“For it brings favor if, mindful of God’s will, someone endures grief from suffering unjustly. For what credit is there if you sin and are punished, and you endure it? But when you do what is good and suffer, if you endure it, this brings favor with God. For you were called to this, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, so that you should follow in His steps. He did not commit sin, and no deceit was found in His mouth; when He was reviled, He did not revile in return; when He was suffering, He did not threaten but entrusted Himself to the One who judges justly.” 1 Peter 2:19-23 HCSB
How many people these days say, “I’m blessed and highly favored,” by the Lord? According to God’s word at 1 Peter 2:19-23 that means they are enduring injustices, and unfair treatment, without complaining, threatening, or cursing those who abuse and mistreat them. They do this because they are conscious of God’s will. They put God’s feelings ahead of their own. Just as Christ suffered for them they are willing to suffer for Him. God says this brings His favor. So I guess all those people who claim to be blessed and highly favored are meek, patient, humble people, who live in submission to God. Naaaaah, not all of them. Many are just quoting an affirmation like a nursery rhyme that makes them feel good. Telling yourself you’re blessed even if you’re not sounds good. But God says truly blessed and highly favored people are those who are enduring trials patiently, following Christ’s example. Being conscious of God’s will to the point of denying self is a fight, and a requirement to be one of Jesus’ followers:
“Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me.” Matthew 16:24 NIV
This teaching goes contrary to our sinful nature. But oh how blessed and truly highly favored we are for being willing to suffer for our God who suffered so much for us.
WHO DOES GOD LIVE WITH?
“For thus saith the high and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity, whose name is Holy; I dwell in the high and holy place, with him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones.” Isaiah 57:15 KJV
God: the High and Holy One, lives with those who are humble and contrite. That would mean they have His favor. These have their sins washed away in the blood of Jesus, and God lives with them. Wow! They have the Holy Spirit literally living inside of them. What a great mystery this is:
“This message was kept secret for centuries and generations past, but now it has been revealed to God’s people. For God wanted them to know that the riches and glory of Christ are for you Gentiles, too. And this is the secret: Christ lives in you. This gives you assurance of sharing his glory.” Colossians 1:26-27 NLT
That’s right, Jesus Christ Himself lives in us! WE have accepted His sacrifice for our sins, and they are ALL FORGIVEN! We belong to eternity just as He does, and will share in His glory. What greater gift can anyone have? Scripture often says that God’s favor is with the humble and contrite. But He opposes the proud:
“In the same way you younger people must submit yourselves to your elders. And all of you must put on the apron of humility, to serve one another; for the scripture says, “God resists the proud, but shows favor to the humble.” 1 Peter 5:5 GNT
THIS ALSO BRINGS FAVOR
“Those who give to the poor will lack nothing, but those who close their eyes to them receive many curses.” Ecclesiastes. 28:27 NIV
“When you give to the poor, it is like lending to the Lord, and the Lord will pay you back.” Proverbs 19:17 GNT
Givers are freed
from the sin of greed
Even in tough times
God provides their needs
God assures us that givers have His favor. They will always be taken care of. To go against our selfish sinful nature, and have a big generous heart, is true evidence of being transformed into the image of Jesus Christ. Did you know that the whole world will be judged by whether or not they gave to others? (Matthew 25:31-46) This shows how important it is to be a giver, and that only these have God’s favor:
“The point is this: whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.” 2 Corinthians 9:6-7 ESV
So the next time someone says, “I’m blessed and highly favored,” by God, I hope they are a cheerful giver too. Otherwise they have no idea of what they are saying.
Please share this with a friend