The favor of God
Mary had favor with God. But that favor meant she would be ostracized by her family and community for the virgin birth. It also involved being the mother of Jesus and watching Him ultimately be hated, put on trial, and crucified.
Moses mother had the favor of God. That favor caused her to have give up her son. To trust his life into the hands of her unseen God. To not get him back as her own.
Rebecca had the favor of God. But that favor meant many years of barrenness and anguish. Then to give up her firstborn to God to serve in the temple.
Ruth had the favor of God. That favor involved the death of her husband, poverty, fear, and a move across the country.
Esther had favor. But that favor left her an orphan. That favor made her put her life on the line for her people group without any knowledge of the outcome. Her favor made her stare death square in the face.
Joseph had favor. That favor cost him his family for many years. It took him into the utter darkness of hatred. To the pits of the dungeon. The favor of God brought lies, ridicule, loss, the death of dreams, and great sorrow. The favor of God kept him in the darkness and in the pit until the very moment of God designed redemption.
David had the favor of God and he spent his life as a belittled Shepard in his family. Ostracized by his brothers and disregarded by his father. That favor brought years of torment by Saul as he waited to be seated on the throne that God said was his.
Abraham had Gods favor but he didn’t get to live to see the fulfillment of the promise to him given by God.
Able had the favor of God and he was killed by his own brother.
Daniel had favor. That favor allowed him to be thrown into the den of lions. He was hated, worked against, opposed.
Nehemiah had favor. That favor had him in exile. It put him to work to rebuild the ruined house of God. That favor causes him to be hated and worked against. That favor caused him great opposition and sorrow. That favor brought pain and made him choose to trust.
Stephen had favor. That favor allowed him to be the first martyr.
All the disciples of Jesus had favor, and all but one of them died a martyrs death. That favor made then to be hated, imprisoned, ridiculed, opposed, sought after to kill, and alienated.