Prosperity is quite a word in Christianity. There are Christians on both sides of the isle who will either embrace prosperity wholeheartedly, or denounce it completely. This kind of dichotomy is interesting since prosperity is mentioned and explained in the scriptures. However there is a certain caution that is latent regarding prosperity that the scriptures don’t demonstrate.
Prosperity is not evil. God is truly the most prosperous entity in all of existence! And furthermore, He is the giver of all good gifts, according to James 1:17.; which also includes prosperity.
And Jesus specifically stated that our Father in heaven will never give us dangerous or evil gifts, in Matthew 7:9-11.
Knowing this, we can therefore conclude that prosperity, as a gift and blessing from our divinely perfect and good Father God, cannot be wrong, evil, or bad.
How then does prosperity come to us? By what avenue does it travel? Many people need prosperity today, and because they haven’t been receiving, they erroneously conclude that God isn’t prospering anymore, or that His prosperity is only ethereal.
So we are going to explore this today, and get a better idea of how we prosper in Christ today.
Prosperity is Not a Dirty Word
It’s crucial that we deal with the issue of prosperity not being a dirty word, or something to be shunned. There are many examples in scripture where we see God blessing His children with prosperity of every kind: everything from prosperity in your body. Each of these aspects of provision are good gifts, and needed gifts that come from our good Father God who loves us.
It is God who provides us every single thing that we have. Your heart beats because He has given you the gift of physical life and existence. And you have His righteousness, holiness and blessing upon you today because He has given you the gift of spiritual life also. Make no mistake, these are all aspects of provision. And typically we do not shun His gifts of life.
Why then do we typically struggle with accepting His financial prosperity? Sometimes there is a type of apathy, or even a false humility regarding the physical wealth provision of God.
But God is not apathetic about the prosperity which He offers. He wants us to know and receive all of His gifts, including prosperity. There are those who downplay the the prosperity of God, and say that we should be focused on generosity and giving. The irony with this idea, is that how can you give generously if you are not prosperous?
It’s a strange form of arrogance to think that you do not need God to prosper you – in every way. Prosperity in your body, mind, spirit, and finances all comes from Him.
God Gives Prosperity as a Blessing
The scriptures contain many examples of God blessing His people with all kinds of prosperity, including financial prosperity. And this all-inclusive prosperity is listed as a blessing for obedience in the Old Covenant in Deuteronomy 28:8-12. Conversely, poverty in all its forms is listed as a curse in the latter-half of the same chapter.
What this can tell us, is that God wants us to prosper, as part of our relationship with Him, and He is the solution to the curse of poverty and lack.
Some people cringe even talking about this. And that’s mainly due to the fact that we have been conditioned to believe that prosperity is wrong, or something that leads to a lascivious lifestyle.
We need to get over this idea, and actually have enough humility to admit that we need God’s gift of provision and prosperity, in every area of our life – including financially.
If we study the examples of God’s prosperity in scripture, we can clearly see that His prosperity includes financial provision.
Abram in Genesis 13:2, was made very rich in cattle, silver, and gold.
Solomon in 1st Kings 3:12-13, is given wisdom, riches, and honor by God. That’s prosperity of mind and finances.
The Israelites were freed from the bondage of Egypt, and brought out with silver and gold, and none were feeble among them, as recorded in Psalm 105:37 – a picture of prosperity of body (health) and prosperity of wealth.
So we can clearly see that God willingly and and does bless His people with prosperity of every kind.
Prosperity and Giving Generously
One of the most common pushbacks to this is that we shouldn’t be greedy, and that is correct. The purpose of God’s blessings of prosperity isn’t to feed anyones greed. The scriptures tell us that there are two main reasons for God giving us prosperity:
The first reason God gives prosperity, is to confirm His covenant relationship. (Romans 4:13-17, Hebrews 7:7-22). Prosperity is primarily a gift, and it is given as an inheritance from our loving Father God to His children.
The second reason God gives prosperity is so that we can be as generous as our Heavenly Father.
According to 2nd Corinthians, God also blesses us with prosperity so that we can quite literally “share the wealth” with those around us. Just as an ambassador travels with the riches of the king and to show the king’s greatness, so too should we travel with the riches of our king for the same reason.
This is a fact that is often overlooked from those who neglect the prosperity of God. It is impossible to give generously if you are poor!
Please don’t take my word for this, see what the scriptures say in 2nd Corinthians 8:9-13:
“For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, that you through his poverty might be rich.
And herein I give my advice: for this is expedient for you, who have begun before, not only to do, but also to be forward a year ago.
Now therefore perform the doing of it; that as there was a readiness to will, so there may be a performance also out of that which you have.
For if there be first a willing mind, it is accepted according to that a man has, and not according to that he has not.
For I mean not that other men be eased, and you burdened:
But by an equality, that now at this time your abundance may be a supply for their want, that their abundance also may be a supply for your want: that there may be equality:
As it is written, He that had gathered much had nothing over; and he that had gathered little had no lack.”
The entire context here is giving generously and freely, but notice specifically verses 11 through 15. The verses say that we are supposed to give out of what we have, and not from what we don’t have!
God does not want us to reduce ourselves to utter destitution in the name of “Godly giving.”
Some people have the idea that the more impoverished we are, the holier we are; such an idea is entirely unscriptural, and denotes a grievous ignorance of what holiness is.
Rather, as we see in these scriptures. God’s plan is to bless us abundantly in all things (including finances) so that we can truly give generous from the abundance which we have been given!
This sentiment continues on in chapter 9, seen most clearly in verses 6 through 12:
“But this I say, He which sows sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which sows bountifully shall reap also bountifully.
Every man according as he purposes in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loves a cheerful giver.
And God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that you, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work:
(As it is written, He has dispersed abroad; he has given to the poor: his righteousness remains for ever.
Now he that ministers seed to the sower both minister bread for your food, and multiply your seed sown, and increase the fruits of your righteousness;)
Being enriched in every thing to all bountifulness, which causes through us thanksgiving to God.
For the administration of this service not only supplies the want of the saints, but is abundant also by many thanksgivings to God;”
Verse 8 is very clear, God can (and does) give you all sufficiency in all things. You cannot dismiss this as spiritual-only. All sufficiency in all things includes everything; spiritual, mental, physical and financial. And the purpose of all these blessings is mentioned again in verses 11 and 12:
So that we can give generously, supplying the needs of others as ambassadors for Christ, and ultimately resulting in great praise and thanksgiving to God, from whom all blessings originate!
We have seen today that not only does God supply prosperity, but that He does so freely as a gift. Prosperity is not wrong or evil, but it is a covenant blessing, and also an avenue to give praise to God as we demonstrate His own generosity to others!
I encourage you today, to not neglect this aspect of God’s nature, the goodness of His character, and the richness of His generosity in all prosperity; in your spirit, mind, body, and your finances.
Join me again next week as we continue looking at God’s prosperity in Christ.