12 For You, O Lord, will bless the righteous; With favor You will surround him as with a shield. Psalm 5:12 NKJV
A friend recently called and shared this verse with me. It is from a Psalm of David, inspired words that spoke both to the writer and to us today.
God is present in our lives and wants to bless and protect us. This is not because of anything we have done or deserve. It is a blessing that comes from turning to Him in faith. The sacrifice and resurrection of Jesus Christ is more than enough to atone for any wrongs we have done or ever will do.
Our righteousness comes from our faith, and even that is a gift from God.
8 For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, 9 not of works, lest anyone should boast. 10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them. Ephesians 2:8-10 NKJV
We are viewed as clean and pure by God as a gift, the gift of faith leading to the gift of righteousness. It seems too good to be true that Jesus would make this gift available to us, but true it is. But like any gift, we must receive it and open it with gratitude for it to have any value to the Giver and to the receiver.
The favor that God extends to believers begins long before we turn to Him in faith. It is and was everywhere in our lives, and is most easily observed by looking back upon it. In a moment trouble, stress or grief, we are often so overcome with the situation around us that we cannot see the hand of God working for us.
Experiencing favor does not mean that we will escape heartache and hardship, or even tragedy. They will come. We live in a fallen, sinful world, and tears and pain are a consequence of that existence. But God promises to never leave us nor forsake us, and in His Presence comes comfort and a peace that passes all understanding, even during a crisis.
But the favor of God shows up in many ways. It can often be seen when we experience the right pieces come together at the right time to accomplish anything we require – a job task that goes well and earns the boss’s approval, a needed real estate transaction, a good doctor and hospital for a medical procedure, money suddenly showing up to pay rent or an overdue bill, a lifelong friend that enters our life – it can be anything.
The protection of God also shows up in many ways. Car accidents that are narrowly avoided, escaping a dangerous situation, surviving and recovering from a medical emergency – His shield has also been around us.
God cares about the details of our days, and assists us to face life successfully with His peace. Trials, troubles and hardships will always come, but God will help us to get through them and to see a brighter day ahead.
One time I was at a Prison Ministry worship service, feeling quite unworthy and sinful before God. The speaker at the service suddenly got my attention by saying, “If we don’t accept God’s forgiveness for our sins, we are saying that Christ’s sacrifice for us on the cross was not enough”.
That really hit me – immediately I experienced complete forgiveness for all my sins, and tearfully received the overwhelming love of God.
Do you feel that you have done something that is too great for God to forgive? Take a moment and offer it to God at the foot of the cross. His sacrifice for you is more than sufficient to completely cover anything you have done.
Can you recall a time when you experienced the favor of God?