A thought-provoking article Death, the Prosperity Doctrine and Me was sent to me by my husband yesterday, and then it popped up on my FB feed. It’s a beautiful and honest piece written by the author just after she was diagnosed with stage 4 liver cancer at the age of 35. I’ve read it several times since then and it’s really challenged me.
The temptations of the world are so subtle. We might say we don’t buy into a prosperity doctrine but I am challenged almost daily at the moment as to how this has subtly leeched into my theology. There’s a fine line between being grateful for the blessings that flow from grace and being confident as a child of God; and expecting that God will provide me with the life and opportunities I secretly think I deserve. Yes God has a plan and a purpose for our lives but it might (in fact probably won’t) be quite what we have lined up for ourselves.
Coincidentally (or not I suspect) I’m working through a 40 Days of Lent app which focuses on matters about as far away from the prosperity gospel as you can go. This is the first time I’ve really focused on Lent (I’m ashamed to say) and it is definitely changing my perspective.
“Into the Desert” is a fantastic free digital resource (available on Google Play and in the AppStore) put out by the Australian Anglican Board of Mission. consists of daily scriptures, reflections and prayers for the 40 days leading up to Easter. It explores the imagery of the desert, the words of the desert fathers and mothers, and importance of the wilderness and emptiness at times in our journey. It’s not too late to jump into the study if you are looking for something to hone your focus at this time.
“Do not always want everything to turn out as you think it should, but rather as God pleases; then you will always be undisturbed and grateful in your prayer.”