Surrounded by Favor

by Joel Osteen

Friday, March 16, 2018
comments: 34

When we receive a promotion, or meet someone special, or the medical report turns around, we know that's the favor of God. But when we face challenges and things are coming against us, it doesn't seem like we have favor. Having favor doesn't mean you won't have obstacles; favor is what's keeping those challenges from defeating you. Favor is what's keeping that sickness from taking your life, favor is what's stopping your child from ruining his destiny, favor is what protected you in that accident. You may not see it, but you have favor in the storm. The psalmist says, "You surround them with your favor as with a shield" (Psalm 5:12). His favor is with you in the good times and the tough times.

In the Scripture, a man named Zerubbabel was in charge of rebuilding the temple in Jerusalem that had been destroyed years earlier. King Cyrus of Persia put out a decree to rebuild it. Everything was going fine until they had laid the foundation, then the opposition came. People who didn't want it rebuilt started paying people to cause trouble, stirring up all kinds of turmoil. Zerubbabel could have thought, "God, I'm doing what You asked me to do, and I thought we had Your favor, but all this opposition is coming against us." Then the enemies sent a letter to the new king of Persia saying, "The people who are rebuilding the temple are evil and are going to rebel against you. Stop them or you will lose everything." This lie worked, and the work was shut down.

It looked as though the enemy was getting the best of Zerubbabel. But when the king had his men search the archives, they found the original decree given by Cyrus. Then the king issued a new decree to the opposition that said, "Let them rebuild the temple. Not only are you not to hinder them, but you are to use funds from the royal treasury to pay the full construction costs, and you are to take them food and supplies every day." What the enemy meant for harm, God turned for good.

You may have people and circumstances coming against you, but God knows how to cause it to backfire. Right now favor is pushing back forces of darkness, favor is keeping your enemies from defeating you. As with Zerubbabel, you know a secret—you have favor in the storm. You're going to see what God does behind the scenes. People who were against you are suddenly going to be for you; problems are about to turn around. Unexpected blessings are coming your way: increase, promotion, breakthroughs, healing, vindication, and the fullness of your destiny.