Recently, I’ve been thinking a lot about the Lord’s favor. The favor of God is a wonderful thing (Gen. 4:4; Luke 2:52; Acts 7:46). I personally know of few things in life that are as marvelous. However, there are several dangers attached to it.
One of them is jealousy from others . . . typically from one’s peers or those who desire to be peers.
Jealousy over God’s favor in Abel’s life cost him that life. His brother Cain grew insanely jealous and killed him over it. Saul became jealous because of the favor of God in David’s life. That jealousy moved him to try to kill David. Jesus Christ Himself was put to death by those who were envious of His life and ministry (Matt. 27:18; Mark 15:10).
That jealousy seems to have taken root when Jesus was drawing larger crowds than both John the Baptist and the Pharisees: ”The Pharisees heard that Jesus was gaining and baptizing more disciples than John . . . When the Lord learned of this, He left Judea and went back once more to Galilee” (John 4:1, 3).
The servant is not greater than his Master.
If God chooses to put His favor on your life . . . or your ministry . . . be prepared for others to become jealous of you. People who are jealous become obsessed with tearing the objects of their jealousy down, misrepresenting them, distorting their words, and maligning them. And lifting themselves up in the process. It’s a pattern that’s woven into the flesh.
However, your reaction is everything. If you respond in kind, you will lose the Lord’s favor. But if you choose the path of David and Jesus, entrusting it to God and not returning evil for evil, the Lord’s favor will only increase in your life and He will produce more fruit through your ministry. The Lord stands with those who refuse to retaliate, but are willing to leave the matter in His hands.
The words of Peter say it all, I think: “When they hurled their insults at him, he did not retaliate; when he suffered, he made no threats. Instead, he entrusted himself to him who judges justly.”