Starting with a firm foundation and with a goal
The United States Marine Corps has a 13 week recruit training to make Marines. Young men and women are drilled and taught the key fundamentals of what it means to be a Marine: primarily the core values of honor, courage, and commitment.
The first element of building spiritual grit is that we need a strong foundation and we need to have a goal in mind. We need to start from the right place and know where we’re going. Our foundation, as Christians, must be built upon the rock, which Jesus spoke of.
Matthew 7:24-27 “Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock. And everyone who hears these words of mine and does not do them will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell, and great was the fall of it.”
Sometimes we try to build our foundation on the wrong things, like what denomination we belong to, what we believe about angels and demons, or how many Bible verses we have memorized, but that’s just sand. In Christianity, our core belief is the Gospel of Jesus Christ. That’s what everything else – our beliefs, actions, and attitudes are built on. His death, burial, and resurrection are the foundation of our faith. When the storms of life hit, He’s the anchor for our soul (Hebrews 6:19).
So, what’s our goal in building spiritual toughness? What is it we’re trying to achieve by developing more grit?
Psalm 37:5 Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him, and he will act.
Trust in God is our goal. Obedience, witnessing, faith, so many other aspects of Christian life revolve around our level of trust in God. Without trust, what is faith? Without trust, what gets us through the tough times? Without trust, where is hope?
Trust in God comes with practice, a lot like trust in human relationships. We develop more time as trust goes on. We learn that God keeps His promises when we face opportunities for Him to do so. If we isolate ourselves from hardship because we always want to be comfortable, we miss great chances to grow in our trust.
As we begin this journey to develop spiritual grit, assess where you are right now. Is your foundation built upon the rock, the gospel of Jesus Christ, or something else? Where are you going? Are the things you’re prioritizing in your life helping you to build more trust in God?