Rev. Toh Nee Lim | On 22, Jun 2016
Scripture Reading: Psalms 30:4-5
‘Sing praise to the Lord, you His godly ones, And give thanks to His holy name. For His anger is but for a moment, His favor is for a lifetime; Weeping may last for the night, But a shout of joy comes in the morning.’ (NASB)
A woman had an emergency surgery. For some reason her insurance would not cover it. So she owed the hospital $50,000 dollars. The hospital work out a payment plan for her. So she was paying this bill little by little each month. She could not afford this extra payment because she is a single mom. Her husband had passed away the year before. Well she did not get discouraged, she did not go around complaining about how tough her life was. Instead she stayed in an attitude of faith and expectancy, declaring God’s favour over her life. She was on the lookout for God’s goodness. Right before the holidays she received a letter from the hospital. The letter basically said, “Every year we like to choose a few families and do something good for them. And this year we’ve chosen you. We want to inform you that we are cancelling your $50,000 debt.” The letter went on to say, “Not only are we going to forgive your debt, but we are going to refund several thousand dollars that you’ve already paid us.” Wow God can turn it around. That is the favour of God.
In Dictionary.com, favour is defined as an approval or a liking. It is an act of kindness beyond what is due or usual. The title of my sharing is God’s favour. So in a secular sense, it means an approval or a liking by God. It is an act of kindness by YHWH beyond what is due or usual. The Greek word for favour is ‘rason’. When used of God, it means goodwill, acceptance and even pleasure of a superior being to an inferior creature. It is a voluntary and arbitrary decision by YHWH. The Hebrew word for Favour is “Chen” which is the state of being approved or held in regard by the LORD in our lives and all our situations, apart from any merit of our own. The incredible news about favour is that it is assigned to you! When you are chosen for it, you walk in it and it follows you wherever you may be or go! We can’t assume that all believers automatically walk in favour. All believers have received unmerited favour for salvation, but it is presumptuous to think that all walk in favour continually. Once you have this favour, it cannot leave you; only you can forsake it.
What is favour? Favour is an Expression of God’s Goodness. Psalm 5:12 For You, O Lord, will bless the righteous; with favour you will surround him as with a shield.’ There are three words in this verse I want us to examine: bless, righteous and favour. The word ‘bless’ means to be divinely endowed to prosper; ‘righteous’ means having the right standing with God, and ‘favour’ can be defined as undeserved goodwill or privilege. The Bible clearly states that anyone in Christ is the righteousness of God in Him. That is you have a right standing with God without any form of guilt, shame or condemnation. You can come boldly into God’s presence with freedom of expression. With that in mind I want you to know that there are two types of God’s favour; one is random and the other is covenant based. The random favour is expressed from time to time in God’s creation as and whenever He wills. For example, when someone that is not born again and outside the covenant gets healed in a miracle crusade and gets blessed, that is random favour in operation. This type of favour has a degree of unpredictability with it because it is not always clear or sure when one can expect it to happen. But the covenant favour of God is purposeful, specific, predictable and sure. It has Heaven’s guarantee with it. Every promise of God in the Bible is a covenant promise and is all ours. We can demand any one of them and activate them. I encourage you to see yourself as the righteousness of God in Christ and having a covenant with Him. See yourself as blessed by the Lord as being divinely endowed to prosper. See yourself as being completely surrounded by blessing, goodness and mercy that you never merited and call them forth on purpose. Meditate on these things; say it out loud and you will see it come to pass in your life. You are the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus, you are blessed and you are highly favoured in all you step out to do. Get ready to receive the best of God’s blessing your life.
What can we learn about God’s favour?
