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I was doing my devotions today and I was reading the book of Job. As I was reading and thinking about why man suffers I started to think about how Satan wanted to believe a health and wealth form of gospel. God, however, knows that true belief does not revolve around only believing during times of prosperity but that true faith in God does and should go deeper then this. The book of Job is about the innocent suffering of one man. Job has not sinned against God or against his fellow man yet God allows him to go through unbelievable pain and suffering. I believe that God allows us to go through pain and sorrow, sometimes because of our own sin, sometimes because of his loving discipline of us, sometimes to strengthen us, and sometimes to reveal his comfort and grace. However, there are sometimes that we, like Job, suffer because of God’s divine reasons and we are not allowed to know the reason for the suffering, as in the case of Job here.

The problem we have when it comes to suffering is that we like Job’s friends and family want to analyze our suffering and look for some cause or solution. We then start using our limited understanding of God and our limited insight and come up with wrong ideas or solutions. I believe this is the foundation of the teaching of a health and wealth gospel. Satan wants us to believe that true believers will always prosper at the hand of God and that nothing bad can befall them. This is why he tells God, when confronted by God with Job’s faithfulness, take away his prosperity and Job will reject you. He was trying to prove that salvation and saving faith our dependent on our circumstances. This is one of the major problems with a health and wealth gospel.

God does bless his children there is no denying this. I can speak from personal experience how God has blessed me and my family.  God also blesses the wicked so just because a person is receiving blessing from God does not mean that this person is saved or free from sin. God has also blessed our family in the area of health and for the most part we have been extremely healthy. The problem with preaching a health and wealth gospel comes in the fact that God also allows his children to experience suffering. As I said earlier this can be for any number of reasons including our own sin but God also allows suffering for his divine purpose as seen in the case of Job as well as the Blind man in John 9. Jesus said of his Father in heaven, He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous (Matt. 5:45) In other words God extends his grace to all men, but in the same way suffering is experienced by all men as well.

The gospel is very clear. It is eternal life available for all through faith in Jesus Christ alone. Yes there will be blessings unimaginable in the world to come, but nowhere in the Bible do I find Jesus promising us “prosperity, health and success”. He says in John 16:33 that “In this world, you will have tribulation” In this same verse, Jesus promises us peace, but that does not mean material wealth as a given. Another problem with this gospel is that it refocuses the primary mission of Jesus. Jesus came to save us from our sins not to make us rich. It is quite often silent on the subject or equates the experience of suffering as not having faith or living in sin. Besides this it tries to turn God into some sort of ATM by teaching that giving to God is an investment that must yield returns, it deliberately fails to see that all forms of giving to God are primarily acts of worship.

I think that reading job is a good way to disprove the whole theory of a health and wealth Gospel and was glad for the thoughts that this reading started in my own mind today to keep me focused on the true gospel of Christ. I encourage you to read job as well if ever you are wondering about weather or not we should listen to those teaching a health and wealth gospel.

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