The prosperity gospel is wicked. It teaches that if you have enough faith, you are guaranteed to have health and wealth in this life. At least one prosperity teacher has said that the only thing that limits God is our ability to receive. That is utter wickedness. Jesus is not a means for our living our best life now. He is the one who died the worst death that we might have the best life for all eternity with Him.
With that said, it is true that God withholds no good thing from His people. We see that in Psalm 84:
For the LORD God is a sun and shield; the LORD bestows favor and honor. No good thing does he withhold from those who walk uprightly. – Psalm 84:11
If that’s the case, how are the prosperity preachers wrong? Does this not clearly teach that if you do well, God will give you all things?
First of all, we need to identify who are
Those who walk uprightly
We know from other places in Scripture that no one is, on their own, good enough to be called one who walks uprightly. However, there are people who can walk uprightly, namely God’s elect. All who are in Christ, who have believed in Him and trusted Him with their lives, also have the Holy Spirit, who causes us both to will and to work for His good pleasure. Previously, we were unable to not sin, but now we are able to not sin. With His help, we can walk uprightly.
It is from them, then, that it is said,
No good thing does He withhold
How does that work? We know that His elect suffer, and that they are not always healthy and wealthy. This tension stems from our earthly definition of “good things”. We often think that we know best what is good for us, to our own peril. There is only One who truly knows what is good for us, the One who has created all things.
So, perhaps cancer is the best situation for you at the moment. It teaches you that Christ is sufficient. Maybe poverty is ideal in your situation. It shows you the riches in Christ Jesus. Maybe infertility is what is good for you. It trains you to treasure Christ and His people even more than children.
In this way, He withholds nothing good from those who walk uprightly. In this way,
…we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. – Romans 8:28
Praise God that no good thing does He withhold from those who walk uprightly!
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