Last year some of you asked me to share the word the Lord had given me for 2021. I said I would wait until the year had ended and then share. The word God gave me for last year was “favor”. I studied favor and I searched the scriptures for everywhere it was written. I made myself more aware by writing down each time I heard the word “favor” or read it in the Bible, devotional, or a book. It amazed me how many times favor popped up throughout the year.
According to Baker’s Bible Dictionary, finding favor means “gaining approval, acceptance, special benefits or blessings.” There is also a close association between favor, grace, and mercy, which are sometimes used to translate the same Hebrew and Greek words. The favor that human beings receive from God depends on His good pleasure and is often extended in response to prayer or righteous living.
As we read of Mary, “The angel went to her and said, ‘Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you’” (Luke 1:28).
God’s favor has not always come in the form I expected. Sometimes favor was financial and at times it came through an action by family or friends such as when our home burned while we were out of town. We arrived back in town to find a friend waiting with muck boots and gloves to help me sort through the ashes and others showed up with meals and helped without us even asking. God showed us much favor when precious things that we thought were lost, God saved in the midst of the fire. There was a time this year when a very difficult situation arose, and God’s favor brought me through it.
As Psalm 30:6b says, “I’m God’s favored one…” (TPT).
Another time I felt like God was not near to me and He led me to the verse, “The Lord is near to those who call upon Him . . . He will also hear their cry and save them” (Psalm 145:18-19 NIV). His reassurance brought me comfort, and I kept repeating those words to remember His love for me. During my struggles, He gave me favor by pointing me to scriptures and devotions to gain strength.
As Job 22:28 (AMP) says, “You will also decide and decree a thing and it will be established for you and the light (of God’s favor) will shine upon your ways.”
I began to look at every aspect of my life and praise Him for His favor. It seemed the more I praised Him and gave Him the glory, the more favor the Holy Spirit released to me. I felt so honored and loved by the Lord. I felt Him smiling upon me with joy and pleasure as He poured favor over me.
When God gives us favor, He expects us to extend it in His kingdom. Therefore, this year I tried to do the same to those I came in contact with. For instance, the Lord brought a precious young woman into my life at a local Starbucks. She worked behind the Starbucks counter at the grocery store where I shop. I made a special point to stop or wave each time I was at the store. This dear young lady was from Africa and spoke with a heavy accent. You can only imagine the difficulty I had in understanding her with her mask on. Yet, while typically no one spoke more than their order to her, I wanted her to feel special and favored, so I showed an interest in her. It wasn’t long before we both realized we loved the same Lord. Kindness to others is showing them favor. Helping someone out of the goodness of your heart is also showing favor.
Below is a short list of biblical characters who received favor from the Lord:
- Esther—received favor with the king because of her obedience to help save her people (Esther 2:17).
- Moses—received favor from God with Pharaoh, and the Lord answered Moses’ prayer (Exodus 12:31-33).
- Abraham—found favor with God, who promised him a nation and a child named Isaac- (Genesis 13:16, 17:19).
- Joseph—was released from jail, promoted to an overseer, and saved his family from starvation (Genesis 39:4, 47:12).
- Noah—found favor in the eyes of the Lord (Genesis 6:8).
- David—was shown favor throughout Psalms.
- Mary—found favor to be chosen as the mother of Jesus (Luke 1:28; 4:40).
- Isaiah—found favor when the Lord answered him (Isaiah 49:8).
- The Israelites—found favor in receiving their Promised land (Joshua 21:43).
- Samuel—found favor with both the Lord and with men (1 Samuel 2:26).
- Daniel—God led an official to show favor and compassion on him (Daniel 1:9).
God gave all these people favor, and He gives us favor too. I also know by His grace, mercy, and love, your name and my name are listed in heaven.
I’m looking forward to my word or phrase the Lord gives me in 2022 and I hope you are too. It always excites me to know He cares so much to do this for me. When you ask, He will answer. Be prepared to receive that special word or phrase from the Lord just for you.
I would love to hear how your word or phrase for 2021 impacted your life.
Lord, thank You for caring and loving me so much and giving me the phrase or word to learn from throughout the year. Your ways are always perfect and the word or phrase was perfect for me in the year 2021. Your plan for me in studying for 2021 was exactly I what needed. Thank You. I am asking You now for a new word or phrase for 2022. I will be obedient to watch and study this new word or phrase for the year as I submit myself to your word for me. As I learn more about the word or phrase, help me carry it out as You desire by leading and guiding me in furthering Your kingdom. Thank You Lord for Your love for me. I know as I draw closer to you that you will also draw closer to me. In Jesus’ name, amen.