My wife Jo shares some thoughts on Favour.
While God has no favourites (Romans 2 v 11, Colossians 3 v 25), He does seem to give more favour to some rather than others.
The Oxford definition of ‘Favour’ is:
- approval, support, or liking for someone or something
- overgenerous preferential treatment
- an act of kindness beyond what is due or usual
When we see people and everything seems to be going well for them, we often remark that they have a lot of favour. While God has no favourites, it is clear that there are those who walk in large amounts of favour, or what appears to be preferential treatment. Those people who always seem
to get the free upgrade, the free coffee, have famous friends etc. We all have varying degrees of favour in our lives; but some have more than others. So why the varying amounts? Some start with more, but everyone can grow it. While Jesus was fully God, He was also fully man and He ‘grew in favour with God and man’ (Luke 2 v 52).
The parable of the servants and their allotted talents is a prime example of growing in favour, of varying amounts (Matt 25 v 14-30). Each received what was allotted to them, they stewarded it well and to the two who were faithful, an overgenerous amount was rewarded. The interesting thing is the master replied to the two, ‘well done good and faithful servant’. If you want to grow in favour, be faithful with what you have. The other interesting thing to note was that the two who were faithful were then given more. When our stewardship is proven faithful and trustworthy, more will be given.
Neil and I have been in seasons of having dreams and desires in our hearts and not always seeing them in reality. Obedience is paramount to God. Be obedient and faithful with what you have and more will be given. I want to see the sick healed, but if I cannot be faithful with a healed headache, how can I be faithful with empty wheelchairs, or the dead being raised? One of my dreams is to see cancer eradicated, so when I see someone with a headache I will pray for them, because I know that when I am faithful with what is in front of me God will give me more and my character will have grown to be able to handle the greater. When I see headaches healed, my faith increases for the person who has cancer to be healed. God knows us better than we know ourselves, and He knows that too much too soon without the character to support it can be damaging. We were not born adults, we were born as babies and had to grow up. In the same way we grow up in favour.
God is not testing us to see how weak we are, He is lovingly stretching, growing and developing us to handle a much greater capacity. God gives us what He knows we can handle, and it’s through faithfulness with what we have, that we receive more.