Day 17: The Not So Propersity Gospel

I’ve heard lots of talk about a “prosperity” gospel. It’s funny though, I don’t think anyone that actually preaches the prosperity gospel, calls it that. It’s just called that by those who think what these people are preaching is a bunch of crap.

I was thinking about it this morning during church. Here’s my two cents.

God has said that He will bless us. However, I believe that His presence is a blessing enough. I look at the life of Paul and to many people he would be considered blessed from God. Yet, the following scriptures seem to contradict what we view as a blessing and God. Paul says in 2 Corinthians 11:23:

“I have worked much harder, been in prison more frequently, been flogged more severely, and been exposed to death again and again. Five times I received from the Jews the forty lashes minus one. Three times I was beaten with rods, once I was stoned, three times I was shipwrecked, I spent a night and a day in the open sea, I have been constantly on the move. I have been in danger from rivers, in danger from bandits, in danger from my own countrymen, in danger from Gentiles; in danger in the city, in danger in the country, in danger at sea; and in danger from false brothers. I have labored and toiled and have often gone without sleep; I have known hunger and thirst and have often gone without food; I have been cold and naked. Beside everything else, I face daily the pressure of my concern for all the churches. Who is weak, and I do not feel weak? Who is led into sin, and I do not inwardly burn? If I must boast, I will boast of the things that show my weakness…. But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness. Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”

Alright, I haven’t experienced even close to really one of the things Paul experienced. Yet, in my book, Paul is one that truly knew the Lord.

To some degree I feel like I have to get this picture of pretty, not messy Christianity out of my head. God isn’t only in the great moments of life, but the sucky ones too. And I need to realize that when I’m in the crappy moments of life- God is there too. My faith isn’t necessarily off and that’s why things are happening. If Paul believed that the circumstances around him were directly related to his faith, I’m sure he would have given up.

Don’t be discouraged, but rather be encouraged that even if life is horrible, the Lord has promised us the best remedy; Himself!

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