For the sixth year in a row, Finland is ranked as the world’s happiest country, according to the World Happiness Report. What’s the secret behind Finland’s enduring happiness? While the answer isn’t simple, it’s strongly connected to a remarkable concept deeply ingrained in the Finnish culture: Sisu. Sisu, a fascinating concept from Finland, encompasses qualities like stoic determination, tenacity of purpose, grit, bravery, resilience, and hardiness. It’s the “spirit of resilience” that propels people through life’s challenges. This Finnish concept of sisu mirrors several tenets we find in our Christian faith.
In the Bible, we read stories of individuals who exemplified this spirit of resilience. Take Job, for instance. He faced unimaginable losses and suffering, yet he did not waver in his faith. His resilience in the face of adversity allowed him to say, “Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him” (Job 13:15, KJV). Resilience is not the absence of trials; it’s the strength to endure them. Just as Job remained steadfast, we too can draw on our faith to face life’s challenges. When the storms of life threaten to overwhelm us, it’s our faith in God’s enduring love that empowers us to press on.
Our creative and spiritual gifts will never be fully realized unless we can complement them with resilience. If you want to do meaningful work, you’ll need the grit to persevere in the face of adversity and seemingly insurmountable odds. By doing a few things, you can adopt this 500-year-old sisu mindset. First, you must identify a purpose outside of yourself. Then, through training and taking time to connect with nature, you can boost your resilience. There is an unwavering faith and resilience found in our Christian walk. It is critical for making a difference.