“The testing of your faith produces perseverance” James 1:3 KJV
The word “hupomone” is generally translated “patience” or “endurance”.
The original meaning of the Greek word is “remaining behind”. We find a beautiful example of this word in II Samuel 23: 11-12 where we read of Shammah. He was one of the mighty men of David. When the Philistine troops gathered together at a place where there was a field full of lentils, the Israelite army fled away from them out of fear. But Shammah stood, unmoved in the middle of the field. He defended it and struck all the Philistines down.
Thus the Lord gave a great victory to the Israelites through Shammah. There are perhaps, a few things more difficult than to endure. When others have given up, it is not easy to remain behind. Shammah’s friends and fellow soldiers might have told him it was hopeless and advised him to run away. But Shammah was not willing to allow the Philistines conquer his land. As bold as a lion he remained steadfast and killed them single handedly.
Bishop Ellicott says, “In the noble word “hupomone” there always appears in the New Testament a background of “manliness”…. it does not mark merely “endurance” but “perseverance”, in other words, “brave patience” with which the Christian contends against the various hindrances, persecutions and trials that befall him in his conflict with the world.”
Dear friends, you and I have been given by the Lord a field of “lentils”to defend. Our field of lentils may not seem to others as worth defending. They may despise it for something better and more attractive. Hence, we may feel like giving up and running away. Let us remember Shammah who remained behind when others left. Surely we will not go unnoticed by the Lord. He will honor us as one of the mighty men in His army.
_Dear Lord, when the devil attacks me, let me not run away in fear but let me stand firm in my field of lentil. Others in the society may try to discourage me but let me not be side tracked by them. When I prevail, I will surely be rewarded by You one day. Give me Your grace. Amen.
By: Pastor Imran John