When good things happen to unbelievers, they call it luck; when good things happened to believers, we call it favor! As Christians we don’t consider ourselves to be lucky, we are “blessed”—highly favored by God. When God was grieved with all mankind, “Noah found grace [favor] in the eyes of the Lord” (Gen. 6:8). The Hebrew word translated “grace” is also translated “favor” and is used interchangeably in other scriptures. One man found favor with God and saved the human race. That’s the importance of divine favor.

Proverbs 12:2 proclaims, “A good man obtains favor from the Lord.” How can we gain God’s favor? Grace, by definition, is “unmerited love, unearned divine favor.” None of us deserve grace. It’s similar to salvation in that it is a gift. All we can do is put ourselves in a receptive position with right attitudes of the heart (i.e., faith, obedience, sincerity, gratitude, repentance, humility, etc.) and believe and receive it.

Psalms 5:12 declares, “For You, O Lord, will bless the righteous; with favor will you surround him as with a shield.” God placed a wall of favor around Job that Satan could not penetrate. If fact, he complained to God, “Have You not made a hedge around him, around his household, and around all that he has on every side?” (Job 1:10). Of course, we know God temporarily lifted that hedge and allowed Job’s faith to be severely tested. In the end, God gave him double for all his trouble. God’s favor overcame his unfavorable circumstances.

How many accidents have been avoided in your life due to the unseen hand of Providence? The devil desires to destroy your life, marriage, family, health, finances, etc. He plots to trap you in addiction, trip you with temptation, drive you into depression or suicide, and bury you in a premature grave. But something, or someone, has prevented it—God’s shield of favor around your life.

Jesus stood in His home synagogue in Nazareth and read Isaiah’s Messianic Prophecy—“The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, because He has anointed Me…to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord (Lk. 4:18-19). Other versions render this “the favorable year of the Lord” or “the year of the Lord’s favor.” This is a reference to the year of Jubilee, which occurred every fifty years in ancient Israel (Lev. 25). It was a year of rest when debts were forgiven, slaves were freed, land was restored back to its original owners, and God granted such a bumper crop in the 48th year that it sustained them through the 49th year (a sabbatical year in which no crops were planted or reaped) and the 50th year (Jubilee). The good news is we don’t have to wait every fifty years to experience Jubilee. In Jesus, every day is a spiritual Feast of Jubilee—a time of divine favor released. Ponder these points on favor from the life of David:

          1. God’s favor finds people who have a pure heart. When the Prophet Samuel went to Bethlehem to anoint a new king over Israel, he was impressed with Jesse’s sons. The three oldest were soldiers in Saul’s army, fine specimens of humanity. These young Jewish men fit the bill—tall, dark, and handsome. But God’s favor passed over the strapping soldiers and found a sincere shepherd boy. The Bible describes David, “Now he was ruddy, with bright eyes, and good-looking” (1 Sam. 16:12). Ruddy means “reddish of hair and complexion.” He looked different than his siblings but God noticed something else was different too—his pure heart. God’s favor has nothing to do with your age, race, height, weight, hair color, money, talent, or credentials. It’s all about the condition of your heart! Why did God love a red-headed harp player so much? His song lyrics provide the answer—“Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me…a broken and a contrite heart—these, O God, You will not despise” (Ps. 51:10, 17).

          2. God’s favor opens doors of opportunity. A search was made, auditions were held, and David was summoned to the royal court to play music to soothe King Saul’s tormented soul. Saul recognized God’s favor (something he had lost) on David and hired him as his personal armor bearer and musician. David was a skilled singer, songwriter, and harpist, but he had more than mere talent—he had divine favor and his anointed music drove demons away from King Saul. That same favor took David from the pasture to the palace. If we develop our gifts and walk in divine favor, doors will open for us too. “For promotion and power come from nowhere on earth, but only from God. He promotes one and deposes another” (Ps. 75:6, TLB).

          3. God’s favor can overcome the disfavor of people. Not everybody is going to like you, but that’s alright. David’s brothers resented him. Notice the hostility, “Eliab’s anger was aroused against David, and he said, ‘Why did you come down here? And with whom have you left those few sheep in the wilderness? I know your pride and the insolence of your heart, for you have come down to see the battle.’ And David said, ‘What have I done now? Is there not a cause?’” (1 Sam. 17:28-29). David obeyed his father, helped his brothers, and cared about his country and was still criticized. After slaying Goliath, he became an instant national hero. All was well until King Saul became insanely jealous of David’s new found fame. He tried to kill him three different times. When David fled, Saul mounted a massive manhunt and placed a bounty on his head. David became Israel’s most wanted fugitive. When he had two opportunities to kill Saul he refused. Years later, after Saul was killed in battle, David was finally appointed King over Israel. Friend, perhaps you’ve faced rejection, criticism, abuse, or mistreatment by a spouse, sibling, or friends. Remember, God’s favor can overcome the disfavor of other people. If God is for you, who can be against you?