Differing Views of Biblical Prosperity
Last week we created a prayer for prosperity that was inspired from Psalm 1. As I was reading that psalm to prepare the article, my eye caught another passage that I thought would look at this topic from a different angle.
Prosperity is a heated topic within Christianity, even with the cliche name calling terms: the frozen chosen and the name it, claim it. The former term refers to those that we should live in scarcity, content with nothing; the later term refers to those that feel God wants us to live in wealth and abundance. Neither term is fair, accurate, or honoring to God. Neither view taken alone fully grasps God’s heart toward prosperity.
Wherever we fall this spectrum, most of us feel that God’s prosperity has overlooked us. As we journey towards all He has to offer us, that prayer last week is a good place to start. If you are ready to go to the next level, let’s check out that passage that jumped out to me.
God Was Angry With Job’s Friends
The passage comes from the book of Job. As we remember this story, Job is the tragic story of a man that God was so pleased with, He allows satan to take all he has and strike him with a painful sickness. In the midst of his torment, he has friends come minister to him. They accuse Job of hidden sin and tell him he has brought the trouble on himself.
God later shows Job that this wasn’t the case and that his friends hadn’t spoken the truth about Him. God later asked Job to pray over them so God would forgive them.
Here’s the key verse that stood out to me: after Job had prayed, God restored his fortunes and gave him twice what he had before (Job 42:10).
Even after all he had been through, Job’s prosperity waited behind his prayers for those that hurt him.
The Unthinkable Path to Biblical Prosperity
God’s heart is so toward reconciliation and forgiveness that He desires we pursue reconciliation and forgiveness towards those that have hurt and offended us. Matthew 18 shows us God’s heart in the parable of the unmerciful servant. The master cancels the debt of one of his servants but has him beaten and thrown in jail when he would not do the same for someone who was indebted to him.
It’s rough to think God will punish us if we can’t forgive someone, but it is not unreasonable to say He might withhold His hand of blessing for unforgiveness. This is example given to us by Jesus. Hanging on the cross, He looks at those that beat him, scourged him, hung him on that cross, and He asks God to forgive them
It was through that path of giving all to make those that were once enemies to God, sons and daughters, that Jesus was exalted above everything else. He humbled Himself and was lifted up.
I don’t want to make anything with God formulaic, but this could very well be the missing link to the prosperity God wants to give you. Pray about it. See if there are those that you are holding grudges and refusing to desire good things for them. If so, ask God to so fill you with His love that you cannot help but let it flow to everyone around you. Whether or not you receive an awareness of more prosperity, you will notice a greater freedom in spirit and flow of His love.