Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers. – 3 John 1:2 (NKJV)
Too often the word prosper is misunderstood in the Bible, not just for what it means but also how people interpret it. For many, this word means the acquisition of wealth and material possessions. It also may mean the absence of health problems and sickness in your body. The problem with this interpretation is that it really has nothing to do with what the word means and is not a sign that God is pleased with your life. If health, wealth, and success were the evidence that God is pleased with your life then the wealthiest person would be considered the most God-fearing, and we know this is simply not true. What this word means is that everything would go well with you. When you understand it from that perspective that is a far cry from God wants every believer to be rich. Here is another rendering of 3 John 1:2 which helps define what this verse means.
Dear friend, I pray that you may enjoy good health and that all may go well with you, even as your soul is getting along well. – 3 John 1:2 (NIV)
This verse is more a prayer and a greeting than a declaration or a promise, which unfortunately is how it has been used.
The reason why faith is among the words in the Bible that are misunderstood is not because we don’t know what it is, but because we misunderstand what it does and where we should place it. Faith by itself has absolutely no power. The power in faith comes not just from how much you have but more importantly who you place it in. Faith only works when God is the object of your faith. The goal is not to simply have more faith, but to increase your faith in the God who is able to do exceedingly and abundantly more than you could ever ask or imagine. This is the most important aspect of your faith.
“Have faith in God,” Jesus answered. – Mark 11:22
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