David boldly declared, “For I shall yet praise Him, the help [health] of my countenance” (Psalm 42:11). And he repeats the same statement in Psalm 43:5. In the original Hebrew, the proper rendering of both these verses is, “God is the salvation of my face!”
I believe David is saying something important here. You see, your face is a billboard that advertises what’s going on in your heart. All the joy or turmoil that’s inside you is reflected in your countenance. When I speak of countenance, I am talking about facial expression, body language, tone of voice.
For example, when my mind is loaded down with the cares of our church—sermons, finances, relationships—I have a tendency to slouch. I look preoccupied. My brow is furrowed. Some people even tell me I look sad.
One day I was walking along 52nd Street near Hannah House, totally absorbed with church business and probably slouched over. I came upon a crack house where a woman sat on the stoop, smiling from ear to ear. I could see she was high on crack. She watched me approaching and as I got nearer she spoke up, “Mister, it can’t be that bad.”
I was flabbergasted! I thought, “Here is this woman, high on crack, and here I am, a man of God. She’s smiling and looking good and I’m slouched over, as if all hope is gone.” What a rebuke it was to me!
I thank God for His great salvation—for redeeming our soul, our spirit, even our body. But many of us need to get our faces saved! We need a Holy Ghost face-lift—because our faces are giving the wrong message to the world!
One young woman came into Hannah House with lines of sin etched deeply in her face. Her countenance was extremely hard. Yet, two weeks after she was saved, no one could believe the change. I didn’t even recognize her.
Why such a change of countenance? “A man’s wisdom makes his face shine, and the sternness of his face is changed” (Ecclesiastes 8:1).
I take “wisdom” in this verse to mean Jesus Christ. Indeed, the very presence of Christ in your heart has a direct impact on your face! It affects your walk, your talk, the very tone of your voice.