God’s Favor Rarely Comes With A Bow
Imagine you just moved to a new city. Perhaps your parents moved you to a new state and now you’re looking into the abyss of a new school—in the middle of a semester, no less. Maybe you’ve recently flown the nest to begin college, or you’re starting a new career. Will you be “successful?” Will you be popular and make new friends? Will you gain the respect of other students, bosses, and colleagues? What should you wear? How should you act? Oh, the pressure!
Stop!!! What are you doing, child of the Most High? Why do you fear? Have you not read the Word? Is the arm of God too short to give you favor wherever He sends you? “And the LORD gave the people favour in the sight of the Egyptians.” (Exodus 11:3, KJV). Your situation is not unique, whether you chose it or not. Consider Joseph; did he choose his lot when he was sold into slavery by his brothers? Did he work hard as a slave to gain the trust of Potiphar, only to be rewarded with prison for rebuffing Potiphar’s wicked wife? Is it likely Potiphar believed his wife, or was it more favorable to him to cast Joseph into prison for a crime he did not commit than for the whole of Egypt to know his wife was unfaithful to him? Oh, how anxious and bitter most of us would have become, but not Joseph. To Joseph, every misfortune was an opportunity to serve God and others. He firmly committed himself and his outcomes to the Almighty.
As we know, God did not free Joseph of the years he unjustly spent in prison, but we can see the circumstances were part of God’s plan. God was merciful to Joseph during this dark period, “and gave him favour in the sight of the keeper of the prison.” (Genesis 39:21) Joseph’s work prospered and the warden eventually trusted Joseph so much he gave the prisoners over into Joseph’s capable hands and stopped concerning himself with them altogether. This important position would eventually put Joseph in charge of Pharoah’s imprisoned butler and baker where God would give him the correct interpretation to a prophetic dream each of them had. Later, this would lead to Joseph’s greatest work: becoming second-in-command to Pharoah and saving the entire line of Israel from starvation.
Rebuke all narcissistic fears! Anxiety is produced when we focus our thoughts on ourselves and our limited control of the world around us. Instead, consider how you might make your new corner of the world a better place. Reflect the light, joy, and peace of Christ wherever you go: A light becomes more visible and necessary in places of darkness. Faithful believers can be assured God will always have a plan for those who hold him in the highest esteem; not second to the whims of capricious humans. As Proverbs 29:25 teaches, “The fear of man bringeth a snare; but whoso putteth his trust in the LORD shall be safe.”
Consider Solomon’s words in Proverbs 16:7, “When a man’s ways please the LORD, he maketh even his enemies to be at peace with him.” This doesn’t mean everyone will “like” you, but it does mean they will eventually be at peace with you thanks to God’s favor. Doesn’t this promise take the pressure off? Isn’t it far easier to please one Father than thousands of strangers? Do not allow your circumstances to knock you off course: Keep your eyes to God alone. Be wise and specifically ask the LORD for spiritual wisdom and favor in the sight of others. Never doubt God’s love and mercy. If you faithfully desire nothing more than his plan and favor for your life, you are certain to find success, peace, and joy; just understand it is unlikely to come wrapped in pretty paper with a bow.
Quote of the Day:
“God always gives his best to those who leave the choice with him.” –Jim Elliot
Andrea Hillman is a contributing writer, journalist, and online editor for Blue Ridge Christian News, as well as creator and news aggregator for The Christian Persecution Report. She enjoys a wide variety of artistic endeavors, world travel, and recently discovered she has a green thumb. You can read more of her work here. Please reach out to her at firstname.lastname@example.org, at The Christian Persecution Report page on Facebook, or on LinkedIn.