The Favorable Hand of the Lord

Dr. Charles Stanley

Read | Proverbs 8

It is hard to think of Jesus as ever needing improvement or growth of any kind, but the Word of God tells us that He “kept increasing in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men” (Luke 2:52). As God, He was complete and had everything, but as a human being, He had to grow in wisdom and favor. So do we.

When we become children of God by placing our faith in Jesus, we are fully accepted and deeply loved, regardless of our behavior. It’s not possible for the Lord to love us more at some times than at others, because He is love (1 John 4:16) and cannot stop loving.

But favor is a different story: it can be conferred or withdrawn by our Father. The believer’s responsibility is to choose a path that leads to His favor, according to guidelines laid out in the Word of God.

Some of the Lord’s preferred paths are specifically described in Proverbs 8, in which wisdom is personified: she is calling in the streets and inviting the simple to come. She finishes her discourse by saying that “he who finds me finds life and obtains favor from the Lord” (v. 35).

From this passage, we learn that obtaining wisdom and favor is not a one-time event but, rather, a growing process that includes specific steps. First, we must listen and keep wisdom’s ways. Then we are advised to heed instruction and not neglect it. Finally, we are exhorted to watch daily and wait at her doorposts. (vv. 32-34). God is pleased when His children act wisely.