Those who look to him are radiant;

    their faces are never covered with shame.

Every face turned to him grows brighter (Jerusalem Bible).

The Lord bless you

    and keep you;

the Lord make his face shine on you

    and be gracious to you;

 the Lord turn his face toward you

    and give you peace (Numbers 6:24-26).

His name was Alan and, for a short time when I was a teenager, he was my Bible class leader at a local church in Winstanley, Wigan. The thing I most remember about Alan is his radiance. I can’t remember much about his teaching, but I remember him. He shone. He was “aglow with the Spirit” (Romans 12:11). Alan was a new convert and he was just so in love with Jesus he was like walking sunshine. His influence was great. He went on to have a major leadership role in the ‘Full Gospel Businessmen’s Fellowship International.’ I ran into him from time to time in later years, and I found he was always the same – such a bright Christian.

It may often be the case that the most important change we need is internal rather than external. God may, or may not, free us from troubles on the outside, but He can give us such a light, a luminosity on the inside that we are overcomers anyway.

The word “radiant” is found in Isaiah 60:5 where it describes a mother’s face lighting up at the sight of her children long given up for lost. Just imagine the ecstasy.

Exodus 34:29 tells of Moses’ face shining as he came down from the mountain (and he didn’t even know it!), and 2 Corinthians 3:18 relates this to a Christian’s growing likeness to the Lord. So radiance is, Biblically-speaking, both delight and glory – the transformation of the whole person – and this was what I saw in Alan.

It reminds me of the story about the author Edgar Wallace, who lived in the same street as a godly clergyman. Apparently, Wallace said, ‘As long as I live in the same street as that old man, I can never doubt that there is a God.’

The second part of the text says: “…their faces are never covered with shame.” This means we will never be disappointed as a result of looking to the Lord. Matthew Henry references Hannah who “…went her way and ate something, and her face was no longer downcast” (1 Samuel 1:18).

PRAYER: Lord God, please grant that people may see the beauty of Jesus in me.