His Name Shall Be Called Wonderful

His Name Shall Be Called Wonderful

I’m standing on tiptoe as this year unfolds, knowing it’s going to be wonderful. Why? Because God is wonderful.

It’s not simply what He is. It’s who He is. It’s His name.

His name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. Isaiah 9:6 (KJV)

See that comma after wonderful? We often treat wonderful as an adjective paired with counselor, no comma between them. But many of the oldest English translations, including Wycliffe’s Bible (1382), Geneva Bible (1560), King James Version (1611), Young’s Literal Translation (1898), and the American Standard (1901) set the word wonderful apart.

Rightly so, since in Hebrew it’s a noun, peleh. It means “a wonder, a miracle, a marvelous thing.” It’s a name unto itself. “These will be his royal titles” (TLB), and one of them is Wonderful.

His Name Shall Be Called Wonderful

Some of the newest translations also use that notable comma, including New Life Version (2003) and 21st Century King James (1994). The Jubilee Bible (2000) says, “His name shall be called The Wonderful One,” and the Expanded Bible (2011) emphatically calls Him “Wonderful!”

Do I love the exclamation point? Yes!

The Orthodox Jewish Bible (2011) spells it out for us: “Peleh (Wonderful), Yoetz (Counsellor), El Gibbor (Mighty G-d), Avi Ad (Possessor of Eternity), Sar Shalom (Prince of Peace).” Yes, He is.

His Name Shall Be Called Wonderful

My main man in commentary land, Matthew Henry, wrote, “Justly is he called wonderful, for he is both God and man. His love is the wonder of angels and glorified saints; in his birth, life, death, resurrection, and ascension, he was wonderful.”

He was and is and always will be Wonderful.

His Name Shall Be Called Wonderful

For years I began my prayers, “Dear Lord” or “Dear Jesus.” For 2019 and beyond, I’m going with “Dear Wonderful.” It’s a splendid name, and so in keeping with His character.

If you see my little red car zipping down the road, I’ll no doubt be singing the praise song, “His Name Is Wonderful.” Sing along with an instrumental piano solo. Listen to a slow and soulful rendition from the Straight Gate Mass Choir. Or you might enjoy the story behind the song, appropriately born one Christmas.

His Name Shall Be Called Wonderful

The Lord also invites us to call Him “Teacher” (NLV), “Advisor” (CEV) or “Counselor” (CSB). To address Him as “Powerful God” (ERV) or “The Mighty One” (JUB). To use the name “Eternal Father” (CEB) or “Father Who Lives Forever” (ICB). To call Him “Prince of Wholeness” (MSG) or “Prince Who Brings Peace.” (NIrV).

He is worthy of all those marvelous names and more. At the moment, I’m going with Wycliffe’s take, written six centuries before I embraced the grace of God: “His name schal be clepid Wondurful.”

His Name Shall Be Called Wonderful

2019 will indeed be a Wonderful year, especially if you join me every Wednesday!

On the first Wednesday of each month, we’ll spend about 15 minutes together on Facebook LIVE, as I share what I’m learning about a dozen wonderful women in the New Testament. Jesus Girls, every one! All new stuff, all from the book I’m working on now. Yay! You can watch my January teaching on Tabitha from Acts 9 right here, anytime.

On the second Wednesday of each month, watch for a new blog post on my website and in your inbox, exploring just one wonderful verse in my usual, word-by-word fashion. Of course, they’ll all feature the word wonderful because why not?

On the third Wednesday of each month, look for my Wonderful Wednesday Giveaway on Facebook. (Y’all loved this when I did it last summer.) Three new books by wonderful writers you’ve been wanting to read.

On the fourth Wednesday of each month, I’ll appear in your email inbox with a quick News Note with the latest on all things Lizzie and a wonderful contest as well.

When there’s a fifth Wednesday – January, May, July, October – I’ll give away three of my audiobooks from ChristianAudio. Every word from the books, read by the…um, author.

So looking forward to spending a wonder-filled 2019 with you!

