Picture by Adrian van Leen www.rgbstock.com

Picture by Adrian van Leen
http://www.rgbstock.com

God’s Will

I believe that John the apostle reflects the general will of God toward us when he says, ‘Beloved, I wish above all things that you may prosper and be in health, even as your soul prospers’ (3 John 1:2). Having said that, contentment without these is often necessary too. Also, ‘prosper’ here does not mean ‘gain great wealth’, but that things may go well.

Prosperity is Not Everything

Prosperity is like health. They are blessings, but they’re not everything. Paul left Trophimus ill at Miletus and Timothy was instructed to take wine for his stomach and his frequent ailments. Nevertheless, that does not mean that we cannot trust the Lord for healing nor does it prevent us from teaching others to do the same too. But, it does show us that God may allow us to go through unpleasant experiences while we are still in our fallen bodies and in this fallen world.

Our Expectations

Similarly, expecting God to prosper us is not abnormal as long as it does not override a greater expectation that God will most certainly give us the grace needed for whatever the circumstances are that He permits.

Contentment is Better

So, though prosperity is a blessing, nevertheless contentment without prosperity is far better than prosperity itself. In Php 4:11-13, Paul says, ‘Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. I can do all things through him who strengthens me.’

The Goal

Clearly prosperity is a blessing, but it should never be the goal. Instead, our goal should be faith with contentment.

 

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