1. Examples of favour throughout the bible.
Favour rested on the life of Abraham, yet none of his family experienced it. His father, Terah, and all his family that stayed in Haran did not know God’s favour. Abraham was blessed and favoured because simply he was chosen. You can be the stand out guy in your family. You have the favour of God and your family do not know God’s favour. And this favour was seen repeatedly in Abraham’s life. When he went down to Egypt, he had favour with the pharaoh. When he fought against the forces that captured his nephew Lot, Abraham was given favour and victory. Favour rested on his son Isaac, but Isaac’s half-brother Ishmael did not know the same favour. Isaac was blessed beyond measure during one of the worst famines of his day. Even though he sowed seed during drought, he received a hundredfold return. Think about it—you received a hundredfold return in the midst of famine, even though those around you remained in drought! Now that is real favour. And everywhere Isaac turned he prospered, so much so that Abimelech, king of the Philistines, said to Isaac: “Go from us; for thou art much mightier than we” (Genesis 26:16). How about Jacob, whom God favoured instead of his brother Esau: “Yet I loved Jacob, and I hated Esau” (Malachi 1:2-3). Do you know that it is possible for God to say, ‘you I like, he I hate and God demonstrated it by showering you with favour? Why would God set his heart on one brother and not another? Favour. In fact, amazing favour rested upon Jacob repeatedly throughout his life. He escaped the wrath of his own brother and the trickery and mistreatment of his uncle Laban. Jacob left Isaac’s house empty and came back one of the richest men of his day. Favour also rested on Joseph, Jacob’s son, in such a supernatural way that he was promoted in Egypt when Pharaoh had never seen him before. He was unknown to the ruler of the most powerful nation in the region, yet Joseph was given such favour that Pharaoh handed him control over the land! Favour rested on Moses to such an extent that he was favoured by Pharaoh’s daughter, who prepared the infant as he grew up for his life’s historic mission. I want you to think. A princess pick you up from the river and showered you with favour. Is that normal? No. Favour rested on Israel when they left Egypt to such a degree that they literally took all the riches of Egypt with them. The Bible says they “spoiled,” or took all the wealth, not just part of it. Supernatural and favour rested on David as he defeated Goliath and later was given the kingdom while being protected repeatedly against his enemies. God even called David “a man after his own heart” (1 Samuel 13:14). Favour rested on Solomon and God restored him in the end. So much favour rested on the life of Job that God restored twice what was taken from him. God’s favour rested on the Prophet Jeremiah so amazingly that when Nebuchadnezzar seized Jerusalem in 586 B.C., he ordered that Jeremiah be freed from prison and treated well. I want you to think about it. In a war, everybody was killed and yet the number one tyrant instructed that you be freed and be treated well. The list of examples of favour is endless! Even our precious Lord Jesus, who escaped harm time after time, experienced His Father’s favour. Jesus grew up in favour with God and man.
Favour is not just for those living in Bible days. His tender, loving favour belongs to you just as it did to Daniel:
“Now God had brought Daniel into favour and tender love with the prince of the eunuchs” (Daniel 1:9). That same tender favour is what God has promised us, His children.
2. Biblical principles that ensured God’s favour
Favour does not belong to all but only to the elect, and as a child of the Most High God you are legally in line for an outpouring of Favour and promotion that is coming your way. But you must first apply these biblical principles in your life to receive this favour. Favour comes by God’s anointing and is triggered by faith. There is a connection between God’s favour and the anointing. The anointing of God carries out and accomplishes what the favour intends. Anointing is the hammer that nails favour on the circumstances. Favour causes the circumstances to change in our favour when the anointing touches the situations. There is an example in the bible to explain the connection between favour and the anointing. In 1 Samuel Chapter 16 we can see how David got anointed with favour. The Prophet Samuel came to Jesse’s house to anoint the next king. After looking at all of Jesse’s other sons, Jesse mentioned that he had another son; David. Samuel said that they could not eat until David came and sat down. This was the start of his favour. Samuel then anointed him right in the midst of his family. In Chapter 17 we can see how David stirred up the anointing of God to confirm this favour to the whole of Israel, as well as the Philistine army: He believed in God’s favour on his life so much that he told Saul that God’s anointing on him would destroy Goliath also. You can see by this example that we can act on God’s favour and allow God’s anointing to change the natural in our favour. Favour is not the result of luck but of obedience. As the Bible tells us:
“The eyes of the Lord are over the righteous, and his ears are open unto their prayers: but the face of the Lord is against them that do evil” (1 Peter 3:12). God favours the obedient, the righteous. Are you a very obedient child? Do you live right? Then the favour is with you. There is no favour on the sinner. Favour belongs only to the just. Therefore, as God’s child, you’re lawfully in line to be favoured and promoted this year. Never forget this—when the devil attacks you, God will always promote you.
