The Gospel's True Prosperity

"In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace" (Ephesians 1:7).

Chances are we have all heard a preacher tell us that God wants to bless us—because it's true. However, we have probably also heard some preachers promise us that God will bless us physically if we serve Him. Whether they say that seed money will increase a hundredfold, our bodies will be healed if we have enough faith, or our problems in life will dissipate, they are telling a lie. The only prosperity we are promised on this earth is grace.

We are not promised a life of ease, but rather, the opposite. In fact, Scripture tells us, "Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution." (2 Timothy 3:12) The devil is not content to sit back and let us serve God; he will do everything he can to cause us to stumble and fall.

We are not promised a life of wealth, but instead, we should seek a life of contentment. We need to, like the Apostle Paul, learn to be content with whatever state we are in and remember that God will supply all of our needs. (Philippians 4:10-19)

We are not promised health and healing from the ills of life but grace in our times of need. Although the Apostle Paul prayed three times for God to remove his thorn in the flesh, God did not oblige. Instead, His response was, "My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness." (2 Corinthians 12:9b)

That is where the gospel offers true prosperity. God's grace is always sufficient. It was sufficient for the forgiveness of sins, it was sufficient for the Apostle Paul, and it's sufficient for whatever we face in life. God's grace never runs out! Throughout eternity, God will show us "the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus." (Ephesians 2:7) Let's share the riches of God's grace with someone today.

— By Pastor Jim Scudder Jr., Quentin Road Bible Baptist Church, Lake Zurich, IL