When you look to the future do you expect the worst of the world, or do you expect the best of God? Because the truth is that you always find what you are looking for.
The favor of God. A phrase you will see all over the bible talking about people like Noah where it says that he found favor in the eyes of the Lord, or David who talks about how God covers us with favor like a shield, or even about Jesus were told that he increased in favor with God and man. & you might hear that and think “wow good for them must be nice” – but hear me, anyone who is in Jesus lives in the unending favor of God – including you.
Have you ever heard the phrase “Will you do me a favor?”. Maybe you’ve asked someone this before but what you are essentially asking is “Will you go above and beyond what is normally expected of you?” Will you go out of your way to help me?”
& when you have someone’s favor, maybe a teacher or a coach, they go out of their way, using what they have, to bless you, to give you opportunities, encourage you, vouch for you.
So, when you have the favor of God, it is when God supernaturally works on your behalf. It’s when he uses all he is and all he has to bless you. It’s when he works behind the scenes of your life to work it all for your good. He goes out of his way, goes above and beyond to bring good things into your life.
To explain how, we have to go back. You see, before Jesus, humanity did not live in the unending favor of God. Under the law, the 10 commandments, every time we would mess up, we would lose God’s favor. He would turn away from us, things would go badly, so we would cry out to him, in his mercy he would restore us, but then we would mess it up again and the cycle would repeat itself. But God in his goodness said there is a better way & like Ps 30:5 says “For his anger lasts only a moment, but his favor lasts a lifetime” On the cross God took all of his anger towards our failures, our sin, & our sickness, and took it out on Jesus for a single moment, so that you could live a lifetime in the unending favor of God.
Now our favor with God isn’t determined by our behavior, we didn’t do anything to earn it so we can’t do anything to lose it. From now on, in Jesus, God is always pleased with us, wanting good things for our lives, and helping us. In Jesus, you have the favor of God.
& an easy way to tell if you believe that or not is this- when you look at your life, do you primarily see failure or favor? When you look back on your past do you see all the things that went wrong, or do you see all the ways that God made things right? When you look to the future do you expect the worst of the world, or do you expect the best of God? Because the truth is that you always find what you are looking for.
I know that to be true from personal experience. A few years ago, God showed me that I was looking at my life through a lens of shame. Because of some difficult things that had happened to me in the past – I began expecting the worst out of life & I found what I was looking for. God supernaturally working things for my good wasn’t even an idea in my head. I expected to fail that test, for that person to not want to be friends with me, to lose that game. & my issue wasn’t that God hadn’t been good to me before, my issue was that I was focusing on all the things that were wrong, so I couldn’t see what was right. I didn’t think God’s favor could be something besides me getting what I wanted in the moment. I compared other people’s favor, the good things happening to them,
A lot of times we can look at our disappointing circumstances and come to a conclusion about God. But let me ask you –
Would you say that the apostle Paul, the guy who performed miracles and wrote most of the NT – would you say he had the favor of God on his life? That’s an easy yes – but remember – he was also the guy who was shipwrecked, persecuted, and thrown in prison. Does that mean God wasn’t supernaturally working on his behalf?
Or what about King David, a man after God’s own heart, king of Israel, won every battle he fought in – Would it be accurate to say that God favored him? Absolutely, right? Remember he also was his Fathers least favorite son & spent 10 years running from a madman that wanted to kill him.
If those people and many more, undeniably had the favor of the Lord on their life, and all of them faced challenging circumstances, then how we may feel about our circumstances is completely unrelated to the favor of God in our life.
Romans 8:32 says “If he (God) who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all – how will he not also, graciously give us all things?” God is a good father who goes ABOVE AND BEYOND to give his kids everything that they need. If you need it, he will give it to you. And if you don’t have it, then maybe you don’t actually need it.
James 1:17 says that “every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father”.
That’s important bc remember I told you earlier that I didn’t used to think that I had the favor of God. But it all started to flip once I started to see that EVERY good thing in my life was from God. And even in hard situations – when my family was going bankrupt – It was his favor because I got to see HIM go above and beyond & provide in miraculous ways. In a breakup – it was his favor to cause that to happen because he knew that it wasn’t a good thing for me.
It’s in circumstances that maybe weren’t my FAVORITE, I still had God’s favor, supernaturally working on my behalf to bless me. & instead of expecting the worst of the world, he helped me begin to expect the best of God. & more than before, I look to the future and expect to get a good grade on that test, I expect that relationship to go well, I expect to find joy throughout my day. & that’s because the favor of God isn’t seen in the possessions you hold, it’s seen through the perspective of your heart.
So let me challenge you – think of one situation – maybe that’s happening now – maybe you went through before – maybe it didn’t necessarily go the way you wanted – but right now ask the Holy Spirit to show you how God was supernaturally working on your behalf IN that situation. Ask him to show you how he used it for your good. Because when we can begin to recognize his favor from before, we will begin to anticipate and expect it in the future. And you always find what you’re looking for.
In Jesus, you live in the unending favor of God.