God wants His sons and daughters to prosper. But what does that mean? Does it mean we won’t have to experience any of life’s challenges, that we can be wealthy, or we won’t get sick, etc.? The apostle Paul had requested prayer that the Lord would give him a prosperous journey as he was traveling to Rome. The Lord answered his prayer, but he also went through many challenges and trials on his way before he arrived there (Romans 1:10; Acts 27 – 28). Let’s see what the Bible says about being prosperous and prosperity.
Let them shout for joy and be glad, who favor my righteous cause; and let them continually say, “Let the LORD be magnified, Who has pleasure in the prosperity of His servant.” Psalm 35:27 (NKJV)
I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. Jeremiah 29:11 (NKJV)
Let’s look at some definitions from Webster’s American Dictionary of the English Language (KJV Dictionary – av1611.com):
- Prosper – to be successful; to succeed (Genesis 39:3); to grow or increase; to thrive; to make gain
- Prosperous – advancing in the pursuit of anything desirable, making gain or increase, thriving (Zechariah 8:12).
- Prosperity – advance or gain anything good or desirable; successful progress in any business or enterprise; success; attainment of the object desired
God has been a giver from the very beginning. His original plan for man was blessing and increase (Psalm 115:14-16). The first thing God did after He created man was to bless him (Genesis 1:26 – 28). To be blessed means to prosper and increase as a result of God’s favor upon your life, and it doesn’t depend on conditions! Even after Adam and Eve sinned against God in the Garden of Eden (Romans 3:23), He continued to reveal His plan to bless humanity as seen in Noah’s time (Genesis 9:1) and then through Abraham and his seed (Genesis 12:2-3; 26:12-13), culminating in Jesus Christ (Galatians 3:29). God had a plan of salvation to give Jesus Christ as His gift to bring reconciliation and restoration to our relationship with Him through Jesus Christ’s finished works on the cross (John 3:16; Romans 5:1; 6:23).
When we receive Jesus as Savior, we get Him and everything He is and came to provide for us (Genesis 22:8; 13-14; Isaiah 53:4-5; Luke 4:18-19; 2 Corinthians 8:9; Galatians 3:14, 29). It is God’s will to prosper us and meet our needs. Jesus came to give us liberty in every area of our lives, i.e., physically, mentally, spiritually, relationally, and financially. We don’t just receive spiritual blessings, but they are manifested in the natural realm as well (Ephesians 1:3). We received His righteousness (2 Corinthians 5:21) and have been declared righteous by God. Because we are righteous, we collect the blessings of the Lord upon our lives. The books of Psalms and Proverbs contain many promises concerning the righteous (Psalm 92:12 – 15; Proverbs 10:3, 6, 16, 22, 24; 12:28; 13:22; 15:6).
Some people have gotten the wrong impression of being prosperous and prosperity. It isn’t all about money and wealth, although there is nothing wrong with having wealth. We must recognize that God is our source. Everything belongs to Him, and He is our provider (Genesis 1:1; Psalm 24:1). It is God who gives the power to get wealth that He may establish His covenant (Deuteronomy 8:18; 1 Chronicles 29:12). It is what we do with riches and wealth and how we allow it to affect our lives as to whether there is a problem with it or not (1 Timothy 6:9-10).
Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and Joseph were all wealthy men because God caused them to prosper (Genesis 12-17; 24-36, etc.). When God puts His favor and blessings upon your life, it will be evident to all that see it (Genesis 39:3; 1 Samuel 18:5, 14). Jesus taught that it’s difficult for the rich to enter the kingdom of heaven because they may depend on their wealth and power (Matthew 19:16 – 26).
The early church prospered as well. The number of believers multiplied, and the church grew. Grace was upon them all, and with great power, the apostles gave witness to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, showing signs and wonders among the people. None of the believers lacked provision, and they were in one accord or unity (Acts 4:32-35; 5:12-16). They were prosperous amid persecution and life’s challenges!
Being prosperous is all about having God’s favor and blessings upon our entire lives and being successful. It is about our well being. It is about having abundance so that all our needs and desires are taken care of, and we can share with others. God’s plan for the body of Christ, His church, is to pass this blessing on to others. God gives us wealth so that we can use it to be kingdom builders, not just for our own lives (Matthew 6:19 – 21). God wants us to be a giver just as He is!
