We’re coming to the end of this devotion booklet. Counting today’s devotion (The Looming Summit), there are nine more devotions. I’ve learned a lot about my faith during the last thirty-one days and about this God I serve. I still have questions though. I’m sure I will have questions until the day I meet my Savior.
One of those questions has to do with something called the prosperity gospel. Wikipedia defines it as a “religious belief among some Christians, who hold that financial blessing and physical well-being are always the will of God for them, and that faith, positive speech, and donations to religious causes will increase one’s material wealth.”
I’m sure some of us have watched the proponents of this on television and might have read some of their books. My point today though is to talk about the philosophy itself. Wikipedia writes another sentence that I think is telling. “Prosperity theology views the Bible as a contract between God and humans: if humans have faith in God, he will deliver security and prosperity.”
When I was a young adult, I used to listen to people like this and people who believed what these people said. And then, when something set me back, as it would inevitably do, I would think my faith in God was lacking. How could it not be? I was not recovering from my illness or financial setback as quickly as the people who believed in this said I should. I felt inadequate as a Christian.
But, I shouldn’t have felt that way because the prosperity gospel is not true. It directly contradicts Scripture. John 16:33 says, “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
I also liked what Matthew 6:34 had to say. “Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”
So, I’m not less of a Christian if I have a financial reversal or if a member of my family is unemployed. I’m not less of a Christian if I have cancer and don’t get well right away. Jesus said so. It’s there in black and white.
Here’s my question though. What’s the difference between the prosperity gospel and trusting God? There are plenty of verses about trusting God too. This is where I am about making a decision about my church’s capital campaign. The author of today’s devotion talked about how God was our strength and that He would give us what we needed. I agree with this. But, how does it work when you need to tell a number? If you tell a small number or no number, does that mean you’re not trusting God enough? How about if you tell a larger number and then your financial circumstances change?
I don’t have answers to this questions. These are things I’ve been wondering about. We’ve talked about making sacrifices to contribute more, but what if there’s nothing left to sacrifice?
I guess that brings me to my final conclusion or question about this whole topic. God has taken care of us each time my husband has been unemployed or ill? Do I believe He will be there for us now?
Dear Lord, help us to keep our eyes on you in the middle of this decision. Help us to listen to you and to trust you. In Jesus’ Name, Amen!
God’s blessings on all of you today!