How Gritty is Your Faith?
What is grit? How can we learn to develop a gritty faith?
Beginning at the end of the 1st century, the Roman Empire began an empire-wide, systematic persecution of the church of Christ, Prior to this, the persecution had been very sporadic and localized. From the time of Domitian in the 90’s AD up to the official end of persecution in 313 AD, the church was heavily persecuted by Rome.
Thousands of Christians were put to death by the Romans – crucified, burned at the stake, torn apart by wild animals and worse. Yet, through this maelstrom of persecution, the early church – not only survived, but thrived!
How did they do it? How did they endure? Why were they so steadfast? I think there is one word truly describes them – GRIT.
“The ability to persevere in pursuing a future goal over a long period of time and not giving up… It is having stamina. It’s sticking with your future, day-in, day-out, not just for the week, not just for the month, but for years and working really hard to make that future a reality. GRIT is living life like it’s a marathon, not a sprint.” - Angela Duckworth
The Definition of Grit
Grit - The relentless resolve to keep pursuing a desired goal and not giving up.
Our goal is Heaven, therefore we must have a relentless resolve to pursue Heaven.
Grit In the Bible
The Bible’s terms for Grit are found in the following passages.
- 1 Corinthians 15:58
- Patient / Enduring
- Hebrews 12:1
- 2 Corinthians 1:5-6
The Bible is filled with GRITTY examples:
- Noah building the Ark
- 1 Peter 3:20-21
- 2 Peter 2:5
- Abraham & Sarah
- Hebrews 11:8-11
- Hebrews 12:1-2
Never has more GRIT for the sake of love ever been seen than that of Jesus going to the cross.
Biblical GRIT has, at its core, a faith that rests on the promises of God and therefore is full of hope which comes not from our own resolve, but rather through God's grace.
- Romans 15:13
- 1 Corinthians 15:10
True godly grit is able to stand fast through the grace of God.
What Produces Grit?
Where does grit come from? Where does true grit derive? Biblical Grit is not a genetic trait. It's not something born with, it is a acquired character trait. True grit is forged in the fire of adversity. But, like pressure adversity in the hands of God becomes grace to us. Adversity is a force that pushes against us. Pressure is a force that pushes us forward.
- Romans 8:28
No matter what happens to us in our lives, somehow God works it for good, if we have the patience the endurance and the grit to wait for it. That’s why the Bible teaches us not to resent adversity, but to be grateful for it.
- James 1:2-4
Adversity produces that gritty faith.
One way to grow our Grit is to remind ourselves of the greater purpose, which is serving God.
“The GRITTIEST people see their ultimate aims as deeply connected to the world beyond themselves.” - Angela Duckworth
We have a great purpose. Our purpose is to fear God and keep His commandments. Our purpose is to spread the gospel to the world.
- Hebrews 11
He gives those examples of grit, of the grittiest people in the Bible. He also admonishes those he was writing to. We look at these examples, let's imitate them. Let's imitate the grittiness of their faith.
Why We Need Grit
Because, life is hard. Jesus told us it would be hard.
- Matthew 7:13-14
- John 16:33
Our gritty fore bearers found it harder than they expected it too. The west was won by the determination of the pioneers who purposed to leave everything behind in order to obtain the promise of something better. Sheer effort will overcome and make up for any ability they may be lacking. A truly gritty person knows that natural talent, skill or ability only counts once, but effort counts twice!
If we want to be truly mature Christians we need to find this kind of grit.
The reason we have need of grit is that there is a promise to receive, a promise of eternal life.
- John 10:28
- 1 John 5:19
- Revelation 21:4
- 1 Corinthians 13:12
- 1 John 3:2
- 1 Thessalonians 4:17
This is why Paul wrote what he did in, Romans 8:18. The sufferings of this present world is nothing compared to life eternal. This is why James wrote what he did in James 1:2-4. We count our trials as joy because we know it helps us to produce a grittier faith. Faith becomes a gritty faith when we struggle with adversity. Adversity produces endurance, patience. Matthew 24:13 Jesus said those who endure to the end will be saved.
We have to have gritty faith if we are going to go to Heaven.
The Bible tells us how to be part of the body that will go to Heaven. If we believe that Christ died on the cross that He is the son of God who died for our sins, we repent of our sins, we confess His holy name and are baptized to have our sins washed away to enter into the church. We live a life of faith in Him, and develop that gritty faith that leads us to that Heavenly reward.
Do you have True GRIT?
- “True Grit” article by Jon Bloom www.desiringGod.org
- “GRIT the Power of Passion and Perseverance” by Angela Duckworth