How do we prosper?
We become prosperous when we put God first (Malachi 3:10; Matthew 6:33; Matthew 22:37 – 40), walk in the Spirit, the fear of the Lord (Psalm 112:1-9), humility (Proverbs 22:4) and wisdom (Proverbs 4:5 – 8; 9:10 – 11), meditate on the Word of God and obey it (Psalm 119:105; Proverbs 3:6-10; Deuteronomy 28:1-14; 30:8 – 10). Obeying God isn’t for God’s benefit but ours. Usually, His instructions and promises to prosper us have conditions that we need to fulfill. Meditate on these verses and get them into your spirit.
Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor stands in the path of sinners, nor sits in the seat of the scornful, But his delight is in the law of the LORD, and in His law, he meditates day and night. He shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that brings forth its fruit in its season, whose leaf also shall not wither; and whatever he does shall prosper. Psalm 1:1 – 3 (NKJV)
“Only be strong and very courageous, that you may observe to do according to all the law which Moses My servant commanded you; do not turn from it to the right hand or to the left, that you may prosper wherever you go. This book of the law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night that you may observe 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.” Joshua 1:7 – 8 (NKJV)
We prosper because we are righteous and generous (Proverbs 13:21-22; 2 Corinthians 5:21; Proverbs 11:25).
Praise the Lord! Blessed is the man who fears the LORD, who delights greatly in His commandments. His descendants will be mighty on earth; the generation of the upright will be blessed. Wealth and riches will be in his house, and his righteousness endures forever. Unto the upright, there arises light in the darkness; he is gracious and full of compassion, and righteous. A good man deals graciously and lends; he will guide his affairs with discretion. Surely, he will never be shaken; the righteous will be in everlasting remembrance. He will not be afraid of evil tidings; his heart is steadfast, trusting in the Lord. His heart is established; he will not be afraid until he sees his desire upon his enemies. He has dispersed abroad; he has given to the poor; his righteousness endures forever; his horn will be exalted with honor. Psalm 112:1 – 9 (NKJV)
We prosper when our souls are healthy (3 John 1:2). As we ask and allow the Holy Spirit to reveal our wounded hearts and bring them to Him for healing, we become well and whole. The Lord can even restore our souls through dreams to bring healing and deliverance (Psalm 16:7; Job 33:15-18). We need to repent and ask forgiveness for our sins (i.e., unforgiveness, bitterness, hatred, anger, idolatry, etc.) so that we can prosper. When we stop believing the lies of the enemy that has brought us into bondage, restoration, deliverance, and healing occur. We become free to live the abundant, victorious, and prosperous life Jesus came to give us!
He who covers his sins will not prosper, but whoever confesses and forsakes them will have mercy. Proverbs 28:13 (NKJV)
It is clear, according to the Bible, that we are supposed to be blessed and reign in life (Romans 5:17; 1 Peter 3:12; Psalm 84:11). You may find yourself in need of provision and restoration due to circumstances surrounding the coronavirus pandemic or social unrest. It is still God’s will and plans to prosper you (Jeremiah 29:11; Psalm 37:25; 113:7 – 8).
Having credit card debt, inability to pay your bills, and struggling to provide for your family are not signs of reigning in life. Broken relationships and marriages are not signs of reigning in life. Sickness and disease are not signs of reigning in life. Jesus came to give abundant life (John 10:10)! We must look to Jesus and receive the abundance of grace and the gift of His righteousness daily (Romans 5:17). His grace and wisdom will help turn our negative life situations around as we stand on His Word and follow the leading of the Holy Spirit. You can reveal God’s glory as you walk in the victory He has provided for you and your family and also be a blessing to others as well.
Ask the Holy Spirit to show you what Bible verses to meditate and stand on during this season, i.e., for healing, provision, restoration in relationships or a job, etc. Let your hope and faith arise as you meditate on them and speak them over your life and situation (Hebrews 11:1; Romans 15:13). God is faithful, and His Word doesn’t return void, but it will prosper and bring it to pass.
“For as the rain comes down, and the snow from heaven, and do not return there, but water the earth, and make it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower and bread to the eater, so shall My Word be that goes forth from My mouth; it shall not return to Me void, but it shall accomplish what I please, and it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it.” Isaiah 55:10 – 11 (NKJV)