His Name Shall Be Called Wonderful

Oh, my friend, this year I’m SO grateful for both the challenges (i.e. learning opportunities) and blessings that came my way, especially the latest “No Evidence of Disease” report from my oncologist, and the ongoing treatments that will keep me going in 2019. Your prayers are making all the difference!

I’m also deeply thankful for the 700 children of prisoners sponsored through our Prison Fellowship International events because of generous sisters like you.

Most of all, I’m celebrating the One whose name is Wonderful, now and forever. Thanks for joining me, beloved!

His Name Shall Be Called Wonderful

P.S. If you’re curious about the photos, our church has a beautiful Chrismon Tree, covered with ornaments made of white and gold, the liturgical colors of the season. Chrismon Trees only go back to 1957, but the many ancient symbols for Christ and His ministry are centuries old. Wonderful.

50 Responses to His Name Shall Be Called Wonderful

  1. Doris December 31, 2018 at 1:27 pm #

    A Blessed New Year to you and yours, Liz! I loved the photos of the cross stitched Chrismons. I have used them at a prior church and they were cross stitched also and then framed in a gold frame. I loved these, too. Thanks for the upcoming Wednesdays, I am looking forward to them. Our Lord is truly Wonderful!

    • Liz Curtis Higgs January 6, 2019 at 3:50 pm #

      Delighted to have you with me, Doris, celebrating our Wonderful God all year long!

  2. Debby December 31, 2018 at 1:45 pm #

    Oh, Liz, thank you for this wonderful encouragement. 2018 was a very difficult year for my husband and I, part of his retina detached, he later required cataract surgery in both eyes as a result of the treatments. I entered the year with “mysterious” pains and an incredibly low immune response. March I was diagnosed with follicular lymphoma. Treatments began in April and seem to be effective (Praise God!) All year I have felt exhausted, which wasn’t helped by the sinus infection that would not go away for three months. I end the year weary. Grateful for God’s lovingkindness, but weary. Your post is so inspiring. I have copied bits of it into my journal. Focussing my eyes on my God who is truly and deeply wonderful is just what I need for a new year. Thank you again, and I praise God for your “no evidence of cancer” report!

    • Liz Curtis Higgs January 6, 2019 at 3:53 pm #

      I’m so saddened to think of all you and your husband have been through, Debby. May the new year bring more answers than questions, and far more good news than bad. Prayers!

      • Kalyani January 22, 2019 at 12:19 pm #

        Liz,

        Hi….I am new to your blog. I have read some of your posts years ago…
        Last year has been very difficult because I had no home.
        My fake Christian friend robbed all my savings and I was so broke that I had nowhere to live…
        But God, watched over me and provided a stable home….it didn’t happen overnight.
        I had to wait for one whole year.
        During the waiting period, my friends did help me but I had to move from one place to another….10 times…
        A very scary experience.
        It turned out that these so called friends wanted to leave their homes soon…
        I thank God that He is greater than humans.
        Humans can be merciless, selfish, and so cruel .

  3. Susan December 31, 2018 at 3:05 pm #

    Thank you for this post. I’ve been thinking about a “word of the year” and this is it! Every time I say or hear the word “wonderful”, it will remind me to focus on Jesus first and foremost.

    • Liz Curtis Higgs January 6, 2019 at 3:55 pm #

      That’s two of us, then, Susan, with WONDERFUL as our word for 2019. It makes me feel more joyful every time I say it!

  4. Jeana December 31, 2018 at 3:13 pm #

    Oh Liz, you blow me away. I love this blog. Specifically “The Orthodox Jewish Bible (2011) spells it out for us: “Peleh (Wonderful), Yoetz (Counsellor), El Gibbor (Mighty G-d), Avi Ad (Possessor of Eternity), Sar Shalom (Prince of Peace).” Yes, He is.”. Think of it, He is the POSSESSOR OF ETERNITY! And we get to love him and live with him in eternity. I am jumping up and down (in my mind) praising God for his great plan of salvation for everyone. It makes the challenges of each year lessen in comparison to the hope we look forward to. It makes all the enlightened arguments for evolution and a Big Bang theory darken in comparison for God’s eternal light. How you have cheered me. I am sharing this with my Bible study group and others! How I praise God and love him and thank you dear Liz, for being faithful to sharing the good news.

