Strength and dignity are her clothing, And she smiles at the future.Proverbs 31:25(NASB)
There are many fine qualities to be found in a virtuous woman, or in a righteous man, and being clothed in strength and excellence, dignity and honour is a beautiful way to describe the person that trusts in the Lord and reverences His holy name. In Proverbs, we read that, "the virtuous woman is clothed in strength and dignity and she smiles at the future."
So often, in the Word of God, the believer is expected to be clothed in righteousness, strength and humility, shod with the gospel of peace, and covered with a garment of gracious praise, and each virtue that is manifested in the life of a believer is simply the reflected glory of Christ's own perfect righteousness and His gracious humility. When we are clothed in Christ's righteousness, it is His dignified strength and His gracious love that shines through - (it is: Christ in you the hope of glory).
It was king Lemuel that wrote of the woman who clothed herself in strength and honour, in his beautiful description of a virtuous lady, whose worth is far greater than jewels and who smiles confidently at the future. The exquisite description of this woman and the many godly qualities she exhibits are those that every Christian should seek to emulate, through the power of the indwelling Holy Spirit.
But when these gracious qualities of virtue and strength, excellence, dignity and honour are displayed in the life of a Christian, it is simply the fruit of the Spirit being shown forth in the man or woman of God, who is humbly submitted to the leading and guidance of the Holy Spirit. Such godly characteristics are manifest in a believer who is prepared to say, 'He must increase and I must decrease.'
But whenever a person, be they man or woman, seeks to clothe themselves in their own righteous acts instead of being covered with Christ's perfect righteousness, they discover they have fallen from God's grace into human self-effort and self-striving, in order to produce good works of the flesh, that they think will please the Lord. But they have strayed from living by faith, that depends on His work within, to living a Christian life through personal performance and their own human merit.
They have fallen into the trap of the Galatian Christians - for having been saved by grace through faith in Christ, they foolishly try to live their lives by carrying out works of the law and striving to attain a godly disposition by personal merit. But the only virtue we possess and the only righteousness and strength that God will accept from His children is the righteousness of Christ - which only comes by faith in Him, and has nothing to do with our own personal performance or human merit.
The virtuous woman or righteous man is the one that is prepared to die to self and live for Christ, knowing that it is God who works in them, to will and to do His good pleasure. The virtuous woman or righteous man is clothed in strength and excellence, dignity and honour - knowing that His grace is sufficient, and that His strength is made perfect in our weakness.
May we be so immersed in Christ Jesus our Lord that we are thus enabled to glory in the God of our salvation and to rejoice in the bright hope for the future.
Loving Father, my heart rejoices in You, for You are the One that has forgiven my sin and clothed me in the righteousness of the Lord Jesus as a free gift of grace. As I look for that Blessed Hope to come, may I draw ever closer to the Lord Jesus today, so that His virtue and strength, goodness, grace, and love, are increasingly reflected through me to others, and may I ever sing praises to Your honour and glory. In Jesus name I pray, AMEN.
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