Hypomone: What does it mean?
The Greek word for endurance (or steadfast) is derived from the combination hypo, meaning “under,” and the verb meneo, meaning, “to abide.” Together they form hypomeneo, an endurance while “abiding under” (Harris, The Cup and the Glory). This is a strengthening derived from bearing a heavy weight upon one’s shoulders for extended periods of time–the Biblical version of “no pain, no gain.”
[It is] an active abiding under the trial with faith in God as one’s base (Harris, The Cup and the Glory).
For this word study, I want to look at the attribute version of this word, hypomone, usually translated endurance, patience, or steadfastness. The “abiding under” yields this quality. This is what comes as a result of God training our mind and body through our “abiding under” trials, suffering, and discipline.
Most of us do not seek “to abide under” suffering when it comes our way. Instead, we seek a way out, which is the normal human response (Harris, The Cup and the Glory).
Hypomone: Scripture References
- Lk 8.15 ► As for that in the good soil, they are those who, hearing the word, hold it fast in an honest and good heart, and bear fruit with patience.
- Lk 21.19 ► By your endurance you will gain your lives.
- Rom 2.7 ► to those who by patience in well-doing seek for glory and honor and immortality, he will give eternal life;
- Rom 5.3-4 ► Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope,
- Rom 8.25 ► But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience.
- Rom 15.4-5 ► For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, that through endurance and through the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope. May the God of endurance and encouragement grant you to live in such harmony with one another, in accord with Christ Jesus,
- 2 Cor 6.4 ► but as servants of God we commend ourselves in every way: by great endurance, in afflictions, hardships, calamities,
- 2 Cor 12.12 ► The signs of a true apostle were performed among you with utmost patience, with signs and wonders and mighty works.
- Col 1.11 ► May you be strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy,
- 1 Thess 1.3 ► remembering before our God and Father your work of faith and labor of love and steadfastness of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ.
- 2 Thess 1.4 ► Therefore we ourselves boast about you in the churches of God for your steadfastness and faith in all your persecutions and in the afflictions that you are enduring.
- 2 Thess 3.5 ► May the Lord direct your hearts to the love of God and to the steadfastness of Christ.
- 1 Ti 6.11 ► But as for you, O man of God, flee these things. Pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, steadfastness, gentleness.
- 2 Ti 3.10 ► You, however, have followed my teaching, my conduct, my aim in life, my faith, my patience, my love, my steadfastness,
- Titus 2.2 ► Older men are to be sober-minded, dignified, self-controlled, sound in faith, in love, and in steadfastness.
- Heb 10.36 ► For you have need of endurance, so that when you have done the will of God you may receive what is promised.
- Heb 12.1 ► Therefore, a great cloud of witnesses surrounds us, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us,
- James 1.3-4 ► for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.
- James 5.11 ► Behold, we consider those blessed who remained steadfast. You have heard of the steadfastness of Job, and you have seen the purpose of the Lord, how the Lord is compassionate and merciful.
- 2 Pe 1.6 ► and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness,
- Rev 1.9 ► I, John, your brother and partner in the tribulation and the kingdom and the patient endurance that are in Jesus, was on the island called Patmos on account of the word of God and the testimony of Jesus.
- Rev 2.2-3 ► “ ‘I know your works, your toil and your patient endurance, and how you cannot bear with those who are evil, but have tested those who call themselves apostles and are not, and found them to be false. I know you are enduring patiently and bearing up for my name’s sake, and you have not grown weary.
- Rev 2.19 ► “ ‘I know your works, your love and faith and service and patient endurance, and that your latter works exceed the first.
- Rev 3.10 ► Because you have kept my word about patient endurance, I will keep you from the hour of trial that is coming on the whole world, to try those who dwell on the earth.
- Rev 13.10 ► Here is a call for the endurance and faith of the saints.
- Rev 14.12 ► Here is a call for the endurance of the saints, those who keep the commandments of God and their faith in Jesus.
- Jesus, Paul, Peter, John, and the author of Hebrews all used hypomone, or “bearing up under,” in the same manner; as a mark of strong and mature faith. Therefore, it must be important.
- The road to endurance is a road of suffering (Rom 5.3-4). They are not mutually exclusive. Why do bad things happen to believers? To make them better.
- In two different passages, Paul connects this trait with hope (Rom 5.3-4; Rom 15.4). If we are to have any hope, we must first learn to “bear up under” our trials, our sufferings, our discipline, and our temptations (1 Cor 10.13).
- Paul references the steadfastness of the Thessalonians in both of his letters to them (1 Thess 1.3-4; 2 Thess 1.4). They must have had a noticeable grasp on this fundamental of the Christian walk. May we be more like the Thessalonians.
- This steadfastness is required for us to be perfect and complete in our walk with Christ (James 1.3-4). It’s not optional. It’s not a “do it if you can” type of quality. And if this is the case, since suffering produces steadfastness, all believers should expect to incur a level of suffering consistent with our sanctification.
- Steadfastness is the facilitator of self-control (2 Pe 1.6) and self-control is the linguistic opposite of sexual immorality. If you’re fighting off a sexual addiction such as pornography, don’t expect it to go away with the snap of your fingers. Temptation is rarely that easy. You’re going to have to fight and endure. Bear up under the temptations when they come and self-control will be your eventual reward.
- Not only does John identify himself with this attribute to the seven Macedonian churches in Revelation (Rev 1.9), but Jesus also commends the churches in Ephesus (Rev 2.2-3), Thyatira (Rev 2.19), and Philadelphia (Rev 3.10) for their triumphs in steadfastness.
God produces endurance–we do not. God specifically and precisely works in our lives to produce the [hypomone] endurance we would not be able to manufacture by our own efforts. He does this as we properly respond to our trials.
Our responsibility is to submit and endure, often the two most difficult Christian virtues to achieve (Harris, The Cup and the Glory).
What did you find?
What about you? What observations or connections did you make while reading through these verses? We’d love to hear them. Leave us a comment below.