A Fresh Start
Israel’s second ruler, King David, made a lot of mistakes. He committed adultery and even ordered a man to be murdered. But when he repented and sought forgives, God forgave him and gave him a new start. The Bible compliments David, saying, “He was a man after God’s own heart.” (Acts 13:12) David didn’t focus on his faults or on the things he had done wrong. No, he lived favor-minded. It was David who wrote, “Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life.” (Psalm 23:6) Notice, he was expecting goodness and mercy, not part of the time, but all the days of his life. I like the way the message translation puts it: “God’s kindness and goodness chases me down everywhere I go.” David’s attitude was, “I just can’t get away from the good things of God!”
Instead of expecting to get the short end of the stick, why not start expecting God’s blessings to chase you down? Instead of expecting to barely get by in life, start expecting the goodness of God to overtake you. You may say, “That’s all great, but I have a lot of problems. I’m facing some difficult times. I have a lot of negative things going on in my life.”
The favor of God can bring you out of your difficulties and turn your adversities around for good. David said, “The favor of God keeps my enemies from triumphing over me.” The Bible is replete with examples of people who were in great need, but then the favor of God came on them in a new way, and their situations turned around.
Think about Noah facing the greatest challenge of his life. The whole earth was about to be destroyed by a flood, and God gave him the enormous job of building a huge boat, not to mention the gathering of the animals. No doubt, Noah was tempted to get discouraged. Yet amazingly, the Bible says, “Noah found favor in the sight of God.” (Genesis 6:8) In other words, God was pleased with Noah, so the favor of God came on him in a fresh, new way, giving him unusual ability. God assisted him, and he was able to build that ark to save his family, the animals, and himself.
Consider Ruth. Her husband had died, the land was in a severe famine, and she and her mother-in-law, Naomi, didn’t have any food. They were practically starving to death. Ruth went out to the fields every day and followed behind the reapers, picking up whatever left-over grain they had missed. And the Bible indicates that in the midst of that adversity, Ruth found favor with the owner of the field. (Ruth 2:10) That owner told his workers to leave handfuls of grain on purpose for Ruth. Notice again, the favor of God came during the crisis, and before long, Ruth and Naomi’s circumstances turned around, and their needs were supplied in abundance.
Joseph is another biblical example of someone who found the favor of God in adversity. He was sold into slavery in Egypt, mistreated, and taken advantage of. But the Bible says, “The favor of God was upon Joseph.” (Genesis 39:5, 21, 23) No matter what other people did to him, no matter where they put him, he continued to prosper. Even when Potiphar’s wife lied about him, unjustly accusing him of rape, and he was thrown into prison, he continued to thrive. The Favor of God eventually caused him to be released, and he was put in charge of all Egypt’s agricultural affairs.
In each of these examples, the favor of God came in the midst of a trial. The favor came in a flood. Favor came in the famine. Favor came when somebody was being mistreated. In other words, the favor came in the midst of life’s challenges. When you’re going through tough times, when, like Joseph, somebody is mistreating you, or like Ruth, you’re having financial difficulty, or like Noah, your whole world is falling apart, instead of becoming discouraged and developing a sour attitude, more than ever, you must choose to be favor-minded. Start declaring God’s favor. Start expecting God’s favor.