For all that has happened this year, we cannot but continue to give thanks to the Almighty God that in his mercy continues to keep us alive.
Many of us do not appreciate that the greatest testimony is that of life. For life, we cannot thank God enough.
God in his mercy granted the heart’s desires of many people. They had breakthroughs this year.
For those of us who are still trusting the Lord for one miracle or the other, the end of the year is not the time to lose hope.
It is the time to demonstrate our confidence in the Almighty God that can do all things.
The story of Jabez should inspire us.
Let’s refer to 1st Chronicles 4 vs. 9 & 10 (KJV) : “ And Jabez was more honourable than his brethren; and his mother called his name Jabez, saying, Because I bare him with sorrow”.
And Jabez called on the God of Israel, saying, Oh that thou wouldest bless me indeed, and enlarge my coast, and that thine hand might be with me, and that thou wouldest keep me from evil, that it may not grieve me! And God granted him that which he requested”.
As a Christian, you are likely to the familiar with the story of Jabez but the lesson for us is here, is that Jabez cried unto God to protect him and bless him.
God answered his prayer and replaced sorrow with joy for Jabez. The Lord that answered the prayers of Jabez is still on the throne to answer your prayers.
Another person whose life should inspire us in the Bible is that of Joseph. Joseph stood firmly with the Lord even when confronted with household enemies. Joseph feared God rather than human beings. Brethren, it is only those who choose to stand with the LORD at all times that are favoured.
Your relationship with the LORD is so important and I am assuming that it is clear to us that a Christian in word and indeed must be a born-again Christian.
Let’s not forget that seasons come and go but only the Lord can sustain us in all seasons.
God controls times and seasons. Our authority is found in Daniel 2 vs. 20&21 : “ Daniel answered and said , Blessed be the name of the God for ever and ever: for wisdom and might are his: And he changeth the times and the seasons: he removeth kings, and setteth up kings: he giveth wisdom unto the wise, and knowledge to them that know understanding”.
The key word for us in this Bible passage is God “ changeth the times and the seasons”.
The Psalmist aptly appreciates the essence of favour according to Psalm 102 vs. : “ Thou shall arise, and have mercy upon Zion: for the time to favour her, yea, the set time is come”.
Brethren, you may have been praying without results, the moment God decides to favour you, that situation that draws tears of sorrow will change to bring down tears of joy.
The season of favour is when God manifests his presence in your life.
Who needs God’s favour?. We all do but some need it desperately. For someone that the world has written off, he needs God’s favour to place him where those who have rejected him, would bow before him.
The story of Joseph clearly depicts this. Those who threw Joseph into slavery, were the same people that bowed before him in their time of need. They plotted evil for Joseph but the favour of God threw him up.
Bible scholars have defined favour as the “ Grace of God to achieve so much with little efforts”.
However, only God Almighty decides whom He wants to single out for favour.
May we be counted worthy of the Lord’s favour in Jesus name.
Hearing from God is sometimes a channel that makes one benefit from the favour. God revealed his plans for Joseph in a dream . Human beings put obstacles on his path but the favour of God took him to his place of destiny.
How often do you set yourself apart to hear from the Lord?. Many of us are too busy to spend quality time with the Lord. Even in the church, our eyes hardly go off the wristwatch.
Two hours of service seem like several hours yet we want miracles. Those who do not have time to worship or serve the Lord, yet we want to testify to miracles almost on a daily basis.
What many of us have benefitted from is the mercy of God. A combination of God’s mercy and favour equals an amazing miracle.
No wonder the Psalmist said in Psalm 126 vs. 1-2: When the LORD turned again the captivity of Zion, we were like them that dream. Then was our mouth filled with laughter, and our tongue with singing: then they said among the heathen, The Lord hath done great things for them”.
The story of a couple trusting the Lord for children comes to my mind. The Chistian couple have been waiting on the Lord for about 23 years. While others especially relations who often pretend that they are more concerned about their plight have written them off, they kept continued to trust God.
At a point they visited a couple that invited them for a naming ceremony. The baby being named was adopted. The couple then inquired about how to go about adopting a child too.
As they considered this, the voice of God spoke to them that the LORD has no hand in the step they were about to take.
