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Proverb 13: 21

Adversity pursues sinners, but the righteous will be rewarded with prosperity.

Let’s talk about prosperity for one moment. There are some people who think that prosperity is not part of the Christian ethic or that God is against prosperity. When you read the Bible, though, you find prosperity verses all over the place. It was a given by the time of the New Testament that prosperity followed the people of God. That is why Jesus’ disciples were so surprised when he said that it is hard for a wealthy person to enter the Kingdom of God (Luke 18: 24). They were astonished in fact saying, well, if the rich cannot get into the kingdom, then who can. You see, they had an expectation that the people of God were rewarded with prosperity.

Even in our own culture we have the same underlying expectation even if we have not cognitively accepted it. We expect the Jews to be the diamond merchants, bankers and generally to be people of substance. Why? It all goes back to this verse and others like it. We understand that wealth is part of the blessing of God.

But let us go a bit further. We are so obsessed with financial wealth that we do not receive the fullness of the prosperity verses. Half of us are consumed with the hope and belief that this verse means that we can have money while the other half of us fight against the idea. Ultimately all of us have missed the real point. In God’s eyes prosperity is a much bigger idea than money alone. That is one part of it, yes, but true prosperity is so much larger. In fact, the Strong’s concordance says “in the widest sense.” In other words, prosperity touches every area of one’s life. It is wellness (the state of being well) in every area of life. In truth, prosperity is most fully recognized and expressed in “Shalom” which means everything in place, nothing missing, nothing broken. It is wholeness. Interestingly, if you look up prosperity in your Strong’s concordance and you look up the word peace you will find that both refer you to key word 7965. Looking up word 7965 reveals Shalom – well, happy, health, prosperity, peace, favor, welfare, all is well, wholeness. To be in God is to be in shalom, complete wellness. It means family, health, finances, everything is well. Nothing is sick, nothing is broken. That is the blessing of the Lord. That is the reward of the righteous. And we know that we have become the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus, not of ourselves, but because we are in him (2 Corinthians 5: 21).

So, we are entitled to financial prosperity. We have not been left orphans without an inheritance. We are also guaranteed wholeness in all areas of life. Don’t deny yourself any part of God provision, of His blessing. Don’t live out in the barn when God has prepared a place for you in the big house. You are an heir, a child of the king. Live like it.

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