Answer: The best
definition of the word favor is “demonstrated delight.” The favor of God
can be described as “tangible evidence that a person has the approval of the
Lord.” When we favor someone, we want to be with him or her. We delight in him.
We connect with her in a way we don’t connect with everyone. We usually favor
people who also favor us. In the same way, God shows favor to the ones who
delight in, connect with, and give honor to Him. Isaiah 66:2
says, “These are the ones I look on with favor: those who are humble and
contrite in spirit, and who tremble at my word. Second
Chronicles 16:9 says, “For the eyes of the LORD run to and fro throughout
the whole earth, to show himself strong on behalf of
them whose heart is perfect toward him.” To be “perfect” toward Him means we
seek His favor more than we seek the favor of anyone else, even ourselves.
Favor is closely related to grace in the Bible.
Those who have received Jesus as their Savior are saved by grace through faith
2:8–9). They know the favor of God. Without faith, it is impossible to
please God (Hebrews 11:6), but those who have saving faith in God’s Son are declared righteous
(Romans 4:5;Philippians 3:9) and live in God’s favor. The most basic answer to “how can I get God’s
favor” is “believe in the Lord Jesus.”
God seeks out those who love Him and love His commands so that He can bless,
guide, and protect them (Psalm 37:23; Proverbs 3:5–6). This does not mean that everyone who is prosperous or healthy has found favor with God (Jeremiah 12:1;
Psalm 37:7; 73:16).
Nor does it mean that those whom the Lord favors will never suffer
difficulties. Many people in the Bible had the Lord’s favor but also suffered
hardship (2 Corinthians 6:4; Acts 14:22; 20:23; 1 Peter 2:19
Heroes such as Noah (6.8 Genesis 6:8), Moses (Exodus 32:11;
10:19), and Mary (Luke 1:28) were favored of the Lord, but they also
struggled with difficulties like anyone else.
Those who are favored of God know that God is with them and that nothing can
happen to them apart from His good purpose (Romans 8:28).
They have His ear as they walk through dark valleys (Psalm 34:15)
and know that their struggle to remain true to Him will not go unrewarded (Matthew 10:42;
2:10). In addition to outward evidences, God’s favor can be felt in the
spirit. When we have the favor of the Lord, we rest in quiet confidence that
our sins are forgiven (Romans 4:7), we are within the plan of God (Psalm 86:11),
and that He is there for us at all times (Isaiah 41:10;
28:20). We walk with God as with our closest friend. We begin to see and
appreciate the little blessings that God provides for our enjoyment—blessings
that we once took for granted.
The Lord invites us to seek His favor (Psalm 119:58,135;
2 Kings13:4; Jeremiah 26:19; Zephaniah
2:3). When we seek His favor, we humble our hearts before Him (2 Kings
22:19); seek Him for Himself, not just for the blessings He gives (Jeremiah 29:13);
and arrange our lives around loving Him with all our heart, soul, mind, and
strength (Mark 12:30; Luke 10:27). We seek first His kingdom and righteousness (Matthew 6:33).
One way to obtain favor from the Lord is to seek wisdom. Proverbs 8:35>
says, “For those who find me [wisdom] find life and receive favor from the
LORD.” Psalm 5:12> says, “Surely, LORD, you bless the righteous; you surround them with
your favor as with a shield.” Finding favor with the Lord keeps our lives and
thoughts pure because we desire to please Him more than we desire to please
ourselves. Hebrews 11:25 says of Moses, “He chose to be mistreated along with the people of
God rather than to enjoy the fleeting pleasures of sin.” When the same can be
said of us, we know we have found favor with God. His delight in us will be