What is Prosperity in the Bible?
Prosperity is more than just monetary wealth. It’s having good success in what God calls you to do!
The prosperity gospel grew out of the New Thought movement. It was a mind-healing movement with diverse religious and metaphysical presuppositions.
Many prosperity gospel teachers preach that God wants you to be rich. They also encourage tithing to get “hundredfold” returns.
1. The Fear of the Lord
Prosperity is not just about money. It also involves a healthy relationship with God. Those who have the fear of the Lord are blessed.
They obey His commandments and walk in His ways. This kind of prosperity leads to eternal life. This is spiritual prosperity, not the material wealth promised by the prosperity gospel.
It is important to understand what prosperity means in the bible before being deceived by the prosperity gospel. God does not want every Christian to be rich, in fact it would destroy their true prosperity. God wants them to be blessed in all areas of their life but especially in their relationships with Him and other people. He is more concerned with the hearts of His children than their finances.
There are different types of prosperity and God’s desire for His children to prosper may not include monetary wealth. Prosperity gospel preachers focus on a small portion of the Bible and often take out-of-context verses to support their claims.
They promote the idea that by tithing a person can receive a hundredfold return on their investment. This is not true and can cause people to become gullible.
Prosperity does not mean riches that wither, nor does it require a lot of hard work to obtain them. What makes one rich is a relationship with the Lord and obedience to His Word. Hosea warns that a person can become prosperous and their heart turned away from the Lord leading them into idolatry.
3. The Joy of the Lord
Prosperity is an important topic in scripture and plays a major role in the lives of many believers. However, wealth can distract from God’s purpose for your life and lead to idolatry. This is especially true in today’s so-called prosperity “teaching” and movement which often focuses primarily on financial security, seeking wealth as proof of God’s blessing.
The psalmist says that the prosperous man is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season. This prosperity is not merely about wealth or money, it is about a prosperous relationship with Christ. God takes pleasure in those who prosper in Him. He wants you to enjoy life – spiritually, financially, emotionally and physically. He is the source of true joy!
4. The Treasure of the Lord
A lot of prosperity teachers claim that the Bible shows God wants us to be rich. They take a few verses and blow them out of proportion to make it seem like God only wants us to be financially secure. This twisted gospel fuels a dangerous and harmful manifestation of greed in God’s house.
The Hebrew word shalom means ease, security, and prosperity. It also means army, company, host, armed forces, power, riches, substance, and strength.
Hosea uses this word to describe Israel’s luxuriant, abundant prosperity after Solomon’s reign. It was so bountiful that it caused Israel to become proud, corrupted, and consumed by idolatry. This is why God warns against prosperity without humility. Having wealth is great, but if it causes you to lose your peace with the Lord then it has no benefit for you.
5. The Fruit of the Spirit
There are many references to “fruit” in the Bible, but not all of them refer to physical fruits that you might eat with your meal. Rather, they are meant to be figurative of spiritual fruit that grows in a person. In other words, they refer to blessings that come from following Christ.
Some of these blessings include material prosperity. But true prosperity goes much deeper than that. It includes a deep sense of Joy that money cannot buy.
In some cases, a person’s prosperity is used for evil. This is why God admonishes us to never use money for evil. He wants to give us prosperity, but not at the cost of our soul. Proverbs 10:22 – The blessing of the Lord makes one rich, And He adds no sorrow with it.