Don’t Quit!

 

I pulled this blog from the archives. It’s a message I need for this rainy Friday morning. Perhaps you do, as well?

wordswag_1495797243022HUPOMONE  — I just get a kick out of saying that word – (hoop·om·on·ay). Go ahead, say it again! Hupomone!  Have I taken leave of my senses, or am I writing in tongues, a new gift? you think? Actually, you just said a word of Greek from the New Testament. It’s a compound word of a prefix meaning ‘under’ and a root meaning ‘remain.’   Here’s the context… “since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance (hupomone) the race that is set before us.” (Hebrews 12:1, NKJV)

The writer of Hebrews calls for us to take a look at the distance runner as an example of how to live as a Christian. Unlike a sprinter who explodes from the starting block, pouring everything he has into a 100 meter dash, we are called to set a pace that we can maintain, steadily and consistently, living for Jesus- with patience, with endurance, (hupomone)! The idea is holding steady even under intense pressure!

All around us we can find examples of people who start something with gusto- only to collapse in the backstretch!

  • Marriages begin with great romance and fireworks, but too often, fizzle under the strain of kids and bills.
  • People head into new jobs with the intent of being the ‘next best’ only to become a place holder, a burnt out functionary, instead of an inspiring performer.
  • Students go off to college intending to make the Dean’s list and too easily get sidetracked into the three day weekend party life style.

And…. yes, people invite Jesus Christ to become Lord and begin the disciple’s journey with enthusiasm (interesting word, by the way, that comes from a compound word meaning to be “full of God”). When a group of new Christians gather in church they discover God’s will and purpose. With joy they make changes that the Spirit leads and their lives take on the character of Christ Jesus. When they pray, it is with childlike simplicity and earnest faith.

Then, sadly, under the heat of temptation and pressure the joy evaporates. Worship slacks, they criticize the Church, they adopt a ‘form of godliness that denies the real Power.’ Their Christianity becomes more of a habit than a source of joyful life. And, all too often, they drop out of the race, giving up, quitting.  Note this, just because you are in a difficult time, just because you are having a rough time in life, do not make the conclusion that something is wrong with you, with your faith, or with God.  Christians live in a world of sin – and they face temptation, resistance from demonic foes, and even hatred from those who despise the things of God.

Hupomone is not about a BIG start, it’s about a faithful finish!

Are you a finisher?
Do you take time to think about commitments, praying for guidance – and only embrace those that you will see through to completion?

Jesus told a teaching story about this.“Is there anyone here who, planning to build a new house, doesn’t first sit down and figure the cost so you’ll know if you can complete it? If you only get the foundation laid and then run out of money, you’re going to look pretty foolish. Everyone passing by will poke fun at you: `He started something he couldn’t finish.’ Or can you imagine a king going into battle against another king without first deciding whether it is possible with his ten thousand troops to face the twenty thousand troops of the other? And if he decides he can’t, won’t he send an emissary and work out a truce?” (Luke 14:28-32, The Message) The implied conclusion is – FINISH what you start! That means – hupomone!

Remember that it isn’t “all guts, no glory.” Finishers enjoy what mere starters never find: the satisfaction of a job well done, a life well lived, a victor’s crown!

Need a boost to stay in the race today? Here’s the way, the follow up to where we started today- “Keep your eyes on Jesus, who both began and finished this race we’re in. Study how he did it. Because he never lost sight of where he was headed-that exhilarating finish in and with God -he could put up with anything along the way: cross, shame, whatever. And now he’s there, in the place of honor, right alongside God.”  (Hebrews 12:2, The Message)

HUPOMONE! (hoop·om·on·ay) Say through the day. If someone thinks you a bit goofy, just tell’em you’re practicing a little Biblical Greek language! Have fun.

___________

Ever Be  (Natalie Grant sings at this link)

Your love is devoted like a ring of solid gold
Like a vow that is tested like a covenant of old
Your love is enduring through the winter rain
And beyond the horizon with mercy for today

Faithful You have been and faithful You will be
You pledge Yourself to me and it’s why I sing

Your praise will ever be on my lips
Ever be on my lips
Your praise will ever be on my lips
Ever be on my lips

You Father the orphan
Your kindness makes us whole
You shoulder our weakness
And Your strength becomes our own
You’re making me like You
Clothing me in white
Bringing beauty from ashes
For You will have Your bride
Free of all her guilt and rid of all her shame
And known by her true name and it’s why I sing

Your praise will ever be on my lips
Ever be on my lips
Your praise will ever be on my lips
Ever be on my lips

You will be praised You will be praised
With angels and saints we sing worthy are You Lord
You will be praised You will be praised
With angels and saints we sing worthy are You Lord

Bobby Strand | Chris Greely | Gabriel Wilson | Kalley Heiligenthal
© 2014 Bethel Music Publishing

CCLI License # 810055

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