The Favor of the Lord – Psalm 5

A friend recently called and shared a verse with me from a Psalm of David, God-inspired words that spoke to both the writer then and to us today.

12 For You, O Lord, will bless the righteous; With favor You will surround him as with a shield.  Psalm 5:12 (NKJV)

God is present in our lives and wants to bless and protect us.  This is not because of anything we have done to deserve it.  It is a blessing of unconditional love that makes us want to return love to Him in faith.  We can reside in the presence of a holy God because the sacrifice and resurrection of Jesus Christ is more than enough to atone for any wrongs that we have done or, in fact, ever will do.

Our righteousness comes through our faith, and even that is a gift from God. As the apostle Paul wrote in his letter to the Ephesians:

For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, 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 in God’s eyes by His own gift of our faith, leading to the His further gift of righteousness.  It seems too good to be true that Jesus would lay down His life to make this all so freely available to us, but it is the truth. But like any gift, we must accept it, receive it, and open it with gratitude for it to have any value, both to the Giver and to us who would receive it.

The favor that God extends to believers begins long before we ever turn to Him in faith.  It has been everywhere throughout our lives, and is most easily observed by looking back upon it in the rear view mirror of our experience.  In our moments of trouble, stress, or grief, we were often so overcome with the situation around us that we could not see the hand of God at work around us. But years later, looking back, we can see that God clearly was there, providing the path towards our relief, recovery, victory, and a good life.

Experiencing God’s favor does not mean that we will escape heartache, hardship, or tragedy.  These are a part of life and will come in their time.  Until Christ returns to restore all things to the way God intended, we will be living in a fallen, sinful world, and tears and pain are a consequence of that state of existence.  But in the meantime, God has promised to never leave us nor forsake us, and in His Presence we experience a comfort and a peace that passes all human understanding, even in the midst of a trial or crisis.

The favor of God can show up in so many ways.  It may be seen whenever we experience necessary pieces coming together at the right time to accomplish something that we require, such as a challenging job task that goes well and earns the boss’s approval, a needed real estate transaction going through at the right time, a skillful doctor and safe hospital being there for us when we need an operation or a medical procedure, unexpected money showing up suddenly when we need to pay rent or an overdue bill, a new friend who enters our life when are lonely and need a friend, whatever we need, God’s loving favor can show up in innumerable ways.

As Psalm 5 indicated, the shield of protection from God is also a means of His favor. Car accidents that are narrowly avoided, or not as serious as they could have been if they happen, narrowly escaping a dangerous situation, surviving and recovering from a serious medical emergency – His shield is and has been around us in countless situations.

God cares about the smallest detail of our lives, and assists us to face each day successfully in His peace. Trials, troubles and hardships will come, but God will help us to get through them all to see a brighter day ahead.

Reflection

Can you recall a time when you experienced the remarkable favor of God?

Father God, thank You that there is nothing in my life that is too evil for You to forgive, and that the sacrifice of Christ is more than sufficient to completely cover anything I confess to You as having done. Thank You for Your boundless and unmerited grace and favor towards me. Help me to respond to You by loving and forgiving others without condition. We ask this in Jesus’ name, Amen.

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