I wrote this post in 2019 but never uploaded it. God’s favor has been with us through some crazy times, and this post was a good reminder to me that His favor doesn’t always look like how we expect. Enjoy, and God bless!
The day after I experienced the favor of God in parable form, I woke up to a cold shower, snow, and a husband who needed to be to work 1.5 hours early. How could I still have God’s favor, even in the midst of these trials?
That’s when I learned my second lesson about favor: Favor does not always look like we expect.
Let’s start from the beginning. We have the favor of God because of the work that Jesus did for us on the cross. Because of the sacrifice of God’s Son, we have eternal life, and an abundant life that we can live now. The favor that is described in the Bible has little to do with material possessions. It really describes our relationship with God, that God is now pleased with us, and that He wants to grow us into efficient, joyful children that produce His fruit.
When we talk about favor, we usually think of Romans 8:28 — “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose” (NIV). Romans 8:29, the verse right after it, says, “For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters” (NIV). God’s plan for us is not to have all the money in the world, all the status, or even all the power. God’s plan for us is to be like Jesus. That’s what God’s favor is.
One example of a human experiencing God’s favor in the Bible is Mary. The angel Gabriel said that Mary was highly favored with God, and that she was blessed among women (Luke 1:28). However, I’m sure she didn’t feel the favor of God when she had to tell her husband she was pregnant, and when she had to live with the ridicule of people not understanding the power of God at work in her life. And having been pregnant, I’m sure she wouldn’t have been thinking God’s favor was with her as she experienced morning sickness and all the other uncomfortable symptoms that come with carrying a child! Of course, the miracle inside her womb was the greatest blessing we could ever imagine, but to Mary, in that moment, it probably didn’t seem that way.
If she had favor the way that we view favor, her husband wouldn’t have sought to divorce her. If she had favor the way that we view favor, she wouldn’t have given birth where people fed their animals. If she had favor the way that we view favor, she wouldn’t have had to run from King Herod, who wanted every baby boy under the age of two killed. If she had favor the way that we view favor, she wouldn’t have lost her twelve-year-old son when He was in the temple.
God’s favor is God’s grace. The moment that brought you the deepest shame, in Christ, will be the moment where you’ve experienced the greatest grace. The moment where you’ve hit rock bottom is where you discover that God is everything you need. The moment you realize you have a debt you can’t pay is the moment you realize that God has credited righteousness to those who trust in His promises (see Romans 4).
Whether you’re in a good or bad season, God’s favor is with you.
“The LORD will guide you always; he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame. You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail.” – Isaiah 58:11