3. What does favour do?
Favour will invade your finances. All you’ve lost will be restored. Look at the example of Job at the end of his life and even David at Ziklag. All the enemy has taken from you is coming back double. Isaiah 61.7 says, ‘Instead of your shame you will receive a double portion, and instead of disgrace you will rejoice in your inheritance. And so you will inherit a double portion in your land, and everlasting joy will be yours.’ This verse was fulfilled in Job’s life and David’s life. Put Job’s name in Isaiah 61:7 and read it out loud. Total restoration and recovery are coming your way. You’ve had losses, trials, and pain, but you’ve been in the valley too long. You’ll get back on top. All you have to do is release your faith. As you serve Him and give to His work, you ensure the Lord’s favour on your life.
It is imperative that I let you know that success in any human endeavour is a function of favour. Furthermore you need to know that favour is not fair because it is not based on merit but on God’s sovereign choice and will. God declared in the Bible that He will show mercy on to whom He wants to show mercy. The fact that you are a child of God today is indication that he has shown mercy to you and it is God’s sovereign choice and you are a recipient of God’s favour.
Favour means provision. The favour of God caused the Egyptians to give both silver and gold into the hands of God’s covenant people. Hallelujah! That same favour can operate on our behalf. The same type of favour is available to believers right now.
Favour means exaltation. Moses was very great! The bible says Moses was very great in the eyes of the Israelites and even Pharaoh. Joseph was very great. They were raised up; lifted up higher. The favour of God will raise you up; lift you up; cause you to lift up your faces and be seen, that God’s glory will be seen in you.
Favour means Increase. In all areas that pertain to life!! Psalms 30:4-5 says, Sing praise unto Jehovah, O ye saints of his, And give thanks to his holy memorial name. For his anger is but for a moment; His favour for a life-time.’ Pay your tithe, give your time, witness and serve others, read His word and make Him the first priority in your life. And God’s favour for you is life time.
Favour means protection. You are cocooned with favour. On all sides. Compassed about; crowned with favour. Psalms 5:12 says, ‘For surely, O LORD, you bless the righteous; you surround them with your favour as with a shield.’ You need a shield for protection. Favour will protect you from the gossip and criticism of others. When they try to malign you, favour can protect you from the ill effects of their malicious words. This shield of favour will not just protect you from the front but also the rear. It is a shield that surrounds you. Even when you don’t know what people are saying about you, this divine favour will insulate you from damage.
The Word of God promises that only the giver is favoured with His blessing: ‘Prove me now herewith, saith the Lord of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it. And I will rebuke the devourer for your sakes, and he shall not destroy the fruits of your ground; neither shall your vine cast her fruit before the time in the field, saith the Lord of hosts. And all nations shall call you blessed: for ye shall be a delightsome land, saith the Lord of hosts. (Malachi 3:10-12)
