Be Strong and Courageous


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Armor photo by Nik Shuliahin on Unsplash

I’m delighted to welcome Lauren Crews as my guest on the blog today. Lauren is making a stir with her newly released book, Strength of a Woman! Lauren’s book will give you a new perspective on Proverbs 31, and have each woman celebrating as she understands the blessing God sings over her as a woman.

חזק ואמץ

Lauren's Be Strong and Courageous Tattoo

I love these words so much I had them tattooed on my arm in Hebrew. When people ask me what they mean, my response is always, “Do you want to know what it says or what it means?”

Hebrew letters are more than sounds strung together to make words. Ready to explore a fresh layer of meaning?

I have a confession. As a girl growing up, I was a little jealous of boys. When we were on the playground, they could get lost in their imaginations as superheroes fighting for justice to protect the world. I was resigned to being the damsel in distress who needed saving, but I wanted to be in on the action! Ribbons and bows didn’t appeal to me. I wanted to be strong.

Growing up in Sunday school, I learned of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego’s bravery facing the fiery furnace. Joshua’s military exploits and David brought down a giant! But, again, they’re guys. What’s a girl to do? I could find Biblical examples like Deborah, who was a leader. Esther proved that a woman could be beautiful and wise, but where was my superheroine of strength?

Fundamentally, to be strong means to have physical and mental power. But there’s more. Sometimes when God uses a particular word in the Bible, He builds an extra measure of understanding into the word, so we know how to apply it to our lives. Strong is one of those words, and it is used in my favorite verse.

Only be strong and very courageous, be careful to do according to all the law which Moses My servant commanded you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, so that you may have success where ever you go. (Joshua 1:7 NASB)

This verse speaks to my soul in a unique and extraordinary way. God used its phrase, be strong and courageous, to call me to become a Bible teacher. He has used it to remind me of how He has overcome the back story of my life. He uses it to encourage me when I want to retreat instead of facing the difficult parts of life.

I love these words so much I had them tattooed on my arm in Hebrew. When people ask me what they mean, my response is always, “Do you want to know what it says or what it means?”

You see, there is a difference. The Hebrew letters are more than sounds strung together to make words. Each letter holds a pictograph, a word picture, and God uses these pictures to add another layer of meaning. The pictures related to each letter in the word strong, give us insights into how God wants us to be strong.


Strong in Joshua 1:7 is spelled in Hebrew with three letters – chet, zayin, and qof. Each letter adds another dimension of meaning to the word.

ח – Chet, a protective fence or wall. It holds the idea of being surrounded by protection.

ז – Zayin, a sword which is a defensive weapon we use when we take action.

ק – Qof, the back of the head. It refers to something behind us.


Courageous is spelled in Hebrew with four letters.

ו – Vav, a nail. It is the conjunction “and” in Hebrew.

א – Alef, an ox. It represents strength, the number one, and God.

מ – Mem, water. It can also mean chaos. We get this idea from rushing water.

ץ – Tzade, a fishhook. It can represent being pulled away in captivity.

When we include the pictograph meaning of the words “Be Strong and Courageous,” they become more than just an idea of physical and mental power and bravery. God adds why we can be strong and courageous and how. Read the phrase with the included word picture meanings.

Be strong – “You are enclosed within My wall of protection. I am your refuge. I am with you as you take up your sword. I AM the Word. I AM the sword of the spirit. Walk before Me and seek to be holy. I have your back.”

And courageous – “Attach, nail yourself, to God’s strength, so when you face chaos, which can overcome you like rushing water, you will not be hooked and carried away.”

Now that is strength and courage! When we know the depth of God’s word, we can appreciate the depth of His love and care for us. When we experience His love for us, we can trust Him more and be strong and courageous as He desires us to be. It forms an awe-inspiring circle that develops holiness in our lives.

The examples of strength that God has given us in His word are uplifting and inspiring, but the purest strength comes from embracing God’s character. When we embrace this strength, we won’t have to be frightened or dismayed, for we will know that our God is with us wherever we go (Joshua 1:9).

I’m curious, what is your life verse, or do you have a specific verse you turn to as a reminder of God’s strength?

“Be Strong and Courageous” originally appeared in Refresh Magazine, October, 2017.
As an Amazon affiliate, Linda may earn on selected purchases.

Lauren Crews
Lauren Crews

Lauren Crews is a regular guest here at Five Stones and a SlingAs a Bible teacher and speaker, Lauren is excited to encourage Christians to explore and understand the Jewish roots of their faith. She lives in northeast Florida with her husband and two chocolate labs, who have them both well trained. She is represented by Credo Communications and has recently released her first, book Strength of a Woman! She is working toward publication of Jesus: The Alef and the Tav.  You can connect with Lauren on the web at

Celebrate your God-given strength!

You may not feel like the so-called perfect Proverbs 31 woman, but rest assured, you are the Proverbs 31 woman! No perfection required.

Strength of A Woman will have you celebrating as you understand the blessing God sings over you as a woman. Look at the familiar Proverbs 31 Scripture passage and begin to understand the Jewish teachings and the true meaning of the passage. Through this study of the passage, you will:

  • Discover the hidden beauty in the imagery of the Hebrew alphabet through word study;
  • Understand the challenges you face now in comparison to those in biblical times;
  • Embrace God’s purposes versus societies expectations; and
  • Enjoy insights into a strong woman’s day-to-day life.    

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