Lately, I've been thinking about God's favor. For a long time when I heard about the "favor of the Lord" I either associated it with prosperity or a pass to do what you want (like a spoiled child). It left a weird taste in my mouth whenever the subject was brought up . . . but the older I get and the more I come to understand God as our father (through my own fatherhood) I see God's favor in a completely different way. 

When I look to my five-year-old son, he is in a phase of life now where everything is a learning opportunity. He is continually given grace but also at times correction. This can be a difficult period of life not only for my son but also for me as a father. It requires grace and many times an abundance of patience. But my role is to guide him, protect him, and teach him as his father. There is no greater honor I have found then to raise my son, and in doing so I am able to pass on everything that has been given to me.

This has changed how I view God and his favor. The psalmist writes: 

For the Lord God is a sun and shield; the Lord bestows favor and honor. No good thing does he withhold from those who walk uprightly. Psalm 84:11

God is our guide, He is leading us, always and continually correcting our course. But He is also our shield, protecting us and standing as our defender. In doing so he "bestows" upon us all that He not only is but has. It says in the Psalm, "No good thing does he withhold from those who walk uprightly." This isn't a one-liner to encourage riches or everything we might want (as I once thought), but rather a promise that God has completely and freely given Himself to those of us who know and walk in His light.

I want to encourage you today. Maybe you are in a season of guidance, correction, or growth. God's favor might not feel present or even given--the same as a child who might not feel the love of a parent in the moment of correction or teaching. But God's favor has already been given, He corrects and guides because of His great love for us. Be encouraged that He is walking with you. He does not hide from us, nor does He abandon us. Rest in the protection of your father in heaven, understand that He has fully given all that is His in heaven to you. As the father says in Luke 15: "'Son, you are always with me, and all that is mine is yours."

Walk uprightly and understand your father is guiding your steps and protecting you when needed.