Monday, February 18, 2013

DO NOT BE AFRAID by Gary Wilkerson

“Do not be afraid . . . for you have found favor with God” (Luke 1:30, ESV).

When God announces to us that this is the year of His favor, He means this year. God is speaking to you about finding His favor now—this month, this week, today.

When I preached this message on God’s favor at The Springs Church in Colorado Springs, an alcoholic woman was sitting in the service. She heard the Holy Spirit speak to her heart: “Although you have been in despair, My favor is on you. You will see a 180-degree turn in your life.” The woman gave her all to the Lord in that service—and she has been sober now for months.

In New York City, a young man who had been homeless for a year stumbled into Times Square Church. He sat through the service, but when it was over he left, thinking, “I hate this place. I won’t be coming back here.” Yet something pulled him back. He came again the next week and the same thing happened. Again he left, saying, “I’m never coming back.”

This pattern repeated itself and finally, after a full year, the young man again rose from his seat as the service ended. Only this time he said, “I love you, Jesus, and I need You in my life.” He went to the altar and gave his life to Christ.

The pastors at Times Square Church sensed a calling on this young man’s life. They helped him go to Bible school, where he turned out to be a brilliant student. He finished with a 4.0 grade point average and enrolled in seminary, completing a three-year degree in only eighteen months. He was asked to stay on at the seminary as a professor, but he declined, saying, “No, I’m a pastor.”

The same day I delivered this message at The Springs Church, that young man was preaching at Times Square Church. God’s favor had fallen on a homeless, insignificant life—and He made all the difference!

Let this truth begin a song in your heart, as it did with Mary. God is conceiving something new, transforming your trial into His glory. You may not feel His presence, but He has His hand over you. Trust Him with everything—your heart, your family, your situation—and you will see His glory.