Word For 2023: Be Brave!

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The word the Lord has given me for 2023 is found in 1 Cor 16:13, “Be brave” (NKJV).

Other translations render it, “Be courageous.” “Quit yourselves like men.” “Show courage.” “Do manfully.” “Be men.” “Act like men.” “Acquit yourselves like men.”

In the Greek, it’s a single word, and could be literally rendered, “Act the man.” Or, as one  interlinear translates it, “Play the man.”

To say it in a contemporary idiom, we could say, “Man up.”

This call to courage from the apostle Paul mirrors the Lord’s call to Joshua, “Be strong and of good courage” (Joshua 1:6).

I sense the Lord saying to us, Move forward in 2023 with boldness and bravery.

This is not a year to shrink back, or be intimidated, or reserved, or self-preserving. Don’t simply play it safe. Rather, obey the call of the Lord with courage and strength.

There are lots of reasons in 2023 to be cautious, timid, reticent, tentative, apprehensive, afraid. Following Jesus is more unpopular today than I can remember in my lifetime. But all those reasons for caution are based in human evaluations of the terrain before us. None of those reasons to be nervous or hesitant proceed from the Holy Spirit.

Yes, we should be wise, discerning, fully alert, and self-controlled; but not timid and self-preserving.

I’ve learned something about courage from Ezra 3:3. At the time of that verse, the people of Israel faced fearful threats and danger from the people of the lands around them. But still, they bravely built an altar to God. Courage is not what you do in the absence of fear and danger, but what you do in the face of fear and danger.

Jesus demonstrated this kind of bravery when He stroke forward toward Calvary.

Do you face fearful threats, potential danger, or possible backlash in 2023? Man up. Be brave. Put on the full armor of God, take your stand, and step forward in obedience to the Holy Spirit.

God is with you in 2023. Be brave!

Bob presents the message of this post in a 3-minute video on YouTube. To watch it, go here