God's favour opens us up to supernatural increase and promotion for us.
"But the LORD was with Joseph, and showed him mercy, and gave him favour in the sight of the keeper of the prison."
Joseph was particularly loved by his father, given the special coat, he made everyone mad and jealous. You may have been on either side of that, the person who has been blessed or the person that’s jealous. Then it all goes wrong, or does it? Joseph receives that special favour but then he gets thrown in a pit, sold and ends up in jail. What’s happened to the prophetic message that his brothers will bow before him, that he will be in charge and ruling? Maybe it didn’t seem like an authentic dream after that.
A number of us have unfulfilled dreams, unfulfilled expectations. In fact, when we got the clarity of what God wants us to do, then the worse life became… or did it?
We discover like Joseph, it's through this testing period that God is refining us, God is getting the junk out of our lives, purifying our motives. Helping us understand the true motivation of what God is calling us to do.
Back to Joseph, when he’s in prison we see he gets the favour of the prison guard. In the mess, the chaos, the impossibility, when there’s no way forward, it was over, he had no future, it was done (have you ever said that?)
But then he gets favour. He couldn’t strategise for that, it was an act of God. Joseph goes from prisoner to prime minister.
I want to encourage you, some of you have said that, you’ve said it to yourself, to your partner, to your kids, it’s over, it's done, it’s finished.
No, we are in process, we only feel that we are in prison, that there is no way forward. But when favour comes upon us, that indescribable blessing, we find supernatural increase and promotion will take place.
2. Favour brings restoration… It brings Restoration of everything the Enemy has stolen.
"And I will give this people favour in the sight of the Egyptians: and it shall come to pass, that, when ye go, ye shall not go empty:"
We all know the story, Israel coming out of Egypt after being used and abused. They felt as if they had nothing, but they were leaving loaded.
I don’t know what you have had taken away from you. I know the Egyptians had lost many things, personal dignity, personal respect, opportunities for influence, creating a better future for their children.
The picture we have here of the Israelite nation is a picture of what the enemy would do to us.
We know from John 10:10: 'The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.'
I’ve been deeply impacted recently by this verse:
Isaiah 61:7:`Instead of shame and dishonour, you will inherit a double portion of prosperity and everlasting joy.
Don’t limit prosperity to economic terms, it could mean that, but it also means he wants us to prosper in our souls, our emotions, prosper us with joy, with the peace of God that can not be comprehended, in your relationships, friendships. To have everlasting joy.
God can take ugly impossible situations, incarcerated and in bondage like the Israelites and release to them everything they had lost, compounded back and they could leave with abundance. It’s not over!
Some of us are facing difficult long term challenges, but it’s not over. I want to suggest to you that if it’s not well, it’s not ended. It will end well, we’ve read the last chapter of the Bible, we know who wins!
In the middle of this storm, tempest, in this stress, you wake up in the middle of the night, overwhelmed with no hope, darkness, deep depression. I’m believing the Lord is saying to you `Instead of shame and dishonour, you will inherit a double portion.
3. Favour brings Honour in the middle of difficult circumstances.
This reiterates what I’ve said:
'And the LORD gave the people favour in the sight of the Egyptians. Moreover the man Moses was very great in the land of Egypt, in the sight of Pharaoh’s servants, and in the sight of the people.'
Back in 2004, there was the Tsunami in Phuket. We had friends who had been there for a number of years and their building was used as a hospital for the sick. They had a church of about 100, they began to work with the council and the mayor to help, they were hugely over stretched and even Brian became ill. There was an enormous mess. One of the things he felt they needed to do was rebuild the High school, which had been destroyed. As people without an education have no future, people without education remain in systemic poverty.
But they were just a couple of missionaries and the bill was at least a £1m, small for a UK school but a huge cost there. But they still decided to raise the money, but not from within the church, they went to the police force in Surrey and they did it in about 6 months and rebuilt this school, state of the art.
As a result of that incredible gesture the King of Thailand, gave Brian the equivalent of an MBE for his services. He was the first Christian minister in the history of this Buddist country to receive this honour. But he wasn’t doing it for that honour, he was thinking we have to do something, he was doing it for the children, so they could have a future. They could have waited for someone else to do it, but no, they took it on themselves and did it anyway.
There maybe dreams inside of you, you're wanting to see things come to fruition, it may seem too big. But I want to encourage you as God said to the people of Israel, there is favour on you, you will become great in the land, in Egypt, great in your community, great in your street, great in your school, great in your family as you outwork what God has put in your heart. Don’t quit because of the enormity of the opportunity, the opportunity is an opportunity to experience God’s favour.
4. Favour can give great and unusual victories even against impossible odds.
So the people shouted when the priests blew with the trumpets: and it came to pass, when the people heard the sound of the trumpet, and the people shouted with a great shout, that the wall fell down flat, so that the people went up into the city, every man straight before him, and they took the city.
God can turn a bad situation into victory in an unusual way.
5. God’s favour can give recognition and promotion even when you seem to be the least likely one to receive it.
1 Samuel 16:22
And Saul sent to Jesse, saying, “Let David remain in my service, for he has found favour in my sight.”
Only God would pick a shepherd boy to be King.
6. When you have the favour of God it can produce prominence and
preferential treatment, favour and kindness.
What happened to Esther is a great example of this. In summary, she was chosen to be one of the potential wives for the King. Her parents had died, she lived with her Uncle, Mordecai. The King had a massive Hareem and Esther was chosen to be part of this.
The problem was she was a Jew, not from that area, her Uncle told her not to tell anyone they were Jews. Now Haman, one of the King’s men hatches a plan to destroy all the Jews living in the country. He instructed all must bow to him because of his position, but Esther’s uncle only bows to Jehovah, so Haman is angry at her Uncle. He is filled with hate and wants to destroy not just him but all Jews in the province. Whilst this is happening, Esther is finding favour with the King and eventually he wants Esther as the queen of the nation!
In the meantime Haman, filled with his own self importance is asked by the King how he should reward someone for doing a great job for the King. Haman, thinking he is talking about him, says he should have the King’s coat and the King’s horse and ride through the city and be honoured. The King said great, can you do that for Mordecai. Haman is angry and continues his plan to annihilate the jews.
To stop this plan, Mordeciah asks Esther to ask for a favour from the King, but Esther can’t just go to him, she has to be summoned and she hasn’t been asked for in over a month, it wasn’t looking good! But as we know, she was summoned and she has favour in his eyes and he wants to grant her a request. She prepares a banquet for the King and Haman. And you know how it goes, Esther exposes Haman’s plan and the gallows that were erected for Mordeciah were used to hang Haman.
Understand this, the weapons that were formed against you are not going to prosper! The weapons formed against you are not going to prosper! Those that have plotted evil against you, not differences of opinion, but evil against you, they will not prosper. I’m not saying they are going to hang on their own gallows, but they are going to come undone.
7. His favour can win battles you will not even have to fight, because God will fight them for you.
"We have heard with our ears, O God, Our fathers have told us, The deeds You did in their days, In days of old: You drove out the nations with Your hand, But them You planted; You afflicted the peoples, and cast them out. For they did not gain possession of the land by their own sword, Nor did their own arm save them; But it was Your right hand, Your arm, and the light of Your countenance, Because You favoured them."