My word for 2012 is:
Hope can be either a verb or a noun, and it also has several different definitions. The one I am choosing to use is the archaic definition. This article had a good description of the differences in the definitions:
The archaic meaning of hope in the English language is "to have confidence or trust," while the current meaning is "to wish for something with expectation of its fulfillment." Over time, words can experience "semantic drift," meaning simply that their definition morphs. It is the word "wish" in the modern definition that dilutes what hope should mean to us. When politicians speak of hope, they are merely creating "wish lists." Government will make our lives better by giving us stuff. No personal responsibility is required on our parts; we need simply to hold out our hands, and we hope it will be filled.
The New Testament uses only one Greek word, elpis, for "hope." Its verb form is elpizo. It means "expectation of good"—not a wish that something good will fall into our laps but a full expectation of good to come, especially in a religious sense.
These words are found over eighty times in the New Testament, though they are not always translated as "hope." Sometimes, especially in older translations, they are translated "faith" or "trust." Whereas the current meaning of "hope" lends itself to wishing, its original sense was to trust and have faith. Elpis, according to one lexicon, is synonymous with faith. The King James Version translates elpizo as "to trust" eighteen times.
In the King James Version, Hebrews 10:23 reads, "Let us hold fast the profession of our faith [elpis] without wavering; (for He is faithful that promised)." Most modern versions have translated it literally as "hope." The great American scholar Noah Webster is said to have known at least fifteen languages (and some claim as many as twenty-six), including Hebrew and Greek. He published his translation of the Bible in 1833. In many places, he changed the wording of the King James, but he left the word "faith" in verse 23.
Paul tells us to hold elpis fast, without wavering. Can we do that with a wish? No, not really. But if our hope is in God's promises, if our faith is in God and His unbreakable Word, then, yes, holding fast is possible.I'm going to use my word as a basis for Bible study and plan to memorize some hope verses. I am not sure if I'll do much with it on the blog, but you may see a little bit of hope in some of these verses, quotes, or if I feel like sharing any other things God is teaching me about it.