Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Finding Favor with God

"But Noah found favor in the eyes of the Lord."  
Genesis 6:8

"Living in the FOG--the Favor of God".  My friend has said this for many years when he got the envied front row parking space, or God blessed him with extra money, or when he won tickets to a big Nascar race!!  And I even found myself saying it from time to time.  

But reading through the book of Genesis this week (I am in the Bible in 90 Days program), I discovered that "finding favor with God"  or "having God's blessing" is not a promise for an easy or 'cushy' kind of life!  

  • After Noah found favor, God told him to build a boat even though it had never rained before.  It involved hard work and most likely caused his family to go through much taunting and humiliation by the neighbors!  
  • When Jacob received his father's blessing, he immediately had to run for his life before his brother Esau killed him!  And then he worked for 20 years being consumed by the heat of the day and the cold by night AND having his wages changed 10 times! He eventually fled from the tyranny of his uncle with his family and livestock.  (Genesis 31:38-42)
  • Joseph found favor but soon was falsely accused of raping Potiphar's wife (because he refused her seduction) and then thrown into prison for at least 3 years.  (Genesis 39:4-41:32)
Why did these things happen to them if they had truly found favor?  I believe the rest of their stories illustrate that God selected them for His purpose; however, He knew that they needed some 'on-the-job training'!! 
  1. Training them for INSTANT and COMPLETE obedience to God's ways
  2. Training them to trust God who they couldn't see & no other peoples believed in
  3. Developing their character--how they handled whatever life threw at them
This training prepared for them for the huge responsibilities God would be giving them next!!

It is a great thing to "find favor with God".  All Christians should seek that with their whole heart.  
But we must recognize that "finding favor" is actually God saying "approved for advanced training" to men and women of God!!  

Do you find yourself in God's training?  Which area is the hardest for you to "pass"?  
Please share your story in the comments section below.


Jen Baierl said...

Well, I didn't even have to think about the area I need to grow in. It's where my shoulders tightened and I felt a little sting.
It's developing my character. When life throws me lemons, I wish I could say that I pray over them & make lemonade, but NOOO... I usually curse at life, then squeeze the juice in "life's" eye and throw it back.
Don't get me wrong... My character is a far cry from my before Christ days, but I am a real work in progress.
Thanks for this prompting. I love it!

WCW said...

I LOVE your honesty & hilarious descriptions!! But I think that I am right there with you. . .except I start screaming at the devil to leave me alone when it is actually God TRAINING me!! HAHA

Anonymous said...

There's a song by Casting Crowns...l'll praise you in this storm. The lyrics go...God I was sure by now that you would have reached down and wiped our tears away...stepped in and saved the day, but once again I say amen and it's still raining...ok, I struggle with praising while the rain in my opinion has become a thunderous down pour, but I know God is faithful and wouldn't bring me to this level of "training" to leave...

WCW said...

That is one of my all-time FAVORITE songs! The thing about praising while the rain is still pouring is that we are expressing our faith in WHO God is, not just in WHAT He does for us! My pastor calls it "singing the right song BEFORE you have ever crossed over to the other side"!! Hard to do but powerful way to live. . .the Bible calls that living like the heroes of the faith
"Faith makes us sure of what we hope for and gives us proof of what we cannot see." Hebrews 11:1

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