I read a story of a woman whose fiancé was struggling
with the idea of marriage. She told a friend, “I just don’t
think he has the stomach for it.” Whether or not
someone has the stomach for something has to do with
whether or not they have the conviction to go through
with it. If a person is not fully convinced in what they
are doing, they will not be greatly motivated to do it.
The term “conviction” can convey at least two ideas.
First, it can mean “the state of being found or proven
guilty.” This concept is easily seen in the Bible with
regard to sin (cf. Jn. 8:9; Acts 2:37). Yet the word
“conviction” is sometimes used (at least, in our
vernacular) to mean “the act or process of convincing;
the state of being convinced; a strong belief.” When
someone says, “What does your gut tell you?” they are
really asking, “Deep down, what do you believe is
Yet the greater question is, “Who determines what is
right?” God does. You see biblical faith is not based
on what merely “feels right” to a person, it is based on
the evidence of divine truth (Heb. 11:1). “So then faith
comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God”
(Rom. 10:17). Since we know it is impossible for God
to lie (Tit. 1:2; Heb. 6:18), we are able to have “full
assurance of faith…for He who promised is faithful”
(Heb. 10:22-23). It is no wonder that so many in the
Bible (such as Stephen, Paul, the other apostles, etc.)
suffered gladly for the cause of Christ (cf. Acts 5:41).
These ones not only believed the truth, they also had
the stomach to stand up for it; even to die for it, if need
be (cf. Dan. 3:13-23; Heb. 11:32-40).
To be sure, throughout history many people have died
for some religious belief, but the sad reality is that
unless that “belief” was according to the truth of God’s
word, they died for it in vain. Nevertheless, even they
put to shame those who have the truth yet will not stand
up for it. What a sad commentary that is. Friends, the
Scriptures reveal that not only must we believe, speak,
and practice the truth (1 Cor. 1:10); we must also be
willing to defend it (Jude 3; 2 Tim. 4:2; 1 Pet. 3:15).
This is what it means to be a New Testament
Christian. Do you have the stomach for it?