In Angela Duckworth’s book “Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance,” she says, “Enthusiasm is common. Endurance is rare.”
This is a common idea in leadership circles, the secret of staying power, “the ability to maintain an activity or commitment despite fatigue or difficulty.”* In leadership books, business training, and physical athleticism, we talk about grit, perseverance, stamina, focus, endurance, and commitment… But do we think of these terms in relation to our walk with Jesus? In relation to our trust in Him?
Even though these same concepts are scattered throughout the pages of Scripture and represented in every narrative, we scarcely dwell on them in our faith circles today. We enjoy other topics, like being loved, so much more!
Honestly, I think it is necessary that believers build the foundation of their faith on the love of God, focusing on his incredible love that has been poured out for us, and relishing in his amazing grace. We MUST be “rooted and grounded in love” if we have any hope of growing and bearing fruit to God’s glory (Ephesians 3:17)!
Beloved, dwell and meditate on the love of God until you are swimming in it!
Still, in that verse, Ephesians 3:17 – in Paul’s prayer for inner strength and spiritual growth – there is a little phrase that hinges between two wonderful ideas. The first idea is that “Christ will make his home in your heart.” Awesome! The second, “your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong.” Yes, please! But in between those penetrating thoughts sits this uncomfortable phrase: “as you trust in him.”
The beautiful blessings of the faith are experienced in an ongoing relationship of trust, through trials, challenges, and seasons of all kinds. It is “as we trust in him” that we are empowered with inner strength by His Spirit, and that our roots grow down into God’s love to keep us strong.
Our relationships deepen and become richer as we live life together, the ups and the downs, the ins and the outs. The highs and the lows are held together by trust. The kind of staying power that changes lives.
If 40% to 50% of North American marriages end in divorce, it makes me wonder about the state of our relational grit. Of course, there are so many factors that influence divorce rates. Still, there is a real sense of relational brokenness on all fronts of our society.
And if we are relationally broken as a society, lacking the staying power to persevere through trials and challenges, ups an downs, changes, and constancies… then how does that impact our spiritual grit? Our spiritual endurance? Our steadfastness in the Word, perseverance in the faith, and faithful trust in the One to whom we call Savior, Lord, and Friend?
Spiritual Staying Power.
Jesus spoke openly about the persecution that would come on his followers in the last days. He made it clear that “By your endurance you will gain your lives” (Luke 21:19). John writes letters to the 7 churches recorded in Revelation, each ending with a reward “to him who overcomes” (Revelation 2:7).
We know in our heads that we are “more than conquerors through Jesus Christ our Lord” (Romans 8:37), but do we have the spiritual grit, the staying power, to keep trusting Him through all the mess?
Father, keep me! Strengthen me, that I might run this race with perseverance, for the joy set before me, endure the cross…
I trust you, and I’m hanging on. I’m staying in the game.
Faithfulness is underrated.
“Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.” (Romans 5:3-5)