There is a great emphasis today on physical beauty. Physical beauty has always been an appreciated quality, but it seems that today in our visually-orientated culture this quality is more valued than ever. There is more than one kind of beauty of course. The enduring kind of beauty is spiritual beauty, and there are also what we call "beautiful souls". There are certain qualities some people have which are extremely attractive.
Physical beauty is valued to some extent by everybody. I don't know if there is anyone out there who wants to volunteer to be ugly. Sadly, many people HATE the way they look and they reject themselves because of it. And this can then twist their self-image and distort their soul and personality, making them truly unattractive to others. In this matter, I believe that we need to receive from God some spiritual enlightenment so we give the correct value to things, otherwise we will end up being miserable. And misery is not the will of God for any person, especially not a child of God.
Nevertheless, the Lord does make a difference even on the issue of physical beauty, temporal as it is. The Bible says:
"For the Lord takes pleasure in His people; He will beautify the humble with salvation". (Psalm 149:4)
Isaiah 61:3 talks about the Lord giving people a crown of beauty for ashes.
King David said, "Hope in God, for I shall yet praise Him, The help of my countenance, and my God." (Psalm 42:11)
Because our whole being is interconnected, the spiritual and soulish parts also affect the way the body looks. God makes a difference here. Whatever natural beauty God may have already given to you, He can add to it. Whoever gets regularly filled with the Spirit of God and follows the leading of the Lord in His life will have a more joyful and attractive countenance (face). God may even fix certain issues on the face which mar it. After all, he made our bodies in such a way that they would generally self-heal.
I remember one time when I was ministering in Romania to this demon-possessed child. My wife was there (she was not my wife yet but a part of the ministry team and we were courting). This demon-possessed child lashed out and scratched my wife's beautiful face and it did affect her for a while. See, the demons like to marr and destroy beauty. They are full of hate. It stands to reason then that God wants to heal, restore and beautify. And He does. God loves you and it says that He will beautiful the humble with salvation. Remember that salvation is all that God does in restoring all things to His original intention, devoid of sin and its consequences.
Salvation in its fullness does not manifest in this present age. We only get a taste of it. We get a deposit. We receive the Holy Spirit, the new birth and a deposit of some of the good things that our Father has for us in this life. We don't receive our inheritance in Christ fully in this life, in this evil age. We battle demons and unregenerate selfishness within us taking hold of the work of Jesus on the cross, and we receive partially of the total provision of God. If we did receive fully, we would never suffer any kind of sickness ever in this life. The reality is, some genuine Christians do have to battle more in the area of health than others.
Ultimately, there is something called the Redemption of our Bodies, referred to in Romans 8:23. This is future. Until then, God might make some smaller fixes and certainly He is willing to give us a joyful face and shine a bit of glory out from time to time. But our bodies do decay and grow old. In the age to come, we will receive glorious, perfect and beautiful resurrection bodies. It won't be a patch up job.
The Bible also says that "Man looks on the outward appearance, but God looks on the heart". The heart is the spiritual part of man. Because spirit is MORE REAL and MORE ETERNAL and of greater value than the part which is temporal and fleeting, and because it is totally visible to Almighty God, naturally God looks on THIS PART of people. Things like honesty, humility, meekness, faith are beautiful spiritual qualities highly valued and appreciated by God the Father and by the Lord Jesus Christ.
To confirm that this is God's perspective, consider the following Scripture addressed to women:
"Do not let your adornment be merely outward—arranging the hair, wearing gold, or putting on fine apparel — rather let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the incorruptible beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very precious in the sight of God.
(1 Peter 3:3-4)
The word "merely" was added – its not in the original. I think God finds pompous and vain displays of wealth and pride quite a turn off actually – whether it is women or men doing it. Adding the word "merely" implies that God wants women to do MORE than JUST fancy hairstyles, wearing gold or putting on fancy clothes. But the truth is, God isn't into this kind of fancy and haughty self-adornment at all. I think He is happy for women to "look their best" and maybe a little bit of makeup is fine to cover some of the flaws that are common to most of us. But the natural look and modest clothing are best. There is something really wrong with church women dressing up like alluring worldly prostitutes or movie starlets. The Spirit of God will reveal this if people are willing to receive it.
The real thing that God appreciates is this gentle and quiet spirit. Jesus said of Himself that He is meek and lowly of heart (Matthew 11:28,29) and He Himself is quite reserved in a way. He is not a bombastic show off, You have to really SEEK Him out if you are going to get to know Him. He doesn't give himself out cheaply. And this is the way godly women should be. If you are a woman, you are valuable and precious. You are not a piece of sexual merchandise, eye candy or someone who trades on her looks. If you are single you are not defective. You do not need a man to make you a valid and worthy human being. If a man is to court you he needs to seek you out and if you are wise it will be your internal and character qualities that are a major factor in your attractiveness.
So when the Bible says that God will beautify the humble with salvation, I believe that it is primarily in the area of the spirit that God will work. But God's work in beautifying His people is NOT limited to the spirit. Both extremes need to be avoided. There is a time and a place for everything. For most of us, we will not have this flawless body until the resurrection. So don't allow body image to become a major focus in your life. It is a lost cause to seek perfection in this area. Instead, make the Lord your focus and allow Him to transform you. God knows there are only a few short years left or maybe decades before we are all going out of this Age into Eternity. So enjoy the journey and don't let a focus on your body rob you of the joy that could be yours. In the meantime, don't be surprised if as you keep your eyes on the Lord that He will make you a more radiant personality and even the way your face looks might change for the better!