Throughout the Bible we are promised that favour will be upon our lives. In some places the word ‘favour’ is used, and in other places the word ‘grace’ – which includes, but is not limited to, favour. For example Psalm 5:12 in the New American Standard Bible says, “For it is You who blesses the righteous man, O Lord, You surround him with favor as with a shield“. To favour somebody can be defined as:
- To be in favour of
- To support
- To back
- To champion
- To campaign for
- To stand up for
- To argue for
- To press for
- To lobby for
- To promote
- To vouch for
In this post I want to look at the account of Paul as he was taken to Rome, and see the favour of God that was constantly with him, the favour of God that surrounded Paul like a shield.
He showed Paul favour, he gave him special treatment, because the favour of God was upon Paul.
Acts 27 begins by telling how Paul and the other prisoners have been put under the charge of a centurion named Julius and have boarded a ship bound for Italy. Verse 3 tells of their arrival in Sidon, “The next day, we touched at Sidon. Julius treated Paul kindly, and gave him permission to go to his friends and refresh himself” (World English Bible). Paul was a prisoner, so Julius was under no obligation to do anything for Paul, but he showed Paul favour. Why? Julius gave Paul special treatment, because the favour of God was upon Paul. Acts 27 then records how God warned Paul about danger if they continued to sail, how Paul’s counsel was ignored, and then of the shipwreck that resulted. As the ship is destroyed when its runs aground, the Roman soldiers are ready to kill the prisoners, including Paul, rather than risk them escaping. But once again, favour shows up. This time it acts a shield of protection for Paul, “But Julius, the officer, wanted to let Paul live. He did not allow the soldiers to kill the prisoners. Instead he ordered everyone who could swim to jump into the water and swim to land” (Act 27:43, International Children’s Bible).
We spent a wonderful three months on Malta.
As they reach the island of Malta, Acts 28 begins with another account of the favour that was upon Paul. Acts 28:2 in the Holman Christian Standard Bible says, “The local people showed us extraordinary kindness, for they lit a fire and took us all in, since it was raining and cold“. Why did everyone that had been aboard the ship receive such ‘extraordinary kindness’ from the local people? It was because they were with Paul and the favour of God that was upon his life affected them too. But that was just the beginning though of the favour that was shown to Paul and his companions whilst they were on Malta. Look at Acts 28:10 from The Message, “We spent a wonderful three months on Malta. They treated us royally, took care of all our needs and outfitted us for the rest of the journey“. Paul was living out Proverbs 3:3-4 “Let not mercy and truth forsake thee: bind them about thy neck; write them upon the table of thine heart: So shalt thou find favour and good understanding in the sight of God and man“. He had favour with God and was constantly finding favour with man.
The fact that Paul had the money to rent a house for two whole years, is pretty good evidence that Paul was a wealthy man.
When they finally reach Rome in Acts 28:16, Paul is again given preferential treatment, as favour goes to work for him again: “Now when we came to Rome, the centurion delivered the prisoners to the captain of the guard; but Paul was permitted to dwell by himself with the soldier who guarded him” (New King James Version). In verses 30-31 the Book of Acts ends with a final account of the favour that followed Paul everywhere he went, “Paul stayed two full years in his own rented house and welcomed all people who came to visit him. He boldly preached about the kingdom of God and taught about the Lord Jesus Christ, and no one stopped him“. Paul was a prisoner, he could have just been put in a dark Roman jail cell until the time came to see Caesar, but instead he was allowed to rent a house and live there for two years (albeit under guard). Not only that, Paul was allowed to preach there as well. Considering the position he was in, Paul was shown absolutely extraordinary favour. On a side note, the fact that Paul had the money to rent a house for two whole years, is pretty good evidence that Paul was a wealthy man – not poor like some people seem to think.
What happened to Paul was not random.
If you read through Acts 27 & 28 and say, “Wow, wasn’t Paul lucky”, then you are completely missing the point. Luck, which does not actually exist, is defined as random occurrences of good fortune. But what happened to Paul was not random, neither was it good fortune. Every single time that Paul received preferential treatment, every time good things happened to him, it was the favour of God working on his behalf. This favour was not just for Paul – it is available to all of us, because God is no respecter of persons. To walk in the kind of favour that I have just described, we just need to be believe for it and expect it to constantly show up in our lives, just as it did in Paul’s.
One of the ways to activate the favour of God in your own life is to make a confession like the one below by Dr Bill Winston:
“In the Name of Jesus, I decree from this moment forward, I see myself the way God sees me. I am highly favored of the Lord. I am crowned with glory and honor. I am the righteousness of God in Christ and reigning as a King in life through the one man Jesus Christ the Messiah.
In Jesus’ Name, I declare by faith that I walk in divine favor. I have preferential treatment, supernatural increase, restoration, increased assets, great victories, recognition, prominence, petitions granted, policies and rules changed and battles won I do not have to fight, all because of the Blessing and favor of God on my life.
In Jesus’ Name, every morning when I arise, I expect divine favor to go before me and surround me as with a shield with good will and pleasures forevermore. Doors are now open for me that men say are impossible to open. No obstacle can stop me, and no hindrances can delay me.
In Jesus’ Name, I am honored by my Father, as I receive genuine favor that comes directly from Him. I am special to Him. I am the object of His affection. I am blessed and highly favored of the Lord, in Jesus’ Name. Amen.”
It’s good to acknowledge God’s favour in the small things – the things that most people overlook or put down to luck – as well as in the big things. Click here for some examples of how my family have experienced God’s favour.
If you have any further questions or thoughts, please feel free to leave a comment.
If you have never received Jesus as your Lord & Saviour, if you have gone away from God, or if you have any doubts regarding your salvation. I encourage you to click on the link below. Clicking on the link will not secure your salvation, but praying the prayer you find, from your heart, will.
For the salvation prayer, please click here.