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Word of the year: 2021

Ahhhh the “word of the year.”

The funny thing is, I used to make New Year’s Resolutions lol! Then one year, God gave me a word for the year instead. I didn’t even know it was a thing, I thought it kind of sounded silly. So I didn’t even tell people. But apparently it’s like…a thing. 🤣

Anyway, it ended up being really powerful! This year, I’ve been praying over my word for 2021. I’m facing a LOT in 2021, and so no word seemed to capture enough. I did this awesome 2021 Year Prep Workbook from Creating With Lucy, and after just writing words that came to mind on the brainstorm page, I prayed and listened, and narrowed it down to 5:

They all seemed applicable, so I prayed over it some more, for several days. Finally, “courageous” seemed to be what God was whispering to me. I began to look up some bible verses, and discovered why, when I looked up the original Greek and Hebrew to understand more of what the word meant in the Bible. But first, let’s look at even the world’s simple definition of courage…

These seemed SO applicable to my life. The whole idea of facing some seriously rough stuff, still having strength. I feel anything but strong, though, so this is definitely a hard one, right? So let’s look at some verses that I feel God gave me to accompany this word of the year, and we will dig into the original text to understand them better.

Matthew 14:27, NLT says “But Jesus spoke to them at once. Don’t be afraid,” he said. “Take courage. I am here!”

On the surface, this sounds very typical. Great, Jesus is here, guys, it’s ok!

The Greek word for “Take courage” is “tharseo.” It means “to be of good courage.” “Bolstered within which supports unflinching courage, literally, to radiate warm confidence (exude “social boldness”) because warm-hearted. Refer to God bolstering the believer, empowering them with a bold inner-attitude (to be “of good courage”). For the believer, tharseo (showing boldness) is the result of the Lord infusing his strength by his in working of faith (inbirthed persuasion). Showing this unflinching, bold courage means living out the inner confidence (inner bolstering) that is Spirit-produced. Tharseo means “have confidence, courage, be unafraid.”

Another couple of verses in Psalms are what really stand out to me. The first one, Psalm 27:14, NLT, says “Wait patiently for the Lord. Be brave and courageous. Yes, wait patiently for the Lord.”

When you look at the Hebrew, “wait” is “qavah,” which means “to wait for. A verb, probably originally twist, stretch, then of tension of enduring, waiting.” What’s interesting is that in the Hebrew, it says “wait on Yaweh,” and “on” is “to, into, towards.” That’s not a passive waiting if I ever heard one. That is an active leaning into the Lord and “waiting” on him. Waiting expectantly, being ready, enduring, patient for his timing, but ready for when it comes. Wow!

Next, “be of good courage” is how the Hebrew is, and it is “chazaq,” which means “to be or grow firm or strong, strengthen.” But then the next phrase in the Hebrew is “and he shall strengthen,” “amets,” which means “to be stout, strong, bold, alert.” More in depth: “confirm, be courageous of good courage, steadfastly minded, strong, stronger, establish, fortify, harden, to be alert, physically (on foot) or mentally (in courage). Increase, prevail, strengthen, make strong.

The next phrase is “your heart,” which is “leb.” So, “Wait on Yaweh, be of good courage and he shall strengthen your heart.” Leb means your inner man, mind, will, heart.

Psalm 31:24, NLT, is similar— “So be strong and courageous, all you who put your hope in the Lord!” With the same words for the courage and heart. The word hope here is actually “yachal,” which means “to wait, await.” Lol isn’t that interesting?

So this year, my word is “courageous,” and it turns out, it encompasses most of those other words. God’s kind of clever like that lol!

Here’s to 2021! Do you have a word of the year for 2021? Share with me! <3

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