During our closing prayer in Bible study, the leader prayed for "all these brilliant women" who are members of our small group, seeking the Lord and studying his Word together. After we said "Amen," at least three of us remarked about being called "brilliant," because that is not something we hear often. But you know? It's true. We each are brilliant, called to shine God's light in a dark world.
The words "brilliant" and "brilliance" appear six times in Scripture (NIV), but in nearly every case it is in reference to light, not to an enlightened or intelligent mind. Yes, we are to use our mental faculties for God's glory, particularly as it comes to studying His Word and teaching others. But even more important than being smart is living our lives as a testimony of His faithfulness. In the Beatitudes, Jesus Himself commands us to "let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven" (Matthew 5:16). Paul tells us that we "shine like stars in the universe as you hold out the word of life" (Philippians 2:15b-16). Can you think of any light more brilliant than a star?
As you live a life surrendered to God's will and anchored in the promises of His Word, the glory of God will shine in your countenance and people will begin to take notice of the One living within you. No matter how bleak things may appear, remember you are brilliant and shine!