Your situation may look impossible, but don't ever rule out the favor of God. ~ Joel Osteen
If your life is like mine, I'm guessing that you're going through some stuff. You can't live on this earth very long before you realize that there is some nasty stuff out there, pain and trials that the devil has concocted to try to intimidate and frighten you. Some days, he seems to be doing a pretty good job.
But – no matter what is going on in your life, no matter what situations you face, you have a profound and powerful Helper who is ready to aid and assist. Someone who can change your circumstances; Someone who has all the might and power necessary to totally change your life. Psalm 66:12 says, We went through fire and through water; but You brought us out to rich fulfillment. If it feels like you're drowning or in the midst of a fiery trial, how wonderful it is to know that God is on your side!
Consider this promise. For he [God] says, "In the time of my favor I heard you, and in the day of salvation I helped you." I tell you, now is the time of God's favor, now is the day of salvation . (2 Cor. 6: 2 NIV) God is ready to help you, no matter what! Why? Because He loves you just as much as He does Jesus. (See John 3:16, 16:27 and 17:23).
Everything God does is from a position of love. The Bible was given to us by God; every promise in it is as sure to us as the words He spoke when He created the world! "Let there be light" was not any more powerful than "wealth and riches shall be in thine house" (Ps. 112: 3) or "I will restore health unto thee and heal thee of thy wounds" (Jer. 30:17 ).
You might ask yourself, "Why did God put all that stuff in the Bible anyway?" The answer is simple – because He wants you to know about His great goodness and favor! He wants you to understand His heart of Love so He packaged it in a way that you and I could comprehend. And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love … (I John 4:16). So He gave you Himself in a Book.
After all, since you found out how to put letters together to make words, almost everything you've learned has come to you through words – either spoken or written. Every year in school, teachers handed out textbooks at the new grade level so you could increase your knowledge. You read and studied those chapters, took tests, and (presumably) got smarter!
Remember what God told Joshua when he had to step into Moses' shoes? This Book of the Law shall not depart out of thy mouth, but thou shalt meditate in it day and night (Joshua 1: 8). Why? For then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success! God wanted Joshua (and you) to be prosperous and successful. How? The same way you learned high school algebra or English – by study and repetition (meditation).
The Bible says, Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man (Luke 2:52). Since Jesus had the ability to increase in favor, so do you. To experience the fullness of God's favor in your life, however, there are some things you should pay attention to. Let's look at one of my favorite Psalms (Ps. 37) for instruction, starting at verse 3:
Trust in the LORD,
God's favor is readily available to everyone. Its first manifestation turns a sinner into a born-again, redeemed, sanctified believer. [All] are justified and made upright and in right standing with God, freely and gratuitously by His grace (His unmerited favor and mercy), through the redemption which is [provided] in Christ Jesus, (Rom. 3:24 AMP). Once you take that step, continue to honor God for Who He is . D evelop your faith to the point where you trust God in all things, not just your salvation.
and do good;
The Bible repeatedly says to 'be a blessing', and to treat others as you want to be treated. Jesus taught that you should love ye your enemies, and do good, and lend, hoping for nothing again (Luke 6:35). He also said, And when ye stand praying, forgive … (Mark 4:12). He tied the success of your prayers to forgiveness. What happens then?
so shalt thou dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed.
The word 'so' in that verse means 'in order that'. In other words, you won't get the second part if you're not doing the first part. God wants to give you a good place to live and food on your table. He wants to take care of you! Joel 2:26 says, And ye shall eat in plenty, and be satisfied, and praise the Name of the LORD your God. Jesus explained it this way: your heavenly Father knows that you have need of all these things. But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you (Matt. 6: 32-33).
Delight thyself also in the LORD:
When you delight in something, it catches and keeps your attention. Delight means to be extremely satisfied, very happy, pleased or satisfied. Are you delighted with God? Do you hurry to spend time with Him in His Word, studying, singing, praying, meditating and speaking His promises? It blesses Him to know that your delight is in the law of the LORD; and in His law doth he meditate day and night (Ps. 1: 2).
and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart.
God wants to bless you and give you favor because He loves you. He brought me forth also into a large pace: he delivered me, because He delighted in me (2 Sam. 22:20). God wants to give you more than just the daily necessities. He wants you to be so blessed that you can be a blessing to others. He wants people to see His favor at work in your life.
Commit thy way unto the LORD; trust also in Him,
He shall call upon me, and I will answer him: I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him, and honor him (Ps. 91:15). Don't think of prayer as some big, complicated communion with God. Talk to Him. Tell Him how you feel and what you need and want, then trust Him to bring it to pass. Commit to His ways and His timing instead of trying to figure it out for yourself. Tell Him, "I know You've got a good plan for my life, and I trust You to make it all work out."
and He shall bring it to pass …
There's the promise. No matter what it looks like, God is working. When you plant a seed, it may be weeks before you see the sprout. That's because of all the things that have to happen in the dark! While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen … (2 Cor. 4:18). God is growing something good for your life. Trust Him and quit looking at the weeds!
Rest in the LORD,
Do you know how to rest? To just lie back and let go of all your cares and worries? For we who have believed do enter into rest (Heb. 4: 3). You can have the peace, joy and patience of God, but only if you stop trying to fix it all by yourself. Hebrews 4:11 says to labor therefore to enter into that rest. Your labor is the same as Joshua's – stay focused on the Word of God instead of the circumstances.
and wait patiently for Him;
But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, lacking nothing (James 1: 4). Patience buoys faith, trusting God's timing and not your own. I admit, it is difficult to do in today's 'gotta have it now' culture. But part of the lesson of grace and favor is waiting for God's timing.
fret not thyself …
Trust is an important component of any relationship. God wants you to trust Him to take care of you. Casting all your care upon Him; for He cares for you (I Peter 5: 7). Be careful not to allow your feelings to control your actions. Once you give your problems and fears to God, rejoice!
Cease from anger, and forsake wrath:
Nothing blocks faith's results quicker than anger and unforgiveness. And grieve not the holy Spirit of God … Let all bitterness and wrath and anger … be put away from you … and be ye kind to one another … (Eph. 4: 30-32). God's mercy is new every morning. That means yesterday is gone and forgiven. As His children, we should practice the same forbearance and mercy.
And the LORD shall help them and deliver them; … and save them, because they trust in Him. (v. 40)
There's a lot more meat in Psalm 37 than there is room for in this article, but it ends with this promise. You will be helped, delivered and saved from all the 'stuff' the world and the devil can throw at you.
Faith and favor go hand-in-hand. Ask and it shall be given to you. As you do your part, God will do His part. In fact, He already has! Every promise in the Bible has already been spoken and released on your behalf.
Step out in faith and experience the favor of God. Favor is God's answer to your prayers for mercy and deliverance. He wants to do you good!