Ladies, when was the last time you felt radiant? Been awhile? Yeah, me too. I was recently staring into my closet wondering if it’s a bad sign that many of my clothing purchases in the last year have come from Sam’s Club… wait, don’t answer that, I know the answer. As women our lives are so full of demands, chores, and people to take care of that we rarely spend time thinking about being radiant. Usually “good enough” or “not too bad” will do.
Today, I want to change your attitude in that area and mine too. First, what does it mean to be radiant? Radiant means to send out light, to glow or shine. In regards to a person it is as if that person is emanating light, joy or gladness. These are just my simplified definitions. If you are radiant, you are certainly having an effect on those around you and it is obvious something awesome is going on inside of you.
The verse that got me thinking on this idea of radiance is found in Jeremiah 31:12, “and they shall be radiant over the goodness of the Lord”. Why will they be radiant? Because of the “goodness of the Lord”! No mention of stylish clothes, make-up or a good tan. Duh, radiance couldn’t be caused by any of those things, they are outside of you. Radiance is something that emanates from the inside out.
That verse is part of a chapter in which God is speaking through his prophet Jeremiah telling of the restoration of the Israelites to their land and to himself. Here are a few more awesome snippets from chapter 31: “I have loved you with an everlasting love” (v. 3), he will gather them and keep them “as a shepherd keeps his flock.” (v. 10), “I will turn their mourning into joy; I will comfort them, and give them gladness for sorrow.” (v. 13), “my heart yearns for him, I will certainly have mercy on him” (v. 20), and “I will put my law within them, and I will write it on their hearts. And I will be their God, and they shall be my people.” (v. 33).
With a God loving you like that, how could you keep from being radiant with joy? This God is certainly overflowing with goodness. In fact, he is goodness.
Do you belong to and serve the God that wrote the Bible? How about the book of Jeremiah? Chapter 31? Yes, yes and yes for me. I pray it is true for you too. Then what are we waiting for?? Our radiance does not come from anything we can put on these bodies (whether from Sam’s or Saks) but what resides within us – which is the goodness of God through the indwelling of the Holy Spirit.
If my radiance is dependent on the goodness of God, I should blind people when I walk by. So how does this happen? The answer is also so perfectly in Jeremiah chapter 31, verse 14, “my people will be satisfied with my goodness”. God’s people find their full and perfect satisfaction in God alone. If you are one of God’s people, find your full satisfaction in his goodness. Soak yourself in God’s Word, be with him in prayer. We should be so filled with the abundance of God’s love, grace and mercy that it consumes our being from the inside out and overflows onto a needy and dark world. What a glorious picture. It is a gospel picture.
Jesus radiated love for me when he poured out his blood on the cross. In this act he paid my ransom price and now I am eternally secure and all the words spoken in Jeremiah chapter 31 are meant for me. How could I be dissatisfied??
In a world filled with women trying so hard to accessorize themselves into beauty or to live a “good life” hoping that will translate into being a “good person”, we should shine like the sun. While they are hoping all their work on the outside will seep into their soul, we stand confident that Jesus has done the work already and our soul is beautiful. Therefore we do not fear, we are satisfied.
If the Holy Spirit lives inside you, he should be shining through you. Ladies, find your full satisfaction in the goodness of God and be radiant.
My husband is not my ideal man. Now before you get upset with me, hear me out. He is certainly the right man for me; God picked him out and ordained that we be together. Knowing this, there is no one I would rather be married to. Who am I to disagree with God? Though, sadly, I did exactly that for many years. That is until God got my eyesight fixed and focused me on himself instead.
Phil has blessed me immensely and we are better together than we are apart. Together we display the gospel more fully and beautifully than we could separately. However, Phil cannot do many things for me. He cannot love me perfectly, he cannot keep me from anxiety, he cannot change my heart and he cannot keep me from harm or physical illness. Above all this, he cannot save me. Phil has never forgiven my sins by dying on a cross for me nor would it be sufficient if he did.
Too often we wives look to our husbands for what is impossible for them to give. It’s like asking for water out of a hose hooked up to an oil well. We want them to satisfy our deepest longings for relationship, trust, and perfect - full of grace - unconditional love. They can give small doses of these through the power of the Holy Spirit (if they are a Christian man), but only God can fully provide all of these qualities in a pure and eternal way. He displayed this in the sacrifice of his only son. Put simply, our deepest needs, longings and desires can only find fulfillment in Jesus Christ.
We love our husbands but should not look to them to provide only what God can give us. We are joyful not because our husband finally gives us a compliment, but because of being part of God’s chosen family. We are peaceful not because our husband provides well for us financially, but because God tells us we are eternally secure in him and no one can ever snatch us out of his hand.
I cannot under-emphasize the importance of understanding and living this out in your marriage. If I trust Phil for what only God can provide, I will be disappointed over and over again. I will be a miserable person married to a miserable man reminded of his constant failings. If I instead look to God alone to identify with and find my worth as his child, I find treasure. I am a woman at peace, secure and joyful, happily married to a man who I love dearly and thank God for. With both of us being sinners, it makes no sense that we could perfectly satisfy each other, we can only look to holy perfection for that.
So Ladies, find perfect love in the one who loves you perfectly. Be secure in Christ and who you are in him, then love your husband well. I leave you with something I read recently in the Bible that felt just like a love letter being written to me from the love of my life, Jesus Christ. Notice in these verses he loves us by telling us of his greatness and ability to care for us perfectly. He makes no room for another savior, he alone saves. Reflect on these words today; read them as if they are meant for you because, if you are his… they are.
“Fear not, for I have redeemed you;
I have called you by name, you are mine.
When you pass through the waters, I will be with you;
and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you;
when you walk through fire you shall not be burned,
and the flame shall not consume you.
For I am the Lord your God,
the Holy One of Israel, your Savior.
I give Egypt as your ransom,
Cush and Seba in exchange for you.
Because you are precious in my eyes,
and honored, and I love you,
I give men in return for you,
peoples in exchange for your life.
I, I am the Lord,
and besides me there is no savior.
- Isaiah 43:1-4, 11
Ladies, read this, it will take five minutes of your day. No matter what you are doing, pause for a short moment and dwell on God. Realign your heart to his and regain your joy. Yes, right now. If you have been called by God and are his child, this is for you. Understand, once God stakes his claim on your heart (no matter the past, present or future sins) it is clean before God because it is washed in the all-sufficient blood of Jesus. If sin is trying to grab hold of you, ask God for help and that he “renew a right spirit” within you.
God is with you and will not leave you, he promises this over and over in his Word. You will not be left alone; he is in you. Be joyous, not because of your circumstances or all that you have, but because you are his. He has saved you from a horrific eternity and replaced it with paradise. He has chosen you to be his precious daughter and to live for him. It is him who holds you together and causes you to continue on. Read Psalm 51:10-13:
Create in me a clean heart, O God,
and renew a right spirit within me.
Cast me not away from your presence,
and take not your Holy Spirit from me.
Restore to me the joy of your salvation,
and uphold me with a willing spirit.
These are God’s words (via David) and are plenty powerful to work on your soul today, even in five minutes. If you are not yet a child of the King, what better time to cry out to him for a clean and right heart?
I encourage you to read the verses again and pray as you go, praising God for each area: a clean heart, a renewal of a right spirit within, his presence, the gift of the Holy Spirit, joy restored, your salvation, and him upholding you.
What glorious gifts to dwell on from a God who loves you. This should change your day; this should change your life.