What is prosperity? Dictionary.com says this: 1. a successful, flourishing, or thriving condition, esp. in financial respects; good fortune. When we think about prospering or prosperity, we think mostly about money and things. I know I like money and things. I know that I can get jealous of people who have money or things. I have shared previously that this area of my life is one I struggle with at times. I have heard many preachers talk about wanting more or even saying that God wants us to be rich. I want to share a few thoughts with you today about God’s prosperity.
Jeremiah 29:11 (ESV)
11 For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.
I know that it takes money to live. I also realize that in our economy today, it takes more money now than ever before and many people have less. One of our main industries in Texarkana shut down today. Some of the people were transferred while others will just be without a job. If it weren’t for the road construction, the jobless rate would be doubled. (At least that is what it seems.) Let me give you encouragement today. Our economic situation did not catch God off guard. It might have caught us by surprise, but not Him. Matter of fact, the economic situation of the USA does not affect God whatsoever. Nor does it affect His plans for us. As believers, we need to realize that God’s welfare is different that our society’s. God’s riches are full of peace, comfort and grace. The hope and future that He provides is eternity, not retirement. Now I would like to be able to retire one day, but if I have to work until the last breath I take on the earth I have the hope of a very bright eternal future that will be second to none. It’s not about what we can accumulate on the earth. It is all about what we are storing up in Heaven.
How do we store up in Heaven? How do we have the success of God while we are on the earth?
Joshua 1:8 (ESV)
8 This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.
Let me answer those questions with another question. Who is first in your life? You might say that your family is first. You might say that God is first. You might answer with someone else all together. How do your actions answer that question? Is it evident to others that you are a believer in Christ? We are to be about giving God glory in our lives so that He can work through them. God has planned each one of our lives with His glory in mind. He knows how we can give Him the honor and praise He so deserves with everything that happens in us and to us. He knows how we can praise Him in whatever illness or what we think of as being a calamity we go through. He knows how we can give Him honor in all of our relationships; rather they are good or bad. God knows exactly how He wants to be glorified, honored, and praise. How do we do that? By keeping our mind focused on Him. By allowing His word to abide in us. And by us obeying His word in our daily lives. So many times we lose sight of what is really important or who really matters. I am guilty of just that. I lose sight of Him and I turn my focus on others or my circumstances and He has to remind me of His presence. One example of this was when Lisa and I bought our first Bonneville. Boy was I proud of that car. It had leather seats and aluminum wheels. I thought we were truly driving in style. Well one day, I was driving to the church and a rock flew up and chipped the windshield. I was hacked off. My new car has been damaged. How could something like that happen so soon after just buying the car. I then heard that voice in my head that asked me whose car it was. God reminded me on that day that He provided the car for us and I should be more concerned about Him than the car. It was just a thing. The car had no eternal value. It was a mode of transportation. Yes, it was nice. Yes, I was to take care of it. But that car was not to be any form of pride for me. Paul says his only boasting can be in Christ. Rather I have the car of my dreams or not. Rather I have the house of my dreams or not. Rather I have the job of my dreams or not. Rather I have cd’s, ira’s, or off-shore accounts or not. Rather I have as much as my neighbors or not. I am to glory in Christ and trust Him for my future and my hope.