He lifted the darkness from me this week. I am forever grateful, particularly for the first light I saw that day. It will forever be precious to me.

And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm, and steadfast. (1 Peter 5:10)

For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you. You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you, declares the LORD, and I will restore your fortunes and gather you from all the nations and all the places where I have driven you, declares the LORD, and I will bring you back to the place from which I sent you into exile. (Jeremiah 29:11-14)

“And there’s more, a fourth.  Verse 6: “And in your self- control, endurance” would be the best translation; hupomonē, patience or endurance in doing what is right, never giving up to temptation, never giving up to trial, never giving up to difficulty, never giving up to sin.  Michael Green said, “The Christianity of such a man is like the steady burning of a star rather than the ephemeral brilliance and speedy eclipse of a meteor.”  This is a magnificent portrait of what we are to pursue.  We pursue moral excellence, based upon spiritual discernment, which produces self-control, which produces endurance under temptation without succumbing.

By the way, this word hupomonē really does resist one-word definition, and there is no English equivalent.  In classical Greek, it isn’t a common word, but it used in the Scripture frequently of toil, trouble that comes against a person, against his will, making life extremely difficult, painful, grieving, shocking.  It even brings along the thought of death.  It is used in classical Greek of those same things.  It is used in reference to the Maccabees, spiritual staying power enabling men to die for their faith in God, as they did in the Maccabean revolution.  It’s that spiritual staying power that will die before it gives in; that strong, that resistant.

Again, I quote from William Barclay in his New Testament Words, “And now we can see the essence and the characteristic of this great virtue hupomonē.  It is not the patience which can sit down and bow its head, and let things descend upon it, and passively endure until the storm is passed.  It is not, in the Scots word, merely tholing things; it is the spirit that can bear things not simply with resignation but with blazing hope.  It is not the spirit which sits statically enduring in the one place, but the spirit which bears things because it knows that these things are leading to a goal of glory.  It is not the patience which grimly waits for the end, but the patience which radiantly hopes for the dawn.

“It has been called a masculine consistency under trial.  It has been said that always it has the background of andreia, which is courage.  Chrysostom calls hupomonē a root of all the goods, mother of piety, fruit that never withers, a fortress that can never be taken, a harbor that knows no storms.  He calls it the queen of virtues, the foundation of right actions, peace in war, calm in tempest, security in plots, and neither the violence of man nor the powers of the evil one can injure it.  It is the quality which keeps a man on his feet with his face to the wind.  It is the virtue which can transmute the hardest trial into glory, because beyond the pain it sees the goal,” end quote.  Courageous, steadfast, joyful, self-control under pressure, resisting temptation, built on spiritual wisdom, pursuing moral excellence.”- John MacArthur, The Virtues of Assurance

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