Finding Favor

The Bible defines favor as ‘gracious kindness’; approval from a superior; a special privilege granted. (See also grace)

This has been on my mind a lot lately. What does it mean to have favor with God? Does God’s favor come in material things or in our gifts and talents and how He uses us? I think some people use it incorrectly and assume if someone has been able to purchase nice things, cars and a big house, they have found favor with God. I don’t believe God’s favor comes in the form of material things. He tells us to lay up our treasures in Heaven – not in earthly things.

I believe that the Lord’s favor comes in His perfect timing and not always when we are doing everything right. We always fail to measure up. He does it when it pleases Him. To bring glory to His name. To show others who He is. We know that grace is a gift and we can’t earn it, it’s the same with favor. God bestows His favor on who He chooses.

He saved me from a tragic car accident- not because of who I was but because of who He is. I am who I am today because of Christ and His grace. He uses us to show others who He is and point them to Christ- to glorify His name.

There are times when we are trying to achieve a blessing by our own strength or by the ways of the world, God may have to cripple our self-sufficiency to make us trust Him more. We see this in Genesis when God causes Jacob’s hip to render out of place- then He had to submit to God and trust Him. I feel this was what happened to me with my accident. I had gone as far as I could on my own, trying to control things myself, hold tight to things I needed to let go of. God showed me favor by saving my life but He used this accident to show me He is in control; not me. It took this to jolt me awake and make me pay attention to what He was doing in my life and made me trust Him more.

Noah found favor with the Lord because he walked in close fellowship with God. He is an example of righteousness, obedience, courage and faith. The closer our relationship with God and the more we use what He has given us the more we will receive.

Favor goes hand in hand with blessings, which can look very different depending on the circumstances at the time. Do you think accepting a ride with a stranger in the middle of a bad part of town is a blessing? I didn’t either, actually it was one of my greatest fears at the time. But to the homeless woman I was shadowing, who had a broken foot, it was one of the greatest blessings she had in a long time. We can’t look at what others have or don’t have and say they aren’t blessed or have more things and say they have more favor than us. Each person has his own journey. You never know what led them to where they are today. I came through the fire to get where I am. Not everyone has the same experience or journey but we all have the chance to live close to God and follow Christ. We all have unique gifts and talents to be used to help others and glorify God. So don’t look at your neighbor and think they have it all, I wish I was her. She is already taken. Be you. You do it better than anyone. Let God lead and see where He takes you.

Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and he will give you everything you need. Luke 12:31 (notes: Life is not measured by how much you own.)

…to those who use well what they are given, even more will be given. Luke 19:26

Tears

I cried all morning, but wasn’t sure why. I took them to God in my quiet time of rest, seeking answers, finding peace again but still uncertain why I was crying. My heart just felt extra tender today.

Then as I finished I saw an alert on my phone telling me that my credit card had just been used in London to purchase train tickets. I was immediately able to block my card just before two other attempts, so there was only one charge that got through.

I was instructed to call my bank immediately, so I did. I hung up with a new sense of gratefulness for the quick response of my bank and being told I would not be responsible for the charge. In tears again, but I knew why this time, for God’s protection. So I thought it only fitting to post this poem God put on my heart a few weeks ago about how God can even redeem our tears. I hope you enjoy it. If you can relate, leave a comment, I would like to hear your experience of God’s beautiful redemption in your life.

A past filled with broken dreams

Hidden behind a mask of lies

A girl so naïve she thought she was loved

Her only tears filled with fear

By the grace of God she escaped his grasp

With a jaded view and a shattered heart

Her tears redeemed by scars and love

You may see her cry but she’s not sad

If she could save her tears and bottle them up

Dose by dose she would prescribe them to the world

Derived from gratefulness hot streaks overflow

Down her cheeks in overwhelming joy

Words don’t measure up

But God knows her heart’s desire

To share her gratefulness with the world

She shares her story in hopes of change

To show others Christ’s love for a broken girl

Who’s tears were redeemed

God’s Will

It could be described as when we don’t try to control the outcome and let God lead. A lot of people don’t understand or know how to do that. For a long time, I was one of them.

At one time in my life I allowed the man I was in a relationship with to control me. He controlled my actions, my words, the way I dressed, and even tried to control my thoughts, or at least had to know them as soon as they entered my head. He did not have my best interest at heart.

On the other hand, God always has our best interest at heart. He loves us so much and wants us to be the person He created us to be. He wants us to allow Him to lead us to that path. But He is not a task master. He allows us to have our own free will to decide for ourselves. I saw the dark path that leads me to, and I don’t ever want to go back there. God’s way is light and full of love. If we let go of the things of this world that lead us to the arms of the enemy, He promises us a new life full of joy and peace that eventually leads us to the Kingdom.

Last Fall I was approached by a homeless man asking for change. In my experience with non-profits and shadowing a homeless woman for a day on the streets, I’ve learned what they usually do with the money they are given. I have heard many times that we shouldn’t give it to them because they will purchase alcohol with it. Keeping to that theory, I turned him away. I usually make a zip lock bag full of other items for the winter such as socks, hand warmers, and gloves. But this time I wasn’t prepared.

I believe God showed me something about this experience. In a sense I was trying to control the outcome by not giving him the money he asked for. I am not supposed to draw conclusions about other people’s intentions, I am just supposed to give generously, help those in need and love like Jesus loved. I don’t really know for sure that he was going to purchase a drink with the money if I had given it to him. I am to be kind no matter what and let God control the outcome. Even if he did purchase something other than food with the money, that is not for me to judge or decide for him. That is between him and God.

After that I purchased the socks, gloves and hand warmers and made my package, to be ready for the next time- by the way, I also included a little money in each one. I hope I can keep learning and growing more like Jesus in everything I do. I don’t tell you this for praise but to share how we are to love everyone and be generous, so we can be more like Jesus and let God’s will lead us.

“For I was hungry, and you fed me. I was thirsty, and you have me a drink. I was a stranger, and you invited me into your home. And the King will say, ‘I tell you the truth, when you did it to one of the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were doing it to me!’” Matthew 5:35,40

Then Jesus left them a second time and prayed, “My Father! If this cup cannot be taken away unless I drink it, your will be done.” Matthew 26:52

Our Father in heaven, may your name be kept holy. May your Kingdom come soon. May your will be done on earth, as it is in heaven. Give us today the food we need, and forgive us our sins, as we have forgotten those who sin against us. And don’t let us yield to temptation but rescue us from the evil one. Matthew 6:9-13