4. The season of God’s favor.
God operates in seasons and times. Ecc. 3:1 – To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose of heaven. We are given an example in the book of John in God’s operating in seasons and times. In John 5:4 we are told that ‘Angel would come down at a certain season to trouble the water in the pool. The first one in received miraculous healing.’ Gal. 4:4 says, ‘When the fullness of the time was come, God sent forth His Son, made of a woman, made under the law, To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons.’ Right now at this present time, especially for Iloilo City, we are in the midst of unusual favour from God. Iloilo City has been named the most liveable city in the whole of Philippines. This unusual prosperity is recognized by all. I have talked to two group of people who lived in Bacolod City and they said that compared to Bacolod City, this city is just blooming everywhere. There is life, activity, progress. God has spared us from Typhoon Yolanda. God has preserved this city to continue its progress. When there is drought, we ask for forgiveness and rain has started coming. I was talking to Renee and Paz about the possibility of going to Miagao. They told me rain has started in Miagao and only motorbike can go up the mountain. Prophecy has always been a dual occurrence. Jesus said he will come back. He came back 2000 years ago and he is coming back again. Dual prophecy. When God started to bless a city, he is also starting to bless a church. And Evangel Tabernacle is in the midst of Iloilo City. We are in the midst of a season of unusual favour from God. Ps. 102:13 – “Thou shalt arise, and have mercy upon Zion: for the time to favour her, yea, the set time, is come.” Ephesians 1:6 – “To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved.” The word “accepted” means “To peruse with grace; compass with favour”. Believers have been “accepted” by God. Believers are in the state, spiritually speaking, where they have been “perused with grace and compassed with favour” because they have chosen to make Jesus Christ the Lord and the Saviour of their lives.
5. How do we appropriate God’s favour?
We appropriate God’s favour by activating faith. We must activate the God’s kind of faith. Psalms. 5:8-12 makes a clear distinction between the enemies of God and the righteous. The enemies have no faithfulness in their mouths. Nothing but wickedness in their inward parts. Those who obtain favour exhibit the opposite kinds of characteristics. They have faithfulness in their mouths and in their inward parts. To exercise the God’s kind of faith we must get the word of God built up in our inward parts, in our inner man, and in our spirit. And then we must speak forth (declare) that word in full assurance that it will come to pass. Recently Pastor Lily has been challenging the bible study group on declaring the Word of God. For a few Tuesdays, we declared by speaking authoritatively and loudly the Word of God concerning various areas in our lives. A sister of ours was with her husband in the hospital. He was quite sick. She took the Word of God that Pastor Lily printed for many of you, and starts declaring the Word of God on her husband’s condition. To cut the story short, her husband recovered. The scripture connects favour which is openly demonstrated and revealed by what comes out of one’s mouth. Matt. 12:34 tells us that it is out of the abundance of the heart that the mouth speaks. The spirit of faith believes and speaks what it believes. We also activate faith through action James 2:17-21 says that faith without work is dead. Recently I told you that God says, whatever my hands wants to do, just go ahead and do it and God will bless.
In conclusion, you may say, “Pastor, that sounds great, but you don’t know my luck. You don’t know the mistakes I’ve made. I’ve done a lot of things wrong. I can’t imagine God ever wanting to bless me; let alone talk about favour.” You’re right. It won’t ever happen-unless you change your thinking. You must become favour-minded. You have to start expecting God’s blessings to overtake you, expecting God’s goodness to show up in your life in a new way. We all have made mistakes and have had to ask for forgiveness. Once you’ve done that, move on, knowing that God still wants to pour out His favour in your life, to do great things in, though, and for you. King David, made a lot of mistakes. He committed adultery and even ordered a man to be murdered. But when he repented and sought forgiveness, God forgave him and gave him a new start. The Bible compliments David, saying, “He was a man after God’s own heart.” David didn’t focus on his faults or on the things he had done wrong. No, he lived favour-minded. It was David who wrote, “Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life.” Notice, he was expecting goodness and mercy, not part of the time, but all the days of his life. I like this other translation that 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!” God keep blessing me in everything. Amen. God has declared this to be your SEASON OF FAVOR for the rest of 2016! Brothers and sisters all of you are in the right place in the right time of your life’s, because you know him today because God will open supernatural doors and give you an overflowing abundance of blessings for your homes … your careers … your ministries … and your marriages … as you fulfil your God-appointed destiny! 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 favour of God can bring you out of your difficulties and turn your adversities around for good. David said, “The favour of God keeps my enemies from triumphing over me.”