What is meant by the favor of God? How can I get the favor of God?
The definition of the word favor is best described as "demonstrated delight." To have the Lord's favor means that the Lord is in accord with an individual and has shown gracious kindness towards them. When we think of someone who has the favor of God, we think of someone in whose life we see tangible evidence of God's approval. A father shows favor to his children by showing them grace and guiding them. He demonstrates delight by wanting to spend time with his children and by helping them become healthy people. Favor is often shown both ways. When individuals favor each other, they desire to feel connected to each other. God shows favor by connecting with His people and being a shield that leads them and protects them (Psalm 5:12).
The Lord invites us to seek His favor, and the Bible is filled with people who cry out for God's favor and graciousness (2 Kings 13:4; Jeremiah 26:19; Zephaniah 2:3). David says in Psalm 119:58, "I entreat your favor with all of my heart; be gracious to me according to your promise." It must be stated that only those who are in Jesus Christ can experience the favor of God. It is by Jesus' righteousness that we receive forgiveness of sin and become children of God (John 1:12–13; 2 Corinthians 5:16–21; Hebrews 4:14–16). Once we are God's children, we can pursue God's favor by seeking Him for who He is, not for the things that He can provide for us. We can pursue God's favor by humbling our hearts before Him (2 Kings 22:19) and by desiring to show Him love with our whole selves (Mark 12:30; Luke 10:27).
There are a few things we can do to begin seeking the Lord's favor. We must first seek righteousness, which prepares our hearts and creates room for the Lord (Matthew 6:33; Psalm 5:12). We must humble our hearts before God because Isaiah 66:2 (NIV) says, "… These are the ones I look on with favor: those who are humble and contrite in spirit, and who tremble at my word." We can also gain God's favor by seeking wisdom. Proverbs 8:35 says that the one who finds wisdom, "finds life and obtains favor from the Lord." We must also honor the Lord's favor above anybody else's favor, even our own. This means that we must desire to please Him more than we desire to please ourselves (Hebrews 11:25). The Lord is happy to favor those who love Him, so He can protect them, connect with them, and guide them (Psalm 37:23; Proverbs 3:5–6).
Unfortunately, those who have favor with the Lord still suffer, and alternately those who have seemingly perfect lives do not always have God's favor (Jeremiah 12:1; Psalm 37:7; 73:1–28). To gain God's favor does not mean that we are free from the hardships of this world (John 16:33; 2 Corinthians 6:4; Acts 14:22; 20:23; 1 Peter 2:19). Multiple biblical examples show us that those whom the Lord favors are not free from the world's suffering. There are many individuals whom God favored in the Bible who still had difficulties. We find hope in the stories of Noah (Genesis 6:8), Moses (Exodus 32:7–14; 33:13), Daniel (Daniel 10:19), and Mary (Luke 1:28), because they were highly favored by God, yet overcame enormous obstacles and hardships. In fact, to call them merely hardships is to undermine how monumental their situations really were.
However, from their stories, we learn that God never leaves those He favors. His favor can be felt in the spirit. With the favor of the Lord, we have peace in our spirits that our sins are forgiven (Romans 4:7). We can also feel a confidence that no matter what happens to us in this world, that we are within the plan of God (Psalm 86:11), and that He is with us always (Isaiah 41:10; Matthew 28:20). As we continue to walk in favor with God, He equips us in our struggles (Psalm 34:15). Our devotion and trust in Him will be rewarded (Matthew 10:42; Revelation 2:10), and our eyes are illuminated to blessings in our situations that were previously unseen.
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