How To Be Radiant
Well, we have seen how to be miserable:
by looking within and relying on your own understanding.
(Of course Proverbs 3:5 tells us not to lean on our own understanding,
but to rather acknowledge Him in all our ways.) We have
also seen how to be distracted by looking at others around us.
(Paul also tells us in II Corinthians 10:12 that when we measure
ourselves by ourselves, and comparing ourselves among ourselves,
we are not wise.) Asaph got himself out of the funk he had
gotten into by looking to God and setting his affections on things
Now in Psalm 34 we will see David rejoicing in God's great
deliverance. He makes a statement of truth in Psalm 34:5
whose simplicity continues to elude people today. When people
look to God they are radiant. When they look anywhere else,
they will be disappointed. Setting our affection on God
and the things of God will make a difference in our lives.
David declares this truth in Psalm 34.
I will bless the LORD at all times: his praise shall continually
be in my mouth.
2 My soul shall make her boast
in the LORD: the humble shall hear thereof, and be glad.
3 O magnify the LORD with
me, and let us exalt his name together. [WHY?]
4 I sought the LORD, and he
heard me, and delivered me from all my fears. [Then to
show how this principle is applicable to all of God's people
who will set their affection on things above he says...]
5 They looked unto him, and
were lightened [NIV & NAS have radiant]: and their faces
were not ashamed.
Two of my earliest
teachers taught me secrets to victory in Psalm 34:5. One
called this verse, “The Secret to Radiant Living.”
While the other called it, “The Secret to a Holy
Life.” I'm teaching it today for the same reason they
did - that it no longer remain a secret.
The result of looking unto God is radiance. It's
a countenance that reflects the glory of God to a needy world.
God is light and in Him is no darkness at all. Any light
that we have comes from Him. This is the secret of peace
and happiness and of real progress in Christian living.
No matter how much we look at ourselves... No matter how
much we look at others... Those efforts only defeat and
frustrate. They never enable us to live the abundant life
that Jesus Christ came to make available.
So instead of looking to Him to be enlightened, we have
followed Asaph's example and looked either at ourselves or at
someone else. Therefore we have manifested frustration and
fear in our lives and have not tapped into the secret of living.
David sought the Lord, Psalm 34:4 tells us. For the
most part people do not do that. Instead, they seek what
the Lord can do for them. You will find people today doing
the same thing. They seek the blessing rather than seek
the Blesser, the One who has blessed them. They are in it
for what they can get and go after it with “full speed ahead!”
Problems arise, however, when they get the things they sought,
because they do not provide the satisfaction, meaning, or contentment
that was anticipated. Only a relationship with the Blesser
can fulfill the longing in our hearts. Then the things He
gives mean so much more to us because we know the love with which
He gave them.
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
who hath blessed [past tense] us with all spiritual blessings
in heavenly places in Christ.
If this is true, then, are we blessed?
Then we need not seek the blessing; we need to seek Him Who is
the Blesser. We seek Him in love and gratitude for all He
has done for us. Only knowing Him as a loving heavenly Father
will ever fill our soul' s most sincere desires.
How do we look unto a God who is invisible? We look
at him in the scriptures and in the face of Jesus Christ.
Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith...
So the Christian believer has to
quit looking at himself and look at Christ! We have to look
at what the scriptures teach us that we are in Christ Jesus.
That is the secret to living. To quit looking at ourselves
and to look at God Who shed abroad in our hearts His presence
and power by the holy spirit. We can also look unto Jesus
for as he said in John 14:9, “He who has seen me has seen
Hebrews 12:2a [New English
Our eyes fixed on Jesus on whom faith depends from start to
The Greek word for “looking”
is aphoraō. It is a compound word made up
of apo, “away from” and horaō,
to perceive with the eyes, used of bodily sight. Bullinger
translates it “to look away from one thing so as to see
another.” Bauer's lexicon says it means “to
fix one's eyes trustingly on someone.” A good translation
of Hebrews 12:2 would be, “Looking away from all else unto
We look to Jesus because he is the author, the archēgos.
He is the founder, the originator, the leader, the one who breaks
the ground and sets the standard. Thayer says archēgos
means the one who takes the lead in anything and thus affords
an example. Jesus stands at the head to lead. As dearly
beloved children of God, let's play follow the leader
with him. He has blazed the path for us. Let's walk
in his steps.
Not only is Jesus the author, he is the finisher, teleiōtēs.
He is the perfecter or consummator. He is the one who alone
brought faith's work to completion. In him we find God's
work of faith brought to completion. Hebrews 12:3 continues,
making the choice we have to make very clear.
For consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners
against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds.
Not only are we to look to Jesus,
but we are also to “consider him.” “For”
is the Greek gar that we studied in Romans 12:3.
Thayer says it is a particle of affirmation and conclusion.
“Truly therefore” consider him. It explains
fully how we are to look to him by directing us to further action
— to consider him, analogizomai. Analogziomai
is in the middle voice which means we are to think for ourselves,
no one can do it for us. It is one of eleven Greek words
translated “consider.” It is also a compound
word, comprised of ana, which is used as a prefix to
show repetition and intensity and to strengthen the action of
the verb and logizomai meaning “to reckon or think
it through,” or “to come to a correct and logical
A literal translation according to usage of Hebrews 12:3
could be: “Truly therefore consider for yourself in
detail how Jesus Christ bore up under pressure and be strengthened
as you think it through again and again realizing that he is in
you...” The choice presented to us in this verse is
to consider him in detail or to faint in our minds. We can
look to him by considering in detail what he endured for us realizing
that same strength is in us, or we can faint in our minds.
We can look to him and be radiant, or we can look to anything
else and be overwhelmed.
Wherefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling,
consider the Apostle and High Priest of our profession, Christ
2 Who was faithful to him
that appointed him...
By looking at his example of faithfulness we,
too, can become faithful. This is part of what God has made
available to us in Christ Jesus. Jesus Christ was faithful
to Him Who appointed Him, and we can be, too.