God wants you to prosper. The Bible makes it clear. But sometimes He goes about blessing His children in surprising ways.
Case in point…
My husband Brad and I were the poster kids for financial stewardship. Larry Burkett junkies and cash-budget-nerds from the day our vows were exchanged. Thirteen years into marriage, we got a bit unsatisfied with our bank numbers and borrowed to invest in several lots of land.
Flip them for a quick and hefty profit.
Change the bank numbers.
Secure our financial future.
Our intentions were sincere. Brad wanted to be able to retire from corporate by the age of 50 so he could join me in full time ministry. Surely God would bless and prosper such a noble mission, right?
Yes. He did. By allowing us to lose hundreds of thousands of dollars and endure excruciating years of class action lawsuits, private shame, and debt.
We lost a lot – but gained prosperity in wisdom and character. The lessons we learned in the darkness of our financial struggles are now priceless treasures.
God taught us to pay our debts, to do right things even when it hurts, and to trust Him in the fire of hardship.
There are some in Western Christian culture that promise unicorns and rainbows to those who follow Christ. Implying that the “good” God intends for your life is void of conflict, loss, sickness, and financial hardship. “If you don’t receive that job or the healing you’re praying for, then you simply don’t have enough faith.” “Visualize it and it will come to pass.” “God wants you to be happy, healthy and wealthy!”
The psalmist wrote in Psalm 128:1-2, “Blessed are all who fear the lord, who walk in His ways. You will eat the fruit of your labor. Blessings and prosperity will be yours.” (Psalm 128:1-2, NIV) In the ESV translation, that final line reads, “It will be well with you.”
Wise king Solomon wrote, “He who pursues righteousness and love finds life, prosperity and honor.” (Proverbs 21:21)
Prosperity is found when we walk in God’s ways and revere Him.
When we immerse ourselves in the righteousness and love of God.
When we rest in His sovereignty and align our behaviors to Biblical principles.
Spoiler alert: unicorns don’t exist and there’s not a pot of gold at the end of each faith rainbow. The secret to a prosperous life isn’t found in comfort, perfect health and luxury. The secret to a prosperous life is found in loving and fearing the Lord, obeying and walking in the ways of His Word, and yielding continually to His Spirit within you.
You are good and generous. Help me to honor You with today, tomorrow and everything. Give me a passion for righteousness and empower me to love You and others well.
In Jesus’ name, amen.
FOR YOUR REFLECTION and RESPONSE
What would it look like for you to be prosperous today? Tell me about it on the wall of my blog!
Read Psalm 128, then spend some time in responsive prayer.
Love you guys!
PS. There are so many voices vying for your attention. I get it. It’s hard to shut the world down. The Graceologie with Gwen Smith podcast episodes will help you move from distracted to directed.
Directed to hope. Directed to truth. Directed to clarity. Directed to grace. Directed to Jesus. Click here to listen now.