From time to time, I talk about GRIT—the will to persevere, to endure, to persist; the fiber and mettle of being that does not quit or give up.
The book by that title, GRIT, by author Angela Duckworth, is well worth reading.
There may be no other speech that portrays grit better than the one by Winston Churchill on June 4, 1940.
One of the contenders is another speech by Churchill. The “never, never, never give in” speech came more than a year later, on October 29, 1941. But the “we shall fight” speech came first, and for me stands a touch higher.
Over 300,000 British soldiers had just been evacuated from Dunkirk in a heroic rescue operation, but the morale of the British nation was low. France had fallen. Britain was virtually alone, still standing against the totalitarian evil called Nazi Germany. Many Brits wanted to surrender.
“Even though large tracts of Europe and many old and famous States have fallen or may fall into the grip of the Gestapo and all the odious apparatus of Nazi rule, we shall not flag or fail.
We shall go on to the end. We shall fight in France, we shall fight on the seas and oceans, we shall fight with growing confidence and growing strength in the air, we shall defend our island, whatever the cost may be.
We shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender, and if, which I do not for a moment believe, this island or a large part of it were subjugated and starving, then our Empire beyond the seas, armed and guarded by the British Fleet, would carry on the struggle, until, in God’s good time, the New World, with all its power and might, steps forth to the rescue and the liberation of the old.”
Isn’t this the kind of will, courage, determination, resolve, and grit we need as followers of Jesus? For, whether we like it or not, whether we recognize it or not, we are in a battle against principalities and powers. Against spiritual evil of the most hideous strength. Against emotional sorrows of the hardest kind.
I hope that for some of you, the spiritual quality of grit may be given to you and may grow in you.
Jesus said, “In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world” (John 16:33).
Take heart. Be en-couraged. Receive courage in you.
Be in-spired. Receive the spirit in you (and not a timid spirit at that, 2 Timothy 1:7)
Be full of the mighty strength of Christ for the tasks of this day.
And then tomorrow, more of the same will come.