If we can encourage others, we should encourage them.
~Romans 12:8

Monday, December 28, 2015

Blessed and Highly Favored

And having come in, the angel said to her, “Rejoice, highly favored one, the Lord is with you; blessed are you among women!”
Luke 1:28 NKJV

Blessed and highly favored. That's a phrase many Christians use, proudly claiming the title. I  certainly do it. When asked how I am, I often respond "blessed and highly favored". But what does that really mean from a biblical perspective?

Mary was a young virgin engaged to be married, when an angel visited her and told her she had been chosen by God to carry God's Son, the King of kings. What an honor, to be so blessed and highly favored. Royalty brings visions of luxury, splendor, and great provision. Favor suggests being able to get what you want from others. But what was the reality of Mary, the mother of Jesus the Messiah?

Her fiance broke up with her when he learned of the pregnancy. Blessed and highly favored.
Mary couldn't even get a hotel room, and she had to give birth to the Savior of the World in a barn full of animals. Blessed and highly favored.

We often glamorize nativity scenes, but I'm sure Mary must have felt some confusion, disappointment, and frustration. Like Mary, I received great promises but encountered great obstacles and great trials.

Betrayed and rejected by loved ones. Blessed and highly favored.
No money in the bank. Blessed and highly favored.
Sleeping on the floor in someone else's home. Blessed and highly favored.

God's Beloved don't let difficult circumstances, closed doors, or rejection cause you to doubt your position with God. Just as Jesus was still the King of all kings when they spat on Him and while he hung on a cross, you are blessed and highly favored even when things don't appear to be going your way. Whether in the palace or the pit/prison, God's children are royalty. No matter where you are, God is with you and His favor will find you. God led wise men to the barn where Jesus lay; bearing extravagant gifts of frankincense, gold, and myrrh.

Heavenly Father
Help me trust Your Word over my circumstances. Help me walk by faith and not by sight, for You are a Good Shepherd, and You will not lead me astray. Help me to have peace when my "reality" does not seem to line up with Your promises or my desires. Forgive me for focusing too much on the natural, when Yours is a supernatural Kingdom.

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