    • Liz Curtis Higgs January 6, 2019 at 4:00 pm #

      So much encouragement, Jeana! And YES, everything in this temporary world of ours darkens in comparison to His eternal light. See you every Wednesday!

  5. Alice Tooker December 31, 2018 at 4:32 pm #

    AMEN!!!

  6. Connie Meadows December 31, 2018 at 10:37 pm #

    I love this! It’s always inspiring to read your articles (and books)! Love the photos too and wonder if your church group has them for sale. If so, I’d like to purchase some.

    Blessings to you in the New Year. I don’t have Facebook but will enjoy whatever you send by email. Thank you for your encouraging words and we rejoice with you for the good report from the doctor. Praise God, the Wonderful One!

  7. Debbie Whitehead December 31, 2018 at 10:51 pm #

    Love this!
    Each year I pick a word for the year to focus on, guess this years word 😊…I’m going to join you with Wonderful! 👏🏻

  8. Susan G. January 1, 2019 at 12:34 am #

    This is absolutely wonderful! 😉
    Thanks so much Liz for all the encouraging words, blogs, books and podcasts!
    I can’t get enough. 😉
    So glad to hear God’s answering our prayers for your good health!
    Praise Him!
    May you have a Happy and Blessed 2019!
    Much love!

  9. Roksanna Stephens Anderson January 1, 2019 at 2:55 am #

    Liz, thank you for such a beautiful email. Looking forward to the 2019 Weds with you. Thank you for your hard work, efforts, and ministry for our WONDERFUL LORD & FOR A WONDERFUL 2019. God bless you and glad your health proves to promising.

    • Liz Curtis Higgs January 6, 2019 at 4:13 pm #

      Grateful for good health today and bright hope for tomorrow, Roksanna!

  10. Linda January 1, 2019 at 6:57 am #

    Glad you shared about the pictures. I wondered about them. Love the counted cross-stitch. It is wonderful! 🙂

    • Liz Curtis Higgs January 6, 2019 at 4:23 pm #

      They are a nice size, I’d say 4″ square. These are the counted cross stitch pillows. Other Chrismons we have on our church tree are made of gold ribbons and white pearls. So lovely, and deeply meaningful.

  11. Susan January 1, 2019 at 10:00 am #

    Thank you thank you for your posts! God works through you over and over again to bring his message to us Liz. You were CHOSEN. And through you he reminds us all that we are His too.

    Looking forward to this year with your posts.

    God bless,
    Sue Z.

    • Liz Curtis Higgs January 6, 2019 at 4:24 pm #

      YES, Susan, you are certainly His. Grateful to call you my sister!

  12. Peggy Janson Meyers January 1, 2019 at 11:57 am #

    Thank you Liz! Always enjoy anything that comes from you. God is speaking through you to us. I will be waiting for each Wednesday with anticipation. I love the Chrismons. Our church, Holy Cross Lutheran in Lake Ronkonkoma, NY, has a huge tree covered in them, all white and gold. The church I attend on Christmas Eve, St. Andrew Lutheran Church, in Franklin, Tennessee has a very similar tree. It always makes me feel so at home. God bless you for what you do to spread the Good News! Happy and blessed 2019.

    • Liz Curtis Higgs January 6, 2019 at 4:25 pm #

      I grew up with Chrismons as well (we had several Lutheran churches in our little German town), so they always speak “home” to me too. See on every Wednesday, Peggy!

  13. Cynthia Wright January 1, 2019 at 12:04 pm #

    Thanks for your wonderful thoughts about our Savior who is WONDERFUL! New insights are always appreciated!

