But let patience have her perfect work…. — James 1:4
Today I want to talk to you again about patience. Early Church leaders called this remarkable godly trait the “queen of all virtues.” They understood that if you had patience, it was never a question of whether or not you would win a battle — it was only a matter of when you would win it.
That is a true statement that is borne out in Scripture, and Denise and I have certainly proven the spiritual effectiveness of patience in our own lives and ministry. I’ve said so many times that the Greek word for “patience” is one of my favorite words in the New Testament! How we all need this extraordinary quality working in our lives today.
Let’s look at this word “patience” to see why Early Church leaders valued this characteristic so highly.
As we have seen, the word “patience” comes from the Greek word hupomeno, a compound of the words hupo and meno. The word hupo means under, as to be underneath something that is very heavy. The word meno means to stay or to abide. It describes a resolute decisionto remain in one’s spot; to keep a position; or to maintain territory that has been gained. But when the words hupo and meno are compounded to form the word hupomeno, the new word portrays a person who is under some type of heavy load, but who refuses to stray from his position because he is committed to his task. Regardless of how heavy the load, how fierce the opposition, how intense the stress, or how much weight is thrown against him, this person is inwardly resolved that he is not going to move. He is committed to stay put, and he will never surrender for any reason.
In the earliest years of the Church, believers faced long periods of unremitting persecution. They were confronted by a host of hostile powers that were arrayed against them. The pervading immoral culture, pagan religions, secular government, unsaved family and friends — all of these external forces put constant pressure on the early believers to forfeit their faith and return to their old ways.
But the early believers firmly believed that if they had hupomeno, they would survive and outlast all the opposition. This is why they referred to this spiritual characteristic as the “queen of all virtues.” It was believed that if Christians possessed this one virtue, they could survive anything that came against them. Believers understood that if hupomeno was operational in their lives, the question was no longer if they would overcome their battles, but rather when that victory would come. Read the rest of The Queen of All Virtues