Click Here For Free Blog Backgrounds!!!
Blogaholic Designs

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Are You Radiant?

Did you know that...
  1. Women spend $7 billion per year on cosmetics
  2. 11.7 million cosmetic surgical and non-surgical procedures were done in the U.S. alone in 2007
  3. In 2007 there was $5.3 billion spent on these five surgeries in the U.S.:  breast augmentation, lipoplasty, eyelid surgery, adominoplasty (tummy tuck), and breast reduction
I found those stats in a report done by the YWCA, which I don't necessarily endorse.  You can read their full article by going HERE.

All that money spent to change our appearance, when God's word provides a beauty regimen for FREE!  I've been slowly and deliberately reading through the Psalms this year and just the other day I came across a gem in Psalm 34, verses 4 and 5:
"I sought the LORD, an He answered me; He delivered me from all my fears.  Those who look to Him are radiant; their faces are never covered with shame."
Those who look to Him are radiant...

According to the Free Online Dictionary, the word "radiant" means:  emitting heat or light, filled with light, bright, shining, characterized by health, intense joy, happiness.  Synonyms for "radiant" are:  happy, glowing, joyful, delighted, beaming, blissful, rapturous, beatific, brilliant, glorious, sparkling, sunny, luminous, lustrous.

I don't know about you, but there are many days when I feel all but glowing and certainly not brilliant!  However, according to King David (who had plenty to be shameful about), we can be all those things by looking to and trusting in the LORD.  John Calvin in his commentary on verses 4-5 of Psalm 34 says this:
Sometimes "seeking God" means applying our minds earnestly to his service, having all our thoughts directed to him.  Here it simply means turning to him for help.  In admitting his fears he confesses he had been terrified by the dangers surrounding him; the plural fears indicates he had been distracted not by just one danger but by a variety of troubles.
We get distracted by a "variety of troubles" too don't we?  Back to Calvin:
Therefore be encouraged that a courageous warrior such as David was terrified, and let us not allow our own faint-heartedness prevent us from calling on God.  David has provided us with an example of approaching God in prayer freely and without fear.  Now he says, "A mirror will be set forth in which we may see the face of God serene and merciful, as if a light has shone upon him; therefore the afflicted shall dare to lift up their eyes to him and resort to him with complete freedom, for no uncertainty will any longer hold them back.
That same day, I continued reading through Psalm chapter 36 and came to verses 5-9:
"Your love, O LORD, reaches to the heavens, Your faithfulness to the skies.  Your righteousness is like the mighty mountains, Your justice like the great deep.  O LORD, You preserve both man and beast.  How priceless is your unfailing love!  Both high and low among men find refuge in the shadow of your wings.  They feast on the abundance of Your house; you give them drink from Your river of delights.  For with You is the fountain of life; in Your light we see light."
Now that's a beauty regimen, feasting on the abundance of God's house and it is all of grace!  Specifically in regards to the last verse (9) I'll refer again to Calvin's commentary:
The ungodly do not acknowledge that in God they live, move and have their being.  Therefore, from the experience of believers David affirms that there is not a drop of life without God, or that does not flow from His grace.
So, I don't know what kind of day you are having or what kind of days you have ahead of you, but know that in all those days you CAN be radiant!  You CAN by God's grace be a reflector of His mercy and grace and faithfulness.  Look to Him and remember the words of Thomas Brooks:
Our worst days are never so bad that we're beyond the reach of God's grace.  And our best days are never so good that we're beyond the need of God's grace.
Praying for you radiant one,



jodi said...

I like this. I don't know if it's because 40 is just around the corner or what, but I've been doing a lot of thinking lately on this very topic. Do I really want to spend a lot of time and money fighting the inevitable wrinkles and weight gain, or just take care of myself and be the person I was created to be? The answer seems obvious, but it's hard when peers are still working so hard at having perfect bodies and such, and they look great! Anyways, I will reflect on these verses...Thanks!