Overcome challenges with the favour of God

Did you know that as a Christian, you have the favour of God?

In Psalm 5:12 it is written,

For surely, O Lord, you bless the righteous;
you surround them with your favour as with a shield.

When you have the favour of God, you will enjoy God’s blessings. You can expect good things to happen to you. God’s favour surrounds you like a shield, protecting you from harm.

However, even though you have God’s favour, that doesn’t mean that you won’t have any problems.

A great example of a godly man who had the favour of God is Joseph.

We can see God’s favour in the life of Joseph starting from a young age, when he was his father’s favourite son. Jacob loved Joseph more than his brothers and gave him a beautiful coat as a token of his affection. Yet this favour only stirred up trouble for Joseph, as it made his brothers jealous of Joseph. His brothers became so envious of Joseph that they plotted to kill him. In the end, they faked his death and sold him to a passing band of slave traders.

The slave traders brought Joseph to Egypt, where he became a servant in the household of Potiphar, the captain of the guards. There, God’s favour was with Joseph.

As it says in Genesis 39:2-6 –

The Lord was with Joseph so that he prospered, and he lived in the house of his Egyptian master. When his master saw that the Lord was with him and that the Lord gave him success in everything he did, Joseph found favour in his eyes and became his attendant. Potiphar put him in charge of his household, and he entrusted to his care everything he owned. From the time he put him in charge of his household and of all that he owned, the Lord blessed the household of the Egyptian because of Joseph. The blessing of the Lord was on everything Potiphar had, both in the house and in the field. So Potiphar left everything he had in Joseph’s care; with Joseph in charge, he did not concern himself with anything except the food he ate.

So God’s favour enabled Joseph to prosper even in the difficult situation of being a slave. However, though Joseph prospered under Potiphar, his problems didn’t end there. Potiphar’s wife saw that Joseph was a strong, handsome young man and tried to seduce him. When Joseph rebuffed her advances, she accused him of trying to rape her. Potiphar was furious when he heard his wife’s accusations and sent Joseph to prison.

Can you imagine how Joseph must have felt? He was doing well, flourishing under God and Potiphar by living a righteous life. And now because He feared God and refused to commit adultery with Potiphar’s wife, he was thrown into a dark dungeon. Most people would have become angry with God and sunk into despair. But not Joseph. Joseph kept his faith in God, knowing that God still had a way to bless him even in his difficult circumstance. And that was exactly what happened. Even in the bleak environment of the prison, Joseph prospered.

In Genesis 39:20-23, we are told that

But while Joseph was there in the prison,  the Lord was with him; he showed him kindness and granted him favour in the eyes of the prison warden. So the warden put Joseph in charge of all those held in the prison, and he was made responsible for all that was done there. The warden paid no attention to anything under Joseph’s care, because the Lord was with Joseph and gave him success in whatever he did.

It was in prison that Joseph met the chief cupbearer and correctly interpreted his dream. When the chief cupbearer was restored to his position in Pharoah’s palace, he told Pharoah about Joseph. Pharoah needed someone to interpret his dreams and he sent for Joseph. When Joseph interpreted Pharoah’s dream for him, Pharoah was so impressed with Joseph’s wisdom that he made Joseph second-in-command of Egypt.

Now that’s the favour of God!

So you can see in the life of Joseph, when you have the favour of God, it doesn’t mean that everything will go smoothly in your life and you won’t have any problems. No, Joseph faced great challenges and you will, like him, can expect difficulties to come into your life.

However, take heart. If you rely on God’s favour, his love will help you overcome your challenges.

God promises to deliver us from our trials. As it says in Psalm 34:19 –

Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but God delivers them out of them all.

When you have the favour of God, it doesn’t mean that everything will always go your way and your whole life will be a bed of roses. You’ll still face difficulties, sometimes even problems that knock the wind out of your sails. When that happens, you may feel that you have lost God’s favour. Fight that thought! Even though something bad has happened, continue to believe that you have God’s favour and that this favour will help you overcome your problems. When you feel that God’s favour has left you is when you have to make extra effort to believe in God’s favour. Don’t be discouraged. Put a smile on your face and put your faith in God – his favour will deliver you.

In Isaiah 54:17, God promises us that “no weapon formed against you shall prosper.” We may face weapons from our enemies but in the end, through God’s favour, we will defeat these weapons. Our enemies’ downfall and our victory is guaranteed!

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