Prosperity and Adversity

Prosperity and Adversity


I am learning that we should enjoy our successesbig or smallbecause God allows them. God wants His children to prosper in what they do.

There are many characters in the Bible that God prospered because they loved Him. Joseph (the dreamer), for example, became successful because God was with Him (Genesis 39:2). King Solomon said in Ecclesiastes that we should enjoy the fruits of our labor.

“This is what I have observed to be good: that it is appropriate for a person to eat, to drink and to find satisfaction in their toilsome labor under the sun during the few days of life God has given them—for this is their lot. Moreover, when God gives someone wealth and possessions, and the ability to enjoy them, to accept their lot and be happy in their toil—this is a gift of God.” – Ecclesiastes 5:18-19

It’s not pride to want to celebrate when we’ve achieved something on earth, especially if we worked hard for it. God teaches us hard work and discipline. At the same time, He gives us the strength to work and to prosper.

“But remember the Lord your God, for it is he who gives you the ability to produce wealth, and so confirms his covenant, which he swore to your ancestors, as it is today.” – Deuteronomy 8:18

“Go to the ant, you sluggard; consider its ways and be wise! It has no commander, no overseer or ruler, yet it stores its provisions in summer and gathers its food at harvest. How long will you lie there, you sluggard? When will you get up from your sleep? A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest—and poverty will come on you like a thief and scarcity like an armed man.” – Proverbs 6:6-11


I am learning to rejoice in my failuresbecause God allows them. The apostle Paul was given a thorn in the flesh by the enemy and he asked God to take it away but God did not grant his request. It’s not because Paul didn’t love Him or He didn’t love Paul. To keep the apostle from becoming conceited, and to keep him always dependent on Him, the Lord allowed it to stay.

“…I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But He said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in weakness.’” – 2 Corinthians 12:7-9

Oftentimes, when the situation is too painful, we want to avoid it or end it right away. However, there are situations that are not within our control. I am learning to lift up to God problems I cannot solve. I am learning to go through them WITH GOD. He reminds me time and time again to ask what the situation is teaching me and how I should respond.

God allows the good and the bad for a reason. HE knows why things happenor don’t happenand we will not always understand it. Our job is to trust Him because He is sovereign. I am learning to praise Him in good times, and trust Him in bad times. God is good whether I succeed or fail. His character does not change based on my circumstance. It says in James 1:17 that He “does not change like shifting shadows”. My life is in His hands. I offer everything (successes and failures) to Him. It’s all about God. We are created by Him, for Him. It’s all for His glory.

“For in Him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through Him and for Him. He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together.” – Colossians 1:16-17

I constantly need to be reminded that I am merely a sojourner in this world. Having that perspective helps me to hold things lightly. Everything He gives, I give back to Him. Just like what Paul said, I am what I am because of the grace of God (1 Corinthians 15:10).

“In the day of prosperity be joyful, but in the day of adversity consider: surely God has appointed the one as well as the other, so that man can find out nothing that will come after him.” – Ecclesiastes 7:14

I love Joseph Benson’s commentary on this verse:

“In the day of prosperity be joyful — Enjoy God’s favours with thankfulness. In the day of adversity consider — Namely, God’s work, that it is his hand, and therefore submit to it: consider also why he sends it: for what sins, and with what design? God also hath set the one against the other — Hath wisely ordained, that prosperity and adversity should succeed one another; that man should find nothing after him — Or, rather, after it, as it may be rendered; that is, after his present condition, whether it be prosperous or afflictive: that no man might be able to foresee what shall befall him afterward; and therefore might live in a constant dependence upon God, and neither despair in trouble, nor be secure or presumptuous in prosperity.”

I remember hearing a celebrity say in her vlog that she felt that she has arrived when she bought her dream house. I was, like, “Wow”. I can’t say that about my life. Then I realized, I don’t want to feel that I’ve arrived—ever. I always want to be dependent on God in everything. It’s not an excuse to not work hard because I believe in hard work. However, as I pondered, I realized life’s sweeter knowing that God is with me in all of my decisions and in the consequences of the decisions for which I failed to seek God’s guidance. I prefer a life with Jesus even if it’s not always a smooth ride than a life without Him.

Also, if we believe that we’ve arrived, we won’t look to God anymore for anything because we’ve become self-sufficient. Worldly success is exactly what it is: success in this world. It’s not something we can take with us in eternity. Genuine and perpetual success is remaining steadfast in our faith in God.

“Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in them. For everything in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—comes not from the Father but from the world. The world and its desires pass away, but whoever does the will of God lives forever.” 1 John 2:15-17

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