Prosperity, Problems And Praise

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Prosperity tested my focus.

Poverty distorted my focus.

Prosperity proved my theology.

Poverty challenged my theology.

Nothing has moved me away from God.

Different seasons reveal different information.

Many say we learn nothing about ourselves during good times.

Honestly, I disagree.  I believe we can gather personal insight during both good and bad times.

Good times revealed my appreciation for the goodness of God.

Bad times revealed God as present during times of adversity.

Psalm 30:6 in the New King James Version says:

“Now in my prosperity I said, “I shall never be moved.”

Someone once said:

"Anyone can sing a tune on a clear day at noon."

During times of financial prosperity it is easy to declare nothing can move us away from God.

Times of financial pressure can quickly turn into a “woe is me” session for those who do not clearly know the will and the Word of God.

I’ve heard people ignorantly proclaim, "The false prosperity gospel should be declared heresy."

The Bible tells us wisdom shouts from the housetop.  Well, ignorance seems to get booked to speak on network television even Christian networks.

The message of God's desire to prosper His people to bless and expand His Kingdom is true...even when times get tough.

In those moments when adversity seems to surround you. . .recall the words of 2 Timothy 1:7 which in the Amplified Bible, Classic Edition says:

“For God did not give us a spirit of timidity (of cowardice, of craven and cringing and fawning fear), but [He has given us a spirit] of power and of love and of calm and well-balanced mind and discipline and self-control.”

As I looked out my window this morning I didn’t see God’s throne, so I know He’s still on it. . .and as long as God’s on His throne. . .everything is going to be all right.

Frankly, that’s much more comforting than anything any politician can say.  They have power to change a few things (and I emphasize “few things”) in the natural.  The scripture in Timothy says God has given us the power to change everything.

I should also point out that recession, inflation, and economic hard times have been with mankind almost since the beginning of time.  They are not new problems.  The biblical answers to these conditions first appear early in the Book of Genesis.

Genesis 26:1 says:

“And there was a famine in the land, beside the first famine that was in the days of Abraham. . .”

Famine could be any unanticipated disaster, tragedy, hardship or reversal of fortune that suddenly dries up your personal resources.

A famine could be just about anything:  a death in the family, a devastating fire, job loss, a major health crisis, anything that puts a sudden drain on your financial resources.   What do you do when famine comes?

God gave Isaac specific instructions to follow in order to prosper during those economic hard times. Understanding and acting on those instructions made Isaac a prosperous man even in tough times

Psalm 30:7 in the New King James Version says:

“LORD, by Your favor You have made my mountain stand strong; You hid Your face, and I was troubled.”

Consider a childhood maxim.

"Keep your words soft and sweet.  

They may be the next thing you get to eat."

Times of favor caused the Psalmist to describe himself as immovable.

Yet, he, like some I have known, declared they would never be moved.

But these people adjusted their thinking the moment trouble arrived.

Trouble comes to break our focus off our Lord.  The Psalmist said that lack caused him to feel as if God had "hidden His face."

If you change your belief system to accommodate your circumstances, you don't have one.

I want to say that again.

If we change our belief system to accommodate our circumstances, we don't have one.

Psalm 30:10 in the New King James Version says:

“Hear, O LORD, and have mercy on me; LORD, be my helper!”

I am thankful we live during an age when the multiple ministries of the Holy Spirit have been revealed.

Even during such a better day, far too many Christians are ignorant of the Holy Spirit and His gifts.

The Comforter, the Holy Spirit, is present to help us through these challenging times.

John 14:26 in the Amplified Bible, Classic Edition says:

“But the Comforter (Counselor, Helper, Intercessor, Advocate, Strengthener, Standby), the Holy Spirit, Whom the Father will send in My name [in My place, to represent Me and act on My behalf], He will teach you all things. And He will cause you to recall (will remind you of, bring to your remembrance) everything I have told you.”

Not only will the Holy Spirit teach us ALL things but He will remind us of everything He’s taught us.

One of the ways in which we pray everyday for those who contact our ministry is that “each of you recalls and remembers everything you’ve read and hear about the promises and favor of God.”

Philippians 1:19 in the Amplified Bible, Classic Edition says:

“For I am well assured and indeed know that through your prayers and a bountiful supply of the Spirit of Jesus Christ (the Messiah) this will turn out for my preservation (for the spiritual health and welfare of my own soul) and avail toward the saving work of the Gospel.

Life is guaranteed to improve as we allow the Holy Spirit to do His work.

Psalm 30:11 in the New King James Version says:     

“You have turned for me my mourning into dancing; You have put off my sackcloth and clothed me with gladness.”

The moment we believe, mourning has the potential to turn into dancing.

Willingness to make a right choice is a critical step in the overcoming process of the Christian believer. 

We must make the choice to remove our emotional sackcloth and clothe ourselves in the joy of God.

The key phrase in this verse is “you have turned for me my mourning into dancing.”

When facing adversity. . .we’re not the ones who turns things around. . .it’s the Lord.

And yes, things can change. . .happen. . .turnaround. . .not just in a day but literally in a second.

One day, Sarah, Abraham’s wife was just an old woman with a barren womb . . . the next day she was pregnant. . .even thought she had been waiting for twenty four years.

One day, David was running from King Saul and his army. . .the next day Saul died and David became the King of Israel after waiting 15 years.

One day, Jeremiah was just a kid. . .the next day he was a child prophet to Israel.

One day, the disciples were filled with fear hiding in an upper room.  The next day they were filled with the power of the Holy Spirit.

One moment, you were a sinner destined for an eternity in hell.  The next moment you were heaven bound.

One word from God is the best turnaround we’ll ever get.

Psalm 30:12 in the New King James Version says:

“To the end that my glory may sing praise to You and not be silent. O LORD my God, I will give thanks to You forever.”

One of the glories of man is a redeemed tongue.

Making the choice to glorify God during adversity is glorious.

Psalm 34:17 in the Amplified Bible, Classic Edition says:

“When the righteous cry for help, the Lord hears, and delivers them out of all their distress and troubles.”

To that end, we glorify God when we make the choice to praise Him.

Psalm 35:28 in the Message Bible which says:

“I’ll tell the world how great and good you are, I’ll shout Hallelujah all day, every day.”

When we Praise God during the storms of life. . .we’re changing the environment in which we live.  Our praise recognizes His promises, prosperity and faithfulness.

Which was His plan. . .all along.

Isaiah 25:1 in the New International Version which says:

“[Praise to the LORD] O LORD, you are my God; I will exalt you and praise your name, for in perfect faithfulness you have done marvelous things, things planned long ago.”

Can somebody say “Hallelujah!!”

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