What is God’s Favor?

God’s favor is one of the most talked about subjects in churches, preaching, and teaching. It is something we all rejoice over and celebrate and it’s something to get excited about. But do we really understand it? Do we even truly, deep down, believe that we can have it? And what does favor even look like in our lives? This post will answer those questions and is the beginning of a series on favor that I’m going to write. Each week I’ll write a prayer for favor in different areas of your life, so keep an eye out! But first, we need to understand what favor is and what it isn’t.

What is Favor?

There are many ways I could describe favor, but I think I’ll let God’s Word do it for me.

For the Lord God is a sun and shield; the Lord bestows favor and honor; no good thing does He withhold from those whose walk is blameless. (Psalm 84:11)

May the favor of the Lord our God rest on us; establish the work of our hands for us— yes, establish the work of our hands. (Psalm 90:17)

Remember me, Lord, when you show favor to Your people, come to my aid when You save them (Psalm 106:4)

Whoever seeks good finds favor, but evil comes to one who searches for it. (Proverbs 11:27)

“The Lord has done this for me,” she said. “In these days He has shown His favor and taken away my disgrace among the people.” (Luke 1:25)

“Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom His favor rests.” (Luke 2:14)

So, according to these Scriptures, God’s favor is the good things from Him that He gives us, when He establishes the work of our hands, when He saves us, when He takes away our disgrace, and His peace.

Why Would God Give Me Favor?

Not everyone in the world receives God’s favor. However, every believer, every follower-of-Christ can expect to receive God’s favor if you’re walking in His will. We aren’t perfect and God knows that, but He still wants to grant us His favor. So, why would God give us His favor? Again, we turn to God’s Word.

Surely, Lord, You bless the righteous; You surround them with Your favor as with a shield. (Psalm 5:12)

God wants to bless the righteous. And for us, righteous means those who are saved because we have been made righteous through the blood of Christ. And in this Scripture we learn that God doesn’t want to just give us His favor, He surrounds us with it as with a shield. His favor is a place of peace and protection among a dark, angry, and bitter world.

For the Lord God is a sun and shield; the Lord bestows favor and honor; no good thing does He withhold from those whose walk is blameless. (Psalm 84:11)

God gives favor to those whose walk is blameless. That may seem impossible because who among us is without sin, right? But a blameless walk simply means someone who is seeking God, who is following His will for their lives rather than trying to do life on their own. So, as long as you are following God and not in active disobedience, you can expect God’s favor.

You will arise and have compassion on Zion, for it is time to show favor to her; the appointed time has come. (Psalm 102:13)

Favor comes at appointed times. God has a perfect time for everything in our lives and that includes when He gives us or shows us His favor. And that leads me to my last point!

What Does Favor Look Like?

How can we hope to know if we have God’s favor if we don’t even know what favor looks like? Let’s turn again to God’s Word so we know what His favor can look like in our lives. We learned from the Scriptures above that God’s favor is the good things from Him that He gives us, when He establishes the work of our hands, when He saves us, when He takes away our disgrace, and His peace. So, let me break those down.

  • Good things from God
    Every good and perfect thing comes from above (James 1:17). So, when you receive unexpected gifts, blessings in your life, you can see it as God’s favor. My husband was God’s favor. Your children are God’s favor. That perfect job you received is God’s favor. Paying off your debt is God’s favor. Buying your dream home is God’s favor. When you are in good health it is God’s favor. When you receive a word from the Lord at the perfect time, that is God’s favor.
  • Establishing our work
    God wants to cause us to prosper and succeed. (Jer. 29:11)(Deut. 28:11)(Ps. 1:2-4)(Ps. 25:12-14)(Ps. 37:11)(Ps. 128:2)(Ps. 20:4) He doesn’t set us up for failure and He doesn’t want us to be miserable. So, when God establishes our work, whatever it is that we do, and causes us to prosper and succeed in it, that is His favor.
  • Salvation
    The free gift of salvation is certainly God’s favor, but I don’t just mean being saved from our sins. When we are saved from sin, from bondage, from slavery, we are receiving God’s favor. If you are freed from addiction, lust, rage, pride, worry, fear, financial difficulty, given a renewed marriage, etc. we are receiving favor from God.
  • Disgrace removed
    We all have disgrace on us at some point in our lives. Maybe it was before we were saved. We made a lot of mistakes. But God will make beauty from our ashes (Isa. 61:3). Or it could be after we received salvation and we just really messed up, but God gives us His grace. Either way, when we repent and God removes our disgrace, that is God’s favor.
  • Peace
    Only God can give us a peace that transcends all understanding (Phil. 4:7). You might have horrible things going on in your life. People who aren’t saved would be stressed out to the point of wanting to give up, to end it all. You may not see an end in sight. But still, you have peace. Why? Because God gives it to you. When you have peace in your life that you just can’t understand because it doesn’t make sense to you or to the world, that is God’s favor in your life.

I hope we both understand favor a lot better now. You can’t see God’s favor in your life if you don’t know what it looks like or what to ask for. And, if you still aren’t sure what to pray, each Tuesday I’m going to post a new favor prayer on different areas of your life, just to give you a blueprint to work with in your own prayer life.

Thanks so much for reading and I pray you guys have a favor-filled week!

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  • Karen

    I pray you do too! Well written and well said!
    Thank God for God’s favor! Thank God for His salvation! I love your pictures as well! I love your blog! You and Justin are always in our prayers!

  • Abso

      David prayed that he would be kept from these sins of deliberate rebellion: Keep back Your servant from presumptuous sins; Let them not rule over me; Then I will be blameless, And I shall be acquitted of great transgression. (Psalm 19:13) We can see that there was a great difference between sins committed in ignorance and those committed with full knowledge.

    • Tara

      This verse is actually David asking God to keep him from the sins he could commit so that those sins can’t rule over him, it isn’t David asking God to stop him from committing sins he doesn’t know about. There are no sins that we don’t know about. We have God’s Word (even David had the first five books of the Old Testament) and it clearly states what is sin and what is not sin. There are no sins committed in ignorance. The only instance I can think of where sin could be committed in ignorance is if you live in a country where you received salvation yet don’t have access to a Bible. Otherwise, you can’t possibly commit sin in ignorance when you are born again and read God’s Word, as He commands us to do.

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