This life is full of trials and tribulations. What an understatement! Being a Christian, I know that there has got to be a better life and a better way. I cannot believe that God wants us to worry or be anxious or to wonder how we are going to pay the bills, for we are His children. We are children of a king. The Lord tells us: “For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future” (Jeremiah 29:11, NIV). He has successful plans for us!
So if that is true, that the Lord wants us to prosper and succeed, then why do we worry? Why do we think that God is punishing us? Why do we feel as though we can never be good enough or deserving enough? We hear ridiculous things from people, such as “Well, you must have done something to make God angry—that’s why you’re not successful.” Or “God doesn’t love you as much as so-and-so because look at how much they have.” Or “God must be angry at you or else you wouldn’t have these problems.” Or “God doesn’t want us to have nice things because that’s being materialistic. After all, look what he told the rich man . . .” I don’t believe any of those statements!
I have many Christian friends who believe that we are here on this earth to work through our sufferings and that maybe God wants to heal us or deliver us from our circumstances, depending on His will. Maybe He will heal us and maybe He won’t. Maybe he will bless us and maybe he won’t. Based on what? Whether we’ve been good or bad? Whether we’ve served him well enough? Whether we are deserving of healing? Whether we are deserving of good jobs and prosperity?
Honestly, we do not deserve a thing, but that is not the point. God sent Jesus Christ to die for us and only by believing in Jesus do we become worthy to receive salvation, grace, and righteousness. Our God is a loving father and wants us to succeed in all that we do. Just as we want the best for our own children, God wants the best for us. Unfortunately, our predecessors (Adam and Eve) corrupted the original plan that God had intended for us and made our entire existence a battle between good and evil. Although, if I were to have been in their position, I do not know that I would have been able to resist the devil’s tricks, either!
We have let doubt and fear creep into our minds. We have allowed the ways of this world and our circumstances to limit and mar our thinking, which is the basis for all of these “maybe” thoughts that people have. Yes, I understand that we are to “Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance.” (James 1:2-3 NIV) But does that mean that we should not allow ourselves to long for good and perfect situations? Some would say that this verse in James means that we are to grow from our experiences—that God gives us trials and tribulations to help us grow. Yes, we are to grow from our experiences, but understand who God is. God uses trials and tribulations to help us grow and to teach us, but I don’t believe that he gives these trials to us. The difference between the two is huge! (In the book of Job, we read how the devil confronted God and God allowed certain things to happen to Job, but he did not do them to Job Himself.)
Please believe that God wants the best for you. He loves you. He wants you to succeed in everything. "I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly” (John 10:10 NASB). Christ came that we may live and live our lives abundantly (richly, substantially, bountifully, liberally, lavishly). He came so that we may live freely: free from oppression, free from sin, free from guilt, free from poverty—free from anything that Satan may bring against us! The abundant life is ours! Prosperity is ours!