Need favor? Got that.

the-sting-of-rejection-can-impact-our-souls-but-it-no-longer-has-a-hold-on-us-because-one-higher-than-everyone-and-everything-has-given-us-favor-1

Inspirational Thought of the Day:

The sting of rejection can impact our souls, but it no longer has a hold on us, because One higher than everyone and everything has given us favor.

Scripture of the Day:

Acts 10:34

“Then Peter started speaking: ‘I now truly understand that God does not show favoritism in dealing with people, 35 but in every nation the person who fears him and does what is right is welcomed before him.'”

I stood amongst the group of kids with a dread in my heart. As the team captains each took turns calling names, I knew I would be last. The lump in my throat would not go away, so I faked a smile and looked away in the distance, pretending I did not care. But I did.

That same feeling overcomes me in situations that arise where I am keenly aware that either someone wants my position or perhaps I am not wanted.

The sting of that rejection can still impact my soul, but it no longer has a hold on me, because One higher than everyone and everything has given me favor. Undeserved favor.I love the fact that our God does not show favoritism. He made and loves all people and His creation is beautiful. He does not look at our athletic build, our skin color, our external appearance at all. He is watching over our souls to see if any will look and see His worth, accept His salvation and live for Him.

Do you ever wish you could just make it to the top? Ever wonder why it is so hard to make progress? Or maybe you just want a level of acceptance that makes you feel like you belong. Favor from man is one of those things often coveted. We strive and we long for acceptance, but sometimes even more than that – to be the best.

Getting to the top of the mountain we are climbing seems impossible, but it would not be a worthy achievement if it were not for the rugged climb to get there. This competitive desire to be significant can become idolatry easily enough, but it can also become a catalyst to help us to live faithfully for God.

God chose us to be on His team, but the choice is up to us. We have the favor of God – if we fear Him and do what is right. This is not merit-based, but it is heart-based. We cannot fake living right – God sees it all. His favor does not mean we will not have any troubles. Living godly lives does not mean we will always get our way, either, but the favor of God upon us matters more than our wants.

Oh God! Who are we, that we should have Your favor? Help us to live in a way that honors and reveres You above all else. 

A Season of Thankfulness – Day 4: Surrounded by God

Psalm 125:1-2

“Those who trust in the LORD are like Mount Zion; it cannot be upended and will endure forever.  2 As the mountains surround Jerusalem, so the LORD surrounds his people, now and forevermore.”

Psalm 21:7

“For the king trusts in the LORD; through the unfailing love of the Most High he will not be shaken.”

Psalm 46:5

“God is within her, she will not fall; God will help her at break of day.”

Psalm 61:7

“May he be enthroned in God’s presence forever; appoint your love and faithfulness to protect him.”

Proverbs 10:30

“The righteous will never be uprooted, but the wicked will not remain in the land.”

Surrounded by a basketball team in 8th grade who all wanted to beat me up for a false rumor spread around, I was terrified.  Being surrounded meant there was no way out.  No chance to get out of this hot water…until one faithful friend stood between me and the basketball team.  “You have to go through me first to get to her”.  Now Rhonda was a formidable athlete.  No one wanted to mess with her.  Consequently, no one wanted to mess with me, either.

This moment has remained in my mind as a defining moment.  When things seemed impossible, there was a way out.  In that season of my life, I was seeking after God, but did not yet know Him yet.  Still mercy was extended to the little 4’11” blonde girl who was filled with fear and prayed to God to help her.  He sent an intermediary, a friend, to cover me.

Being surrounded can instill fear or bring peace and comfort.  What does it mean to be surrounded by the Almighty God? We are so small, we cannot fathom how big God is.  To say He surrounds us is to say His presence encompasses us.  He sees every part of us; knows us completely and is aware of all our comings and goings.  He protects us, He is always with us.  We are not alone.

Sometimes it might seem like our troubles are as vast as the mountains or the sea, impenetrable.  But God is the One Who created both – and us, as well.

God does not just surround us.  He is with us.  He is in us.  He is for us.  Mount Zion is not just any mountain – it is the Holy mountain of God that we are likened to.  He is in a covenant relationship with His children and just like that mountain cannot be moved apart from God’s hand, so we cannot, either.

Thank you, Lord, for surrounding us when we are fragile, needful and feeling alone.  When we are intimidated by what we see that surrounds us, help us to remember that You are always there surrounding us at all times, faithfully covering us.