Immediately, they stopped the process.
A few months after , the woman felt feverish. She didn’t suspect pregnancy. Brethren when you have waited for a baby for years without getting one, you may just stop thinking about it. The fever persisted and she went to the hospital.
Her doctor conducted a test and confirmed pregnancy.
She didn’t know that God had decided to favour her.
To the Glory of God, her story of tears became one of laughter with the birth of a baby boy.
The couple stated clearly in their invitation card to friends that the baby boy is biological.
Brethren, do you see how the God of suddenly changed the story of the couple who wanted to find solutions to the challenge of barrenness in their own way by adopting a child.
Whilst we are not saying adoption, is bad, even for one to adopt, it is necessary to seek Divine Direction.
In the remaining days of this year, as you remain steadfast with the Lord, He will grant you favour in Jesus name.
The Lord’s favour has also been described as “ a lubricator to a man’s life”.
His favour actually gives you want you do not deserve.
It is the favour of God that can make a woman who is over 50 years to have a baby and have the baby by natural birth.
When God decides to favour a woman who has been waiting for the fruits the womb, he will give her double for her years of trouble.
Whatever the challenge, a combination of God’s mercy and favour can change one’s story.
In our prayers, just as we ask for the mercy of the Lord, we can also ask for His favour.
Psalm 106 vs. 4&5 : “ Remember me. O LORD, with the favour that thou bearest unto thy people: O visit me with thy salvation;
That I may see the good of thy chosen, that I may rejoice in the gladness of thy nation, that I may glory with thine inheritance”.
The favour of God often manifests in joy unspeakable. Is your challenge that of working like an elephant and eating like an ant? Have you spent so much going from one physician to the other in search of solutions to barrenness?
You need to turn to the greatest physician.
There are several ways that one can attract the favour of God.
The fear of God in this context is borne out of your love for the Lord. Joseph made up his mind not to give in the Potiphar’s wife not for the fear of Potiphar but for his love for God. Joseph said in Genesis 39vs. 8&9: “But he refused, and said unto his master’s wife, Behold, my master wotteth not what is with me in the house, and he hath committed all that he hath to my hand;
There is none greater in this house that I ; neither hath he kept back any thing from me but thee, because thou are his wife: how then can I do this great wickedness, and sin against God?
Brethren, how deep is you love for God? Are you willing to shun sin even when you are told to commit sinful acts in order to have a baby?
At the hour of temptation, may God give you the strength to resist the devil.
This reminds me of the story of a lady, who was waiting on the Lord for children. A family friend advised her to stop weeping because of inability to have children. The friend, an elderly woman suggested to her that she could have a casual relationship with any man, get pregnant and move on.
The elderly woman told her that she should not entertain any fear, since according to her “ the baby would resemble the man that sleeps by her side daily”.
These were before the days of DNA test. The woman refused. She was convinced that adultery wasn’t the solution to her barrenness.
Rather, she found time to attend more church programmes during which the word of God repeatedly came for her that she would be a mother of children.
God was so definite that the voice of the Holy Spirit told her clearly that She alone would have children for her husband.
Unknown to her, the husband bowing to family pressure had started dating another woman who had been boasting of how she would have children for the man.
But God stands with the righteous. Her husband’s adulterous relationship produced nothing.
The strange woman collapsed when she heard that the wife gave birth to a baby boy.
Brethren, whatever challenges we face in life, we must be confident that with God on our side, we shall over come.
Proverbs 8 vs. 34- 36: “ Blessed is the man that heareth me, watching daily at my gates, waiting at the posts of my doors.
For whoso findeth me findeth life, and shall obtain favour of the LORD.
But he that sinneth against me wrongeth his own soul: all they that hate me love death”.
Do I need say more?
Demonstrate your unconditional love for the Lord even when confronted with challenges.
Stand with the Lord and crush that challenge.
It was the favour of God that catapulted Esther from a slave girl to a Queen.
Consider the greeting of the angel to the virgin Mary in Luke 1 vs. 28: “ And the angel came in to her, and said, Hail, thou that art highly favoured, the Lord is with the thee: blessed are thou among women”.
May God favour you this Yuletide season in Jesus name.