Dream word – PERSEVERE
“Now may the God of patience and comfort grant you to be like-minded toward one another, according to Christ Jesus, that you may with one mind and one mouth glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.” NKJV
Merry makrothumia and happy hupomonee
I refuse to allow anyone to pray for me that I would have more patience. I hate the patience most of my fellow believers wish on me, for it always reminds me of a reluctant acquiescing to either depressing disappointment, or a soul shattering suffering, or maybe a worthless waiting of some kind and most of all, a wimpish acceptance of a never-ending and fun-less frustration! That kind of patience, thank you very much, you can keep!
To compound my refusal of such patience, one ancient commentator remarks that, “Patience is that calm and unruffled temper with which a good man bears the evils of life.” What rubbish and when I get to heaven I am going to find that brother and slap him! For you see friends, such silly and unruffled remarks, actually dehumanise the Christian, actually make us less biblical, less like Christ and sometimes force us into such an unreality, that it morbidly moulds us into a kind of quiet and acquiescing, religious madness! Remember, that when the winds of life sweep down onto the sea of Galilee, it heaves in disappointment, crashes against the shore in anger, slaps its waves together in desperation and weeps its salty lament across the watching shores and in the same way dear friends, in the same way, you the cruelly betrayed, you the hurt and disappointed, you the robbed and rubbished Christians of this world, are allowed to be that sea. Unruffled indeed! What poppycock! That’s not biblical patience, it’s dehumanized, dysfunctional madness.
In all your venting hurt and in all your disappointment though, what you are not allowed to be, is a deserter of Christ. No, you must endure for you are not allowed to become an unbeliever in His goodness. Yes, what you are not allowed to be, is one who turns his back on all the duties of His love. What you are not allowed to be, is a teeth gritting and angry charlatan, kicking the sheep of His pasture. What you are not allowed to be is miserable, unfocused, faithless and hopeless, and I tell you this, without God’s gift of “happy hupomonee”, that real biblical patience, then you shall most certainly become and do all these nasty things.
Thank God that He is patient! Indeed, He is all patience! His “merry makrothumia” (the other Greek word we have translated as patience) that is, His long forbearance and faithful fortitude in holding back the pouring out of His righteous, hot and burning cup of molten anger upon us all, allows us time and affords us opportunity to change our minds and our direction and return to Him. God is happy to exhibit this long-suffering and forbearant patience with humanity because the end of it, is both our repentance and His shared and singing joy. How wonderful! We have a patient God.
Yes, thank God that He is patient! Indeed, He is all patience. His happy hupomonee (the other Greek word we have translated as patience) is a gift which He freely gives His children, for as His merry makrothumia is related to His love, happy hupomonee is related to our continuing hope. Now this hopeful patience is one I both need and want, is one I both like and practice. This hopeful patience is one you can pray down from heaven upon me anytime dear friends, for this happy hupomonee is not a miserable swim in the sea of Christian Karma, no! It is a warrior-like attitude, that rejoices in the attacks of the foe. It is a fruit-bearing gift from on High, that flowers in the face of all adversity. It is a courageous and continuing persistence, even endurance in all well doing, when we’ve been well done in! Not only is this hupomonee kind of patience, this kind of miraculous and joyful perseverance a gift to us but it is an obligation for us to both put on and to walk in and in the so doing, we shall be found to be that most sweetest fragrance of heavens hopefulness, rarely found but greatly prized among the hosts of smelly and disappointed humanity. A truly patient people of vast and biblical proportion.
I say again, that this truly biblical patience, this happy hupomonee is both encased in soulish humanity and expressed in spiritual faithfulness. So, let me patiently encourage you tonight then dear friends, that in all your expressed and sometimes violent storms, you still remain focused, you remain faithful, you remain joyful and you remain in even apostolic mode in the continuance of your mission! Now that’s biblical patience.
Listen: “Truly the signs of an apostle were accomplished among you with all perseverance,(happyhupomonee) in signs and wonders and mighty deeds.” - 2 Corinthians 12:12-13
Pray: Lord, grant me this gift of warrior like, joyful and focused endurance. Despite the wind at my face and the clouds above my head, help me to press on with the hope of reaping a fruitful crop. Grant me then this so great a gift and help me to put it on and walk in it, in Jesus name I pray, amen!
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