God’s desire is for you to have a blessed life.
Christ’s sacrifice opened the way for the fullness of God’s blessing to touch every area of our lives. In Isaiah 53:5, speaking of the reason for Christ’s suffering, it states (parenthetical quotes mine),
But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities (that purchases forgiveness and salvation for our spirits); the chastisement for our peace was upon Him (that purchases peace for our minds), and by His stripes we are healed (that purchases healing for our bodies).
Interestingly enough, the word translated “peace” is the Hebrew word shalom. The Hebrew concept of this type of peace is both inward and outward. So yes, it means peace and tranquility for our minds, but it also can involve the outward things that help us live peaceful, stabilized lives.
That is made clear in the various ways shalom is translated in the Scripture. For example, in Genesis 43:28, shalom is translated “in good health”; in 2 Samuel 18:29, it is translated “safe”; in 1 Chronicles 18:10 (KJV), it is translated “welfare”; in Psalm 35:27, it is translated “prosperity”; in Song of Solomon 8:10 (KJV), it is translated “favor”; in Zechariah 8:12 it is translated “prosperous.”
Without a doubt, God’s forgiveness and the new birth are the crown jewel in what our blessed Savior has wrought for us—but the blessing extends beyond that. Through Christ’s sacrifice God has made provision for every area of our lives!
In 3 John 1:2 the apostle John makes reference to this fact as his prayer expresses a whole range of blessings that have been made available to believers.
Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers.
This is a prayer for a threefold blessing… material, physical, and spiritual blessing. And it points to the fact that God’s desire is for you to prosper in every way.
For a moment, let us consider material blessing. God is interested in our welfare and He wants us to possess enough to meet all of our obligations with sufficient left over to give for every good work (2 Corinthians 9:8).
Now, I know there are those who don’t believe that is true, like the group of Christians I was associated with when I was a young believer. This group believed that anyone who prospered materially was ungodly.
If somebody had a nice car or any other nice possession, statements would fly about how worldly and ungodly they were. They truly believed that God wanted His children to remain poor. And you couldn’t serve God if you were materially blessed.
Then there are those who tend to dwell at the opposite end of the spectrum… those who seem to think that the heart of the Gospel is about possessing things. For them, the “crown jewel” seems to be about their comfort and possessions.
I am convinced that God does want to prosper us, but what does that really mean? And more importantly, why does He want to bless us? Now it is certainly true that our heavenly Father wants to bless us because He loves us—but He also wants to love and bless others through us!
Listen to how Moses put it in Deuteronomy 8:18.
And you shall remember the Lord your God, for it is He who gives you power to get wealth, that He may establish His covenant which He swore to your fathers, as it is this day.
That’s pretty clear, isn’t it? God does give you and me the power to gain wealth and to succeed materially. But note the rest of the verse: “that He may establish His covenant.” The covenant he’s referring to is the Abrahamic covenant… that all the families of the earth would be blessed through Abraham’s seed, which is Jesus Christ!
Perhaps you’ve recently lost your job. Or maybe you are struggling to make ends meet and just don’t know how you’re going to make it.
Friend, I want you to know that God is interested in you and your struggles, wanting to help you meet all your needs. But His desire to help you goes beyond just meeting those needs. There is a deeper and more profound reason that God desires to bless you.
That reason is so that the Gospel might go out to the four corners of our world. God wants to bless you to make you a blessing.
And remember, He can open doors that no one else can open. He can give you favor, cause you to be safe, and prosper you—even in the world’s present economic situation. Trust Him. Look to Him for direction. Expect to see good things happen. And continue to demonstrate your faith by giving consistently and generously for His work.
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