You Are Radiant

Those who look to Him are radiant; their faces are never covered with shame.

Psalm 34:5  ESV

 

Radiant. What a word. David, the author of the Psalms, did not use the word beautiful, joyful, or even happy. He used radiant. According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, radiant is defined as:

radiant

adjective | ra·di·ant  | \ˈrā-dē-ənt\

1a: radiating rays or reflecting beams of light
1b: vividly bright and shining : glowing
2: marked by or expressive of love, confidence, or happiness

radiant smile

3a : emitted or transmitted by radiation
3b : emitting or relating to radiant heat

 

My favorite definition of radiant is “vividly bright and shining : glowing.” It gives a glowing visual of the way we all will be in heaven, and on top of that, Christ promises to make us like that now! He will enable us to radiate to the world around us, and through that, people will see that we have hope in Jesus Christ. For we, as Christ followers, are not looking to this world, our families, or even to our careers, but to Christ!

Through Isaiah 40:31, Jehovah-Jireh (“The Lord Will Provide”) gives us a promise when we hope in Him: “For those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength, they will soar on wings as eagles. They will run and not grow weary, they will run and not grow faint.” He promises to take care of us when we hope in Him! We are constantly surrounded by all the promises he gives us and all we have to do is to accept them!

So as you run your race throughout the day, remember to hope in the Lord and that He will make your face RADIANT!

Love,

Isabella

The Greatest Expectation

My heart is full with hope and expectation!  Filled to overflowing.

I caught a glimpse of heaven
and I don’t want to let it go.

I know it might seem trivial or even completely off-base to some, but The P.T. Barnum-inspired movie musical The Greatest Showman is full of powerful insights if you’re looking for them.

Barnum’s ticket to success was using his human ability to bring his imaginative impossibilities to life. For him, this would provide his audiences some joy and an escape from the drudgery of everyday life (and provide an income for his family). But it ended up doing more than that. The “circus” he created overwhelmed and flooded the senses of his audiences beyond their wildest expectations in light of seeing the unimaginable come to life. That feeling of amazement in seeing and feeling the spectacular makes your heart pound. Being surrounded by the impossible – It leaves you speechless. In awe and wonder. That, my friend, is what we are headed for!

“No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has imagined what God has prepared for those who love Him.”

1 Cor. 2:9 NLT

And the message gets even better in the film. All those who had been hidden away in shame and darkness were able to come out and find their value and purpose. That was for the movie characters. But what about us? Those of us who are broken. Who have lived with secrets and shame. The flawed and imperfect. We have value in Christ. We find our purpose in Him. And there’s more – as He brings us out into the light of truth and grace, we find healing and wholeness. Everything we have lacked, is freely given to us.

My friends, when we accept the concept of seeing the impossible become reality and then find ourselves included in the impossible, we get a glimpse of what heaven is going to be like. All of our wildest dreams are going to come true in Him – the fullness of everything we’ve been waiting for and ever dared to hope for, the King of Glory! Every tribe, every nation will be represented before His throne. Everyone will bring their best, their differences, their scars, their everything and find it completely perfected in Him (Rev. 7:9). Can you even begin to imagine how mind-blowing this is going to be?

The reflection of God,
expressed through humanity,
completely perfected in Him.

 

This is a day I can hardly wait for!

But here’s why it matters right now. In the “Lord’s Prayer,” Jesus teaches us that we are to be praying for God’s will to be done here on earth just like it is in heaven. Do you see, Dear One? We can dare to believe the impossible is coming because it really truly is. What are you looking for? What impossible things are you dreaming of, that God can start living out through you just because you’re simply willing to believe. Wait in eager expectation for Him and watch how He shows you impossible things. Things He has desire to accomplish through you. The things He planned from before the creation of the world (Eph. 2:10). They are already starting to come true because you believe He is who He says He is and can do what He promises He will do.

“God will make this happen, for He who calls you is faithful.”
1 Thes. 5:24 NLT

When you see it – let your heart swell. Recognize it! Revel in it with the greatest expectation of what He has yet to do.

So what impossible thing has He called you to today? Withholding judgement so that you can extend some grace in that family situation? Self-control with that little one who already needs one more reminder? Maybe it’s a good attitude when the project is running behind deadline. Or perhaps it a mountain you’ve been buried under for years and you’re just trying to hang on to the will to keep going. You aren’t alone. Keep your eyes on your Father and as you step out in faith, look for the impossible to become your reality. I dare you to join me in dreaming with our eyes wide open!

Love,

 

Plug into the Power

For the word of God is living and active and full of power [making it operative, energizing, and effective]. It is sharper than any two-edged sword, penetrating as far as the division of the soul and spirit [the completeness of a person], and of both joints and marrow [the deepest parts of our nature], exposing and judging the very thoughts and intentions of the heart. (Hebrews 4:12, AMP)

Thank you for walking with me through this series of 7 Keys to a Joy-Filled Life. I’ve really enjoyed sharing my heart with you on this subject. If this series has impacted you in some way, I would love to hear about it. I’m working on another series that I hope to offer you in a few weeks.

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Keep Your Identity in Christ

But to as many as did receive and welcome Him, He gave the right [the authority, the privilege] to become children of God, that is, to those who believe in (adhere to, trust in, and rely on) His name—who were born, not of blood [natural conception], nor of the will of the flesh [physical impulse], nor of the will of man [that of a natural father], but of God [that is, a divine and supernatural birth—they are born of God—spiritually transformed, renewed, sanctified]. (John 1:12-13, AMP)

I think one of the top two greatest secrets to a joy-filled life is keeping your identity in Christ. If I place my identity in anything but Christ I will be disappointed. Everything else will cause me to lose my joy at some point in time.

If I put my identity in what I do, I’ll lose joy when I’m called to do something new.

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Move the Fulcrum

Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. (James 1:2-4, ESV)

In the above passage of scripture we are reminded that trials will come. It’s not a matter of if, but a matter of when. Each trial serves a greater purpose in the Lord. God is refining our character and developing the image of His Son in us with every trial we face. We become more Christlike as we lean into God through the difficult times.

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