Favor is God doing in you what you could never do for yourself. Remember Mary? See what Luke chapter one tells us about Mary.
The angel went to her and said, “Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you.” – Luke 1:28 (NIV)
Isn’t it interesting that the angel says “highly favored”? Not even Moses got the “highly favored” treatment. God never told Joseph he was “highly favored.” But Mary is “highly favored.” That’s pretty cool. Mary is “highly favored.” An angel said, “You are highly favored. The Lord is with you.”
The favor of God is the guarantee of his presence, the provision of his power, to accomplish his special purpose in and through your life.
Now please understand, this has nothing to do with the prosperity gospel. God’s favor does not mean you’re going to be as rich as you could possibly dream. If you’ve lived long enough, you know that even walking God’s path, even being faithful to God, there are times when things don’t work out as well as we’d like. We’re still subject to the trials and tribulations of this earth. We are still subject to the sorrows and the pain that go with living life here on this earth. You know that already. But God’s favor does make a difference. When you’re walking in God’s favor, you have the guarantee of His presence, the provision of His power, to accomplish His purpose in and through your life. And you want that. You want to experience God’s presence and power in your life. If you haven’t experienced it yet, you want that.
God’s favor is not what happens to me. God’s favor is not my circumstances. God’s favor is who I know is with me no matter what happens to me. I can tell you stories of loss or sadness or hurt when I knew all the time that God was still with me. I can tell you of times of success when God was with me. But in the end, the important truth is not about what happen to me; what matters is that God was with me no matter what happened.
Consider Mary again. In Luke chapter one it says Mary was not just favored, she was “highly favored.” That’s not just a rumor. The angel said it to her. So God says, Mary is highly favored. She is a young unmarried girl, engaged to be married. If you were Mary and you heard the angel say you are highly favored, you would think something really cool is going to happen. Maybe someone is going to pay for the reception hall, or someone is going to pay for the cake. Maybe the wedding dress is going to be donated or something else is going to happen that’s really cool. Instead, Mary is told that she is pregnant. She is told what the name of the baby will be, and that after he becomes a grown man he be nailed to a criminal’s cross, ridiculed and die publicly forsaken. Does that sound like “highly favored” to you? Do you think Mary felt “highly favored”?
Thankfully, that was not the end of the story. God raised her child from the dead. And Mary ultimately understood what a treasure Jesus was.
Having God’s favor is not about what happens to you. It is about knowing that God is with you no matter what happens to you.