“Now to the one who works, wages are not credited as a gift but as an obligation. However, to the one who does not work but trusts God who justifies the ungodly, their faith is credited as righteousness.”
– Romans 4:4,5
As we continue our discussion about faith, I want to dive a little bit deeper into the origin and meaning of the word used to define it. While the New Testament was written in Greek because that was the prevailing tongue of the day, Jesus originally taught in Aramaic, which was a Jewish language. Similarly, since the Apostle Paul defined himself as a Hebrew of Hebrews, it’s safe to assume that although he spoke both Latin and Greek, he was guided by the Jewish interpretation of words as he wrote. Therefore, when he used the word faith in passages like the one above, what was penned was probably amadea or pistis, but what was implied was the idea behind an old Hebrew word called chatzufoe, which means bold, audacious, and stubborn conviction. This is where we get the Yiddish term chutzpah (pronounced hutzpa), which we’ve adopted in our English language, and which you may be especially familiar with if you grew up in New York or L.A. Though it’s not something we typically think of as being religious, the boldness implied by this word is exactly what God desires from His children. Far from being a well-mannered and quiet faith, chutzpah is a boundless confidence in the power of God that is so shameless that it refuses to surrender until He shows up!
My friend, be the kind of Christian who lives with chutzpah! Meditate on the greatness of your Savior, and always expect Him to do wondrous and mighty deeds in your midst. Instead of trying to please Him by being perfect in your own strength, be audacious in your trust and continually shift your focus to the fact that He holds all the power of the Universe in His hands. Nothing is impossible for Him, and when you claim His promises and refuse to let your faith be swayed by circumstance, He will show up and do exceedingly, abundantly more than all that you can ask for or think. No matter what you’re facing today, He wants to help you, so press into His unlimited power and don’t yield until His glory is revealed!
Jesus, give me confidence in your sufficiency so I can live with chutzpah.
In what area of your life do you need to embrace chutzpah?
If you’re unable to attend your local church or need some additional weekly inspiration, be sure to tune into Hour of Power every Saturday night at 6:30 p.m. PT on TBN or watch online at hourofpower.org/episode.