FOR THOU, O GOD, HAST PROVED US: THOU HAST TRIED US, AS SILVER IS TRIED. THOU, BROUGHTEST US INTO THE NET, THOU LAIDST AFFLICTION UPON OUR LOINS. THOU HAST CAUSED MEN TO RIDE OVER OUR HEADS; WE WENT THROUGH FIRE AND WATER: BUT THOU BROUGHTEST US OUT INTO A WEALTHY PLACE. PSALM 66: 10-
One thing is certain in the scriptures is the fact that the LORD GOD of heaven and earth will bless those that belong to HIM. None will be left out and none will be overlooked. The people of GOD have both the promise of future blessing as well as that of the present. The LORD JESUS said to HIS disciples "I go to prepare a place for you" (Jn. 14:2) but also "I am come that they (i.e. HIS sheep) might have life, and that they may have it more abundantly" (Jn. 10: 10). The certainty of present and future blessing for believers cannot be denied.
Many modern day "teachers" (see 2 Tim. 4:3) have taken the concept of present blessing and turned it into something which is foreign to the basic nature of the blessings which CHRIST has promised for HIS followers. The flesh is always seeking to find satisfaction in the things of this earth. Yet it is quite clear that even the greatest of blessings which earthly things can afford fall far short of what the souls of GOD'S people hunger for. I have heard these "teachers" tell their hearers that God will give money, houses, and lands to those who follow certain prescribed paths; yet the LORD JESUS said "what shall it profit a man if he gain the whole world, and lose his own soul" (Mk. 8:36) Is earthly wealth one of the promises of GOD? (see MT. 8:20) "The kinbgdom of GOD is not meat and drink: but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost." (Rom. 14:17)
I have also heard these "teachers" (wells without water, see (1 Pet.2:17) tell their expectant audience that GOD promises to take away all their fleshly sickness and disease by their simply claiming a victory over it. Most of this empty promises is based on the false understanding of the "disease" from which we are "healed" by HIS stripes. When Isaiah said "and with HIS stripes we are healed" (Is. 53: 5) he had in mind a much more pervasive problem (i.e. our sin) than fevers, short legs, cancers, or headaches. The LORD JESUS said; “fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul" (Mt. 10:28) The flesh always seeks to avoid discomfort (unless it believes discomfort will ultimately bring comfort; (i.e.self pity) and so it should come as no shock that this teaching should find such great appeal.
GOD has promised abundant life to HIS people but not necessarily, a life which is filled with this world’s goods nor is free from the trials of affliction. In fact it is very often the case that GOD is pleased to afflict us with poverty that we might learn the true nature of HIS riches (see John 4:32). He often brings sickness of body that we might learn that our strength is not of ourselves but of HIM. "For whom the LORD loveth HE chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom HE receiveth." (Heb. 12: 6) The LORD has our lasting benefit in mind rather than some short-
"Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised therby." (Heb. 12:11) The psalmist said. "We went through fire and through water: but THOU broughtest us out into a wealthy place”, it is easy to look back and rejoice at the path GOD has led us down. Yet there is a better way for GOD'S people: that is to learn to rejoice in our GOD in the midst of our trials. We do not have to wait until we see the outcome of our afflictions in order to experience the peace and happiness which the LORD bestows. Paul said "But we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh (i.e. brings about) patience. And patience, (brings about) and experience; and experience, (brings about) hope. (Rom. 8:28) We can patiently wait, knowing that "weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning." (Ps. 30:5). The key to living in the abundance which the LORD intends for us is in establishing the ground of our hope firmly in HIM. "But if we hope for that we see not, then we with patience wait for it" (Rom. 8:25)
We are not expectantly waiting for the riches of this world; but for the riches which are ours through the blessed presence of CHRIST in our everyday lives. "Truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with HIS SON JESUS CHRIST, and these things write we unto you, that your joy may be full. " (1 Jn. 1:3-