Friday, July 6, 2007

Believing the Prosperity of God

Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers. (3 John 2)
The will of God for His people is that we prosper in all things and be in health, even as our souls prosper. From the context, we see that prosperity of soul is about walking both in truth and in love.
For I rejoiced greatly when brethren came and testified of the truth that is in you, just as you walk in the truth. I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth. Beloved, you do faithfully whatever you do for the brethren and for strangers, who have borne witness of your love before the church. (3 John 3-6)
To prosper means to “do well.” When the Bible says “prosper in all things,” that means His purpose is for us to do well in all things. This echoes His promises from the Old Testament:
This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success. (Joshua 1:8)

But his delight is in the law of the Lord,
And in His law he meditates day and night.
He shall be like a tree
Planted by the rivers of water,
That brings forth its fruit in its season,
Whose leaf also shall not wither;
And whatever he does shall prosper.
(Psalm 1:2-3)
Prosperity, or doing well, in “all things” is by no means limited to finances, as some seem to suppose, but includes every aspect of life. By the same token, “all things” by no means excludes finances, as others seem to suppose, but are included as much as anything else. God wants to prosper all His people in finances as well as in everything else. Again, this is all related to soul prosperity — doing the truth and walking in love.

To those who love and trust in Him, God promises, among other things, that He will command the blessing on us in our storehouses and in all we set our hands to (Deuteronomy 28:8). He also promises that wealth and riches will be in our houses (Psalm 112:3). He promises that, when we honor Him with our possessions and with the firstfruit of all our increase, our barns will be filled with plenty and our vats overflow with new wine (Proverbs 3:9-10). Psalm 35:27 tells us that God takes pleasure in the prosperity of His people.

So, there is no question that God wants all His people to prosper in all things, including our finances. His Word confirms it repeatedly. This is not some extraneous “prosperity gospel,” but the consistent teaching of the Scriptures. These promises, being the Word of God, who cannot lie, are therefore sure and true, and can be fully relied upon.

Now, along with all that, Jesus promised that there would also be persecutions. We see this in the promise of hundredfold return:
Assuredly, I say to you, there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or father or mother or wife or children or lands, for My sake and the gospel's, who shall not receive a hundredfold now in this time — houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and lands, with persecutions — and in the age to come, eternal life. (Mark 29:30)
Because Jesus has said this, it would be foolish for anyone to think that there are not going to be persecutions. But by the same token, it would be foolish to think that there is not also going to be the hundredfold return of all that is given up for the sake of Jesus and the Gospel. Jesus explicitly states that such return is to be received “now in this time” as well as eternal life in the age to come.

You can confidently rely upon the promises and prosperity of God.