Learning to wait on the Lord with patience

The Verse of the Day for October 18, 2013 is the last verse from my favorite Psalm:


Associated with waiting on the Lord is the character trait of patience or endurance or perseverance, steadfastly bearing up under and remaining faithful while waiting. Patience or perseverance is a fruit of the spirit that should be evident in our lives, as we wait on the Lord. When we examine one of the words for “patience”- hupomone, we see a compound word derived from hupo, meaning under and meno, meaning “to stay, remain, abide”, literally abiding under. The verb hupomeno means to stay under (behind), i.e. remain; figuratively, to undergo, i.e. bear (trials), have fortitude, to persevere — abide, endure, (take) patient(-ly), suffer, tarry behind.

The root idea of the noun hupomone is that of remaining under some discipline, subjecting one’s self to something which demands the yielding of the will to something against which one naturally would rebel.  It means cheerful (or hopeful) endurance, constancy — enduring, patience, patient continuance (waiting). It is a bearing up in a way that honors and glorifies our heavenly Father, not merely to grin and bear it.

This artistic rendering of Job and his friends is done by William Blake.

This artistic rendering of Job and his friends and his wife  is done by William Blake.

Hupomone is used 32 times in the New Testament and is translated: endurance seven times; patient enduring once; perseverance twenty-one times; and steadfastness three times.  James 5:11 provides an excellent example of both the verb hupomeno and the noun hupomone in a particular individual who embodies the character trait of patient endurance. The King James Version offers this rendering containing a familiar phrase that encompasses a character trait that is most often associated with Job:

Behold, we count them happy which endure. Ye have heard of the patience of Job, and have seen the end of the Lord; that the Lord is very pitiful, and of tender mercy.

The Book of Job is a classic example of the principle of first usage and first spiritual principle, which highlights as particularly important the first time that a concept is mentioned in the Bible.  It is believed by E.W. Bullinger and other Bible scholars that the first book written was the Book of Job, believed to be composed by Moses. Job, whom Chuck Swindoll described as a “man of heroic endurance,” was, indeed, a real person, and his story is one of the first demonstrations of many spiritual principles. One of the foundational spiritual principles that the Book of Job demonstrates is that God is “full of compassion and tender mercy” and that he rewards those who demonstrate “patience.”  A number of years ago I composed a little song based on the character trait “perseverance”, another word for patience:

 Never give up! Keep your chin up!

Never give up! And you will find

The strength you need to give it one more try.

Never give up Keep your chin up!

Never give up! But realize

You’ve got to go “through” to get to the prize.

So never give up! Keep your chin up!

In the end perseverance always pays.

In the end perseverance always pays.

Although it is said that “Patience is its own reward,” God also rewards patience, as so clearly demonstrated at the end the Book of Job. Recall Job 42:10:

 And the LORD turned the captivity of Job, when he prayed for his friends: also the LORD gave Job twice as much as he had before.

In reality when we respond to God in faith, we find that “without faith it is impossible to please God. For he that comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.” Indeed, we see that the Lord is “merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in mercy.” Verse 11 of Psalm 103 also states, “For as the heavens are high above the earth, So great is His mercy toward those who fear Him;”

Not only is patience its own reward, but God also honors and rewards patience, as we patiently wait on Him.

Karen Clark Sheard and Donnie McClurkin offer a stirring rendition of a song that captures the essence of the Verse of the Day: “Wait on the Lord.”

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