May You Prosper
I hope this finds you well. I pray for all of you often, and I hope that the King of Glory is flooding your life with His presence.
I often hear people argue that prosperity is not part of the Doctrine of Christ. Part of the basis of the argument is they will refer to Job or the apostles who suffered. While we have a difference of opinion on some issues, I believe the best place to start is defining prosperity.
For some reason, the word prosperity gets thrown around like a frisbee, to hit another believer in the head. If we do not have a clear understanding of prosperity, then we could have a difficult road in our faith. So before we start, let's lay this foundation.
John 10:10 The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.
Jesus came to give you abundance, and Satan comes to steal, kill, and destroy. We need to know the players so we can identify their fruit. Even though I would like to start in the book of Genesis and expound on all the scriptures, I will not give in to that temptation. I find newsletters that long are called a book.
Let us go to one of the beloved apostles in Scripture and see what he says and conclude some things there.
3 John 2 Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers.
The word prosper means this.
"Euodoo · to grant a prosperous and expeditious journey, to lead by a direct and easy way · to grant a successful issue, to cause to prosper · to prosper, be successful."
This is the keyword in the passage and what does John want to prosper. You in all things. Of course, we are talking about Godly things. We are allowed to use our brains here. Why did I start here? Because John made this remarkable statement.
1 John 5:14 Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us.
1 John 15 And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of Him.
So my question to you would be this. Is John praying an ungodly prayer? Is he praying against the will of God for you and me? Some would think so. They will point out the suffering in the world to say that I am wrong. But that philosophy is flawed. I could easily argue by that reasoning that God does not want all to be saved because all are not. 1 Tim 2:4. This is God's sovereign will. If we have not figured it out yet, man has gone astray from God's will to his own. Prov 14:12
Now let us get back to the word prosper if we may. Does it mean you will be a millionaire and have a jet? Does it mean you will be living a life of luxury? No, what does it mean? What is God saying? John is praying that your journey is successful. He is praying that what God has for you to do would be a success. For some, that might mean a business owner, and it might be an employee of a grocery store for others. Both people are in the will of God, and the Lord wants both to be prosperous.
Paul had this to say about God's will and provision.
2 Cor. 9:6 But this I say: He who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully.
2 Cor. 7 So let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity; for God loves a cheerful giver.
2 Cor. 8 And God is able to make all grace abound toward you, that you, always having all sufficiency in all things, may have an abundance for every good work. **Bold added.**
It is that simple. The Lord God wants you abundantly supplied for your journey in life. To live free from lack and want. It is that simple. If that means for some, they have an abundance of riches, so let it be Yet for others, it means that you are faithful with want the Lord has entrusted to you better yet. That is our goal. That is prosperity. There should be no confusion.
I think the problem comes when ministers prosper past our comfort level. They have a jet and travel all over the globe. Jealousy comes in, and we have to strike it down to lift ourselves. The statement is correct; you can not take anything with you when you die. This statement is also true; lack and poverty is not a virtue or a fruit of the Spirit.
So I leave you with this. God wants you to prosper in all the things that He has called you to do. He wants abundantly supplied for your journey with Him. He will provide all that is needed. Now, that was not too hard to handle. I think we can live with that.
Again I pray that your week is filled with His Goodness and Mercy.