Favor is usually given because of something we can offer or some innate quality we possess. Maybe someone gives you favor at work and you get a promotion or a raise. Maybe a restaurant manager shows you favor in order to win more of your business. It seems mysterious when you take into account all the factors that could persuade others to show favor to you. It could be your smile or personality that causes someone to show favor to you. It could be that they are just in a good mood and are having a good day. It could be for ulterior motives. Maybe they want to sell you on something. You just never know. Human beings are fickle like that.
With God, favor is not that complicated. In the scriptures, God gives favor to all. This is expressed in Acts 10:34 when it says that God shows no favoritism. Jesus also said that God sends his rain on the just and the unjust and causes his sun to shine on the evil and the good (Matthew 5:45). The favor that God shows is not based on race or socioeconomic background. It is not based on whether you earned enough Christian brownie points by doing good deeds or going to church. When we talk about God’s favor we are talking about something that is given out indiscriminately.
God’s favor is secured for those who are followers of Christ. As followers of Christ, when God looks at us he also sees his Son. You know the one he called his beloved and with whom he was well pleased (Matthew 3:17). God showed favor to Jesus by pouring out his spirit on him and also by approving his ministry and life (Acts 10:38). This doesn’t mean Jesus escaped the hard things and the suffering that comes along with living on this earth. Jesus was tried as a criminal and executed. But ultimately, God showed favor on him by raising him from the dead. That’s the kind of favor that every believer can expect from a God who looks at them and sees his son.