times. Fortunes had been won and lost with one individual racking up forty losses in this arena. Most had confronted life-threatening diseases. Some had even been incarcerated.
These individuals were united in their extraordinary ability to recover emotionally, pick themselves up and move forward after experiencing intense loss and adversity. Instead of obsessing about their past they cultivated the ability to focus on their future. In their setbacks they prepared for their return. Their minor setbacks paved the way for their major comebacks.
My question to you is this…can you overcome and BOUNCE back from adversity and failure? If you can, then you are in for a truly rewarding life.
The most remarkable event that ever took place is the greatest story of BOUNCE. In Luke 24, we read where Mary, Mary Magdalene, and Salome had brought spices to anoint Jesus’ body in the sepulcher and were met by two angels who said, Why seek ye the living among the dead? He is not here, but is risen!
I love that phrase—why seek ye the living among the dead. Jesus paid the ultimate price for you to live life among the living, not the dead. Your life is to resemble the living, not the dead. Your family is to resemble the living, not the dead. Your career is to resemble the living, not the dead. Every part of your life is to resemble LIFE because of Jesus.
You may be asking yourself, then how do I get this area of my life to resemble life instead of death? You have to learn to BOUNCE. Depending on your foundation, failure can either become the sandpit of setbacks you’re stuck in for the rest of your life or the launching pad to an extraordinary, fulfilling and successful way of life.
Have you ever heard of an MMA fighter or a boxer after a loss say, “If I could have bench pressed ten more pounds, I could have won”? No! What you do hear them talk about is if they could have gotten up one more time or had greater endurance they could have won. Bounce is all about endurance, and those who endure to the end, win!
Hebrews 12:2 says, “Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross…” The joy that Jesus was anticipating was tied to the ultimate BOUNCE—being raised up from the dead and making a way for you and me to be raised with Him.
Thoughts of quitting come to everyone. Even Jesus dealt with those thoughts when He prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane. Just like Jesus, we must refuse to yield to it because we know what is on the other side of it—JOY!
When I first preached this message to my church, we handed out bouncy balls to everyone at the service. There were balls going everywhere in the sanctuary. But we saw that the harder the throw down, the higher the bounce. To this day my family carries bouncy balls with them to remind them to bounce. It doesn’t matter how bad the situation “feels”, when you have bounce, you know victory and success awaits you.
General George Patton said, “The test of success is not what you do when you’re on top. Success is how high you bounce when you hit bottom.”
As you celebrate the resurrection of Jesus this month, remember that when He rose, He raised you with Him. You owe it to Him to BOUNCE!
P.S. Here is the teaching from my Easter service in 2009. People with BOUNCE never lose! BOUNCE