The angel told Mary that she was highly favored of God. What does that mean? There was a young man who has poor health and was sick and puny his whole life. He became a pastor, and his illness became so severe he could not serve the people of his church, but his spirit always soared. He often complained about the harsh hymn text of the day, and someone challenged him to write better hymns. He ended up writing 600 hymns, mostly hymns of praise. When he died in 1748, he left a remarkable collection of hymns. His name was Isaac Watts, and you know what his contribution to Christmas is? “Joy to the World, the Lord is Come.” His life was not easy, but Isaac Watts was greatly favored and greatly blessed because he was fulfilling God’s purpose for his life. He could sing “Joy to the World,” even if he were in the midst of pain. I pray for the favor of God in your life. I don’t pray for an easy life, wealth and prosperity. I pray that a clear sense of His purpose, presence and strength will be very real to you through the tough times you will encounter along the way as you seek to live out His purpose. To be blessed and favored by God doesn’t mean to have an easy life. It means living a life fulfilling the purpose for which God created you to live.
– Dr. Tim Thompson