I want to personally welcome you to a series on “Favor.” Whoever you are and wherever you’ve come from, you are welcome at this table. Pull up a chair and lean in with me today knowing this: You are loved, you are wanted, and you are welcomed. This study is for you, and it was written to you. So once again, I invite you to lean in today and receive. Receive truth. Receive encouragement. Receive love. Receive your identity in Christ.
Because, you are who He says you are.
The Bible is filled with descriptions of our identity in Christ. If we have turned from our way of living and said yes to Jesus and His way, we are in Christ. If we are in Christ, we are no longer who we once were, no longer defined by our sin and the sin that others have committed against us. We become who God says we are. We have a new identity. This is a topic in which Scripture does not hold back. If only we all knew what God’s Word has to say about us, and even more importantly, if we believed what it has to say about us, I believe we would see so much more freedom in our lives. The combination of those two things (knowing and believing) would absolutely change everything for us.
The world has done a pretty good job at confusing the message of truth in Scripture, especially as it relates to our identity. Everyone and everything seem to shout at us a different word than what God’s Word speaks over us. The wounds and brokenness from our pasts have a way of causing us to believe that we are inferior, forgotten, discarded, and rejected. However, God’s Word speaks a much better word over us and says, “In Christ, you are chosen. In Christ, you are wanted. In Christ, you are made whole. In Christ, you are favored.”
Welcome to FAVOR, my friends. If there is one thing I love about Jesus, there are 1000 things. He is lavish in all that He does and generous in all that He gives. He is good in all His dealings with us, and FAVOR is the lens through which He works. The word favor means excessive kindness and unfair partiality. Let that definition simmer for a little while. To be favored means to be the recipient of God’s excessive kindness and to be on the receiving end of His unfair partiality. It means that you get what you do not deserve (grace, mercy, forgiveness). Therefore, it also means that you don’t get what you do deserve (punishment, judgment, condemnation, death). To be favored means that the blended perfection of grace and mercy are your daily food.
For much of my life, I lived with what I’m going to call a spirit of poverty. The things that had happened in my past that were less than notable or praiseworthy caused me to believe the lie that I was somehow “less than” within the family of God. I might have even laughed had someone told me that I was favored by God because my life sure didn’t look like one who was favored. I knew I was saved. I believed that my sins had been forgiven. I loved Jesus, but I wasn’t fully convinced of His unconditional love for me. When you don’t believe that you are loved, it’s easy to behave as someone who is unloved. I sought for love in all the wrong places. I was desperate for acceptance and attention. I craved affection. And I kept coming up short. Every time.
In all of my searching for these things, I erred in failing to recognize that all of it could only be fully known in Jesus Christ. You see, you can only run so far for so long before you eventually give out. The more I ran from God toward other things, the more empty I felt. The more empty I became, the more my hope would fade—hope that lasting joy could ever be found in all of these places and people that I kept running to.
But then, Jesus.
“Yet this I call to mind and therefore I have hope: Because of the LORD’s great love we are not consumed, for His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.” Lamentations 3:21-22
THIS is favor. Try it on for size today.
Jesus, you are The Way, The Truth, and The Life. Help me to believe this truth that you speak over me today. In you, I am favored. This is my identity. Thank you for loving me with extravagance.