My impression of grits is that it is bland and heavy. But in fact, this ground-corn dish, popular in the Southern States, has many mouth-watering variations. I have enjoyed them with shrimp and with cheese as a main dish. But grits are often thought of as a breakfast side dish. In any case, the word “grit” has another meaning, associated with the idea of courage, resolve and strength of will.
Today’s verse also alludes to “strength of will” but curiously, not our own. Believers are encouraged to continue living out God’s will. These early Christians endured “great conflict full of suffering” (verse 32). When they were not being persecuted themselves, they were standing side by side with those who were. They were publicly humiliated and insulted, even suffering the indignities of prison and confiscation of property.
It takes perseverance to follow God’s desires ahead of our own. We mistakenly believe that the goal of life is the pursuit of happiness. But God’s will is much grander than our own little lives. He is about building His Kingdom and believers are privileged to participate in something that is eternal. My confidence and obedience will one day be richly rewarded. Knowing that helps me persevere in doing His will. I enjoy His blessings now but they pale in comparison to all He has prepared for me!
I frankly do not always understand His will. It is often at odds with my own selfish desires or what I believe are “my rights.” But I do know that whatever it takes, He is worth following!
Thank you Lord, for giving me what it takes to persevere.
(Look familiar? This is a re-post due to summer ministry schedule.)