As I have been reflecting on this past year, and attempting to look ahead into what this next year my bring, my mind and heart were drawn towards a single word. “Perseverance” (endurance) is a vital word we can’t afford to misunderstand.
A military friend of mine contacted me when stationed in a non-combative nation overseas. Through our correspondence, I could tell things weren’t going well. He mentioned his great struggle to maintain his Christian witness and his inability to stand firm in the faith. I asked him how I could pray for him, to which he candidly responded, “Pray for endurance until I get out of here, this place sucks!” Believe it or not, it was his use of the word “endurance” that stood out to me. I thought, “Did he really understand what he was asking?” I mean, was he merely wanting me to pray that he find the ability to simply “get through” his last couple months overseas? Or, was he asking me to pray that he would have the kind of “endurance” that would not only bring great pleasure to the Father, but would also honor and glorify the Son? The former can be accomplished in the flesh, the latter only by the Spirit of God.
Hupomonḗ: The Essence of Perseverance (Luke 21:19)
The Greek word most often used for the word “perseverance” as well as “endurance” is the word: hupomonḗ; to persevere, remain under. Hupomonḗ; has three main components: 1) The ability of “remaining firm under” tests, opposition, temptations and trials 2) With patience, peace, tranquility of mind 3) with a firm grip on the Hope that is in Christ.
According to the Baker Encyclopedia of the Bible, Hupomonḗ is the:
“Ability to take a great deal of punishment from evil people or circumstances without losing one’s temper, without becoming irritated and angry, or without taking vengeance. It includes the capacity to bear pain or trials without complaint, the ability to forbear under severe provocation, and the self-control which keeps one from acting rashly even though suffering opposition or adversity.”
(*The opposite of hupomonḗ is to have: aganáktēsis, indignation; orgḗ, anger, wrath)
Hupomonḗ: The Essence of Hope and Encouragement (Romans 15:4–5)
The third component of hupomonḗ is that it is always connected to hope. In fact, hope diminishes when hupomonḗ is lacking. In other words, the more hupomonḗ is exercised, the stronger our hope becomes! Hupomonḗ is faith in action that transforms us in the inner man (soul and spirit). Hupomonḗ produces encouragement for the simple fact that we are actually hoping, trusting and clinging to those things we say we believe in! In God’s eyes, this is success…this is the way to victory!
Hupomonḗ: The Essence of Overcoming (James 1:2-4)
When God instructs His children to hupomonḗ, He never means for us to simply “get through” or merely “put up with” persons or circumstances. Instead, God’s desire is for His people to rise above, overcome and have total victory over any obstacle, opposition or oppression that is allowed into our lives. What we don’t beste online casino often realize is when we fail to hupomonḗ, we end up forfeiting victory for great loss. We may not feel it’s a loss, but our anger worrying, bitterness, anxiety, fear and grumblings tell us it is. Hupomonḗ is the key to Christ-likeness. In short, Hupomone is the process in which we are being weaned off of the world (idols), and onto God.
Hupomonḗ: The Essence of Proven Character (Romans 5:3–5)
(Heb. 11-12:3) tells us we are surrounded by a great cloud of witnesses who have already overcome and won God’s approval by choosing to hupomonḗ to the very end. Just think of Abraham, Sarah, Noah, Joseph, Moses, Job, Elijah, Esther, Jeremiah, Daniel, John, Mary, Paul, and Timothy. But the greatest example is our pattern to model; the hupomonḗ of Christ (1 Pet 2:21, Heb. 12:3).
Hupomonḗ, however, is not only displayed in the bible, it is on display all around us! Have you ever taken a look around at a Sunday morning service? Do you recognize anyone who has or is going through great trials and tests, but have somehow managed the ability to remain peaceful and humble? Those who seem only to be filled with love and hope no matter what the circumstance? People who have managed to maintain thankful, gracious and giving hearts; resolved to only rejoice, honor, love and obey God? On the top of my head I know of: parents who have lost children and dearly loved ones (in unjust ways), wives / husbands rejected by their spouse, children who have lost parents, widows, jobless men, barren women, some have been forsaken, and others with disabilities and crippling health issues. All of these possess a common denominator: hupomonḗ! They are a blessed people!!!
Hupomonḗ: The Essence of Blessedness (James 1:12)
James states, “Blessed is a man who perseveres…” (James 1:12). To be blessed is to be in one accord with the Holy Spirit within. God’s Spirit will always lead us to hupomonḗ. Why? So we will experience the greatest: Hope (Romans 5:3-5) Joy (James 1:2–4) Fruit Bearing (Luke 8:15,) Encouragement (Romans15:5) Faith / Trust (2 Thess 1:3–5, Rev. 13:10) Obedience (1 Cor. 10:13, Rev. 14:12) Christ-likeness (2 Thess. 3:5, Revelation 3:10) Blessing (James 5:11) and ultimately the Approval and Favor of God (1 Peter 2:18-21, James.1:12).
I am convinced, if my military friend would have allowed God to teach him hupomonḗ, his hapless state would have been consumed by Hope, his obstinate heart traded for an Obedience, faithlessness would have been replaced with Faithful Fruit Bearing, crassness would transformed into Christ-likeness, and his bothers would have become his greatest Blessings!
Hupomonḗ is the key to overcome, with it, CCC will move mountains, without it, mountains become barriers, obstacles, and road blocks.
May we continue to persevere for the sake of Christ and His Eternal Kingdom,