We Believe in The Prosperity Gospel, But Just A Tad
A question was raised in a class I teach each Tuesday. There is a portion of every class where those attending can ask anything they want on any subject that is on their mind. It is my favorite time of the study because I never know what is coming next and many of the questions are huge and allow for much focused instruction. The question on this particular evening was about the “rightness” of saying that God was very merciful to me if something good happened.
I appreciated the question and essentially said that it depends on what is the intent behind the statement. For many, they are simply expressing a thankful heart regarding something that they hold dear. Or it may be an answer to prayer that fits their personal desires. The problem, however, is when they don’t get what they asked or bad things, even terrible things occur.
I have pastored long enough to know that tragedy and injustice strike the homes and lives of Christians just as often and atheists. But what does disturb me is how many can inadvertently express more of a prosperity gospel hope than a biblically mature and proper hope. When bad things happen God is still merciful to the believer. Their sins are forgiven, they are adopted as children of God, and their salvation is certain in Christ Jesus. All of that is mercy overflowing. But if we are not careful we can begin to think that it is unfair that bad things have happened, especially if we have been unusually holy recently. Or, we become bitter that God would allow us to suffer.
I know myself fairly well and I know that this is something that I must battle. It is subtle and it is far more prevalent that I like to admit at times. How about you? Do you declare the glories and mercies of God regardless of your lot in life? Or is God’s goodness only based upon the pleasant things you enjoy at any given moment?