I will bless the Lord at all times; his praise shall continually be in my mouth. My soul makes its boast in the Lord; let the humble hear and be glad. Oh, magnify the Lord with me, and let us exalt his name together! I sought the Lord, and he answered me and delivered me from all my fears. Those who look to him are radiant, and their faces shall never be ashamed. This poor man cried, and the Lord heard him and saved him out of all his troubles. The angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear him, and delivers them. Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good! Blessed is the man who takes refuge in him!

Psalm 34:1–8 (ESV)

Have you ever felt God point out a verse to you and then had multiple people share that verse with you? That happened to me a few years ago with Psalm 34:5. As I’ve mentioned before, when I was a teenager and in my young twenties, I heavily struggled with shame. I always felt like I was the worst person ever who did the worst things possible. This was obviously a lie and not true. My poor 19-year-old heart could barely handle it.

One time, while reading through the Psalms, I found myself in chapter 34 reading verse 5. My heart was struck by the words, “Those who look to Him are radiant, as their faces shall never be covered in shame.” In that moment this verse became the prayer of my heart and, at the same time, an important truth of the Lord was spoken to me: if you choose to look at me, shame is no longer your identity.

Needless to say, this truth rocked my world and began to change my heart. However, it took me a while to recognize that a part of looking towards God and choosing to live in His radiant life is thankfulness and praise! Choosing to live in thanksgiving and praise is an incredibly important facet of radiance. Life is hard. Hard things happen, and a lot of the time I feel the farthest thing from radiant. Yet, when thanksgiving and praise enter the chat, it can be hard to not feel elevated in the Love of Christ.

If it’s hard to think of things to be thankful for, start off with shouting out praises for the socks on your feet, the coffee you drank this morning or your favorite sweater. It feels silly, but as the thankfulness stirs up in your heart, it becomes easier and easier!

Lord, thank you for oatmilk!
Lord, thank you for my dog, Cleo.
Lord, thank you for my friendships and family!
Lord, thank you for my sweet husband.
Lord, thank you for your love.

What are you thankful for today? You are radiant, my friend!

Blessings + love,
Kristie Cossel

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