  14. Caroline January 1, 2019 at 12:26 pm #

    Very happy to read our Wonderful, Counselor has brought you into 2019 with “no evidence” of cancer! ❤️

  15. Kristen January 1, 2019 at 12:36 pm #

    God bless you! I look forward to reading your posts! His name is Wonderful! How great to start the new year with that!

  16. Maribeth January 1, 2019 at 1:24 pm #

    Liz, thank you for pouring yourself out for the women you serve. God created you to be such a unique communicator and I am thankful you have been obedient to Him. Your words today blessed me and I am grateful for the reminder of our “Wonderful!” Looking forward to learning from you and with you this year. I am grateful and beyond blessed by your big smile and joyous laughter combined with your skill in communicating the love of God. Blessings to you.

  17. Leanna Hagen January 1, 2019 at 2:24 pm #

    Dear sister Liz! 🥳🎉 Happy, blessed New Year!! This is so eye-opening! I can’t wait to be a part of the work that God is placing on your heart! Every Wednesday I will anxiously await hearing from you, and know that I am praying for the spread of the Gospel in 2019 through your ministry!!

    • Liz Curtis Higgs January 6, 2019 at 4:32 pm #

      No prayer would mean more to me, Leanna. YES. Let His Name be known and His Gospel be proclaimed!

  18. Pam Erselius January 1, 2019 at 2:51 pm #

    Oh! Thank you. What a WONDERFUL way to start the year-with lots of blessings to look forward to! 🌹🌹🌹🌹
    I can hardly wait. 🌹🌹🌹

  19. Debbie January 1, 2019 at 3:57 pm #

    Thank you for sharing. Never thought about things you pointed out before. Now when I see the word “wonderful” I will remember this. I can’t wait for all the exciting things you have planned. Happy New Year.

  20. Amy G January 1, 2019 at 7:19 pm #

    Thank you. Wonderful. That is all💟

  21. Rebecca Miller January 2, 2019 at 3:04 am #

    I love the Chrismon tree! It’s always so meaningful in its beauty!
    Love,prayers & blessings,
    Rebecca

  22. Laurie Diggins January 2, 2019 at 8:04 am #

    Dear Liz, Thanks for all your books, insights, and understanding of God’s wonderful nature. Thanks, too, for sharing in so many ways to be a wonderful encourager. Blessings in 2019. Laurie Diggins

    • Liz Curtis Higgs January 6, 2019 at 4:30 pm #

      You are SO GOOD to me, Laurie! Watch for YOUR special gift of “Wonderful” in January’s blog post. And thanks again!

  23. Ame Watkins January 2, 2019 at 11:50 am #

    0 Liz! How “wonderful” I found you by “accident”! I had googled commentary on Isaiah 43, to better prepare myself to help my 11 year old understand this verse. Holy cow! And now…we are on our way! Thank you 🙂 great blessings in the new year! Come visit Sandpoint, Idaho sometime! You will be blessed!

    • Liz Curtis Higgs January 6, 2019 at 4:29 pm #

      God’s “accidents” are His will unfolding all around us. Love it! Welcome, Ame!

  24. Char Landmon January 2, 2019 at 12:02 pm #

    What a Wonderful way to start the new year!!! Thank you for sharing your heart it encourages mine!

  25. samantha Butler January 9, 2019 at 5:16 pm #

    Liz, you are such a delight, just reading your emails I know you are smiling and I can hear the laughter in your voice as you write and so encourage us. Such wonderful news to hear your doctors report of No evidence of disease. I immediately had a wonderful picture of standing with Jesus in front of the Father and as He looked at me I heard those wonderful words NO EVIDENCE of DISEASE, How Wonderful how Marvelous is Our Saviors love for me (us ) When we all get to Heaven we will all hear those beautiful words. God Bless you with the most amazing 2019.
    Three times I have been diagnosed with cancer and each time, He wonderfully and marvellously healed me and 30 years on I am still healthy and whole and cancer free. Keep on inspiring others the way you do, you delightful, lovely, dear child of God.

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