Two Kinds of Patience
That you do not become sluggish, but imitate those who through faith and patience inherit the promises (Hebrews 6:12). But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing (James 1:4)
There are two different kinds of patience mentioned in the above verses. In Hebrews 6:12, the Greek word for patience is makrothumia. In James 1:4, the Greek word for patience is hupomeno. Let’s apply them to our lives for just a moment.
Makrothumia comes from two Greek words. Makros means long and thumos means heated or passionate. Put the two words together and makrothumia means long temperedness, or someone has defined it as the ability to burn a long time! Makrothumia is patience towards people. It’s the ability to walk in peace when you’re moved by a situation. Patience gives you the ability to endure tough places. When events don’t change quickly and you’re tempted to become agitated and angry, makrothumia enables you to bear the waiting time. When others don’t treat you the way you think they should, makrothumia enables you to believe the best of them and hold yourself in check so you don’t do or say something harmful. Hupomeno comes from the Greek words hupo, which means under and meno, which means to remain. Hupomeno means the ability to hold your head up and remain confident when going through a hard place.
James tells us that tests and life challenges produce in us the ability to stick it out and not cave in when the going gets tough. A person operating in hupomeno is able to smile while going through personally painful experiences.
Hupomeno enables you to see the end from the beginning. Jesus, for the joy that was set before Him endured the agony of the cross. Hupomeno enabled Jesus to look beyond His present pain and see how His sacrifice would free humanity from the chains of sin. And when we walk in hupomeno, we’re able to shout and remain upbeat and joy filled when the journey of life is grueling and looks impossible!
We need both kinds of patience today. The Father by the Holy Spirit has placed in us the ability to last a long time and not become enraged with anger when people and circumstances don’t treat us kindly. The Father has also given us by the Holy Spirit the ability to remain joyful and confident when a situation seems unending and impossible. Let’s allow patience to have its perfect work in us today. If we do, our faith will bring to us the fulfillment of the promises of God of healing; of provision; of deliverance from the hard place; and we will move another step closer to being perfect and complete, lacking nothing! Let’s keep on growing today!