What the Bible really says about prosperity

I recently received an email from a reader asking me about some prosperity verses. I decided to dig in and do a bit more thorough study about it. I noticed a couple things that I hadn’t before about Biblical prosperity.

The prosperity debate

I know this issue seems to be a hot topic for debate among Christians, so I am going to try to just present what I have found in the Word. We all have our opinions and the Bible says that we all only know in part, so none of use have it completely figured out. We never will. But, the Bible is the truth, so I prefer to lean on that rather than my own opinion.

Let me also say that the verses below may or may not be talking about financial prosperity. There are many ways that God can prosper us. If you are on your death-bed suffering from a terrible disease, you probably aren’t too concerned about financial prosperity.

However, there are scriptures to support that God wants to prosper us in all areas of our life. Our walk with Him, our relationships, our health, our finances and every other area of our lives. God doesn’t want to be confined to just a few areas of our lives, He wants to be involved in all of it. Every father wants to see his children prosper and succeed. How much more does our Father in heaven?

Okay, on to the the scriptures, I just shared my opinion like I said I wouldn’t ;) .

Prosperity comes as a result of meditating and obeying on the Word

As I was studying this, this was the first common thread that I noticed.

Psalm 1:1-3

Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked or stand in the way of sinners or sit in the seat of mockers.

But his delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law he meditates day and night.

He is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither. Whatever he does prospers.

then again…

Joshua 1:8

Do not let this Book of the Law depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful.

and again…

1 Chronicles 22:13

Then you will prosper, if you are careful to observe the statutes and the ordinances which the LORD commanded Moses concerning Israel. Be strong and courageous, do not fear nor be dismayed.

Prosperity comes from seeking God

2 Chronicles 26:5

He continued to seek God in the days of Zechariah, who had understanding through the vision of God; and as long as he sought the LORD, God prospered him.

and another…

2 Chronicles 31:21

Every work which he began in the service of the house of God in law and in commandment, seeking his God, he did with all his heart and prospered.

- side note, I think it is really interesting that this verse specifically mentions that he also did it with, “all of his heart.” There are quite a few proverbs that talk about the importance and necessity of  working hard at everything you do.

And one of my favorite verses about seeking God…

Matthew 6:31-33

“Do not worry then, saying, ‘What will we eat?’ or ‘What will we drink?’ or ‘What will we wear for clothing?’

“For the Gentiles eagerly seek all these things; for your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things.

“But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.

Revelations about Biblical prosperity

These were just a couple of the patterns that I found in the Word about prosperity as I started to dig in. I know there is a lot more revelation to be gotten about the subject that I haven’t gotten yet. Anyone have any they want to share?











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22 Comments
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  1. Wow! Bob – more please!

  2. Thanks for the post, Bob! If we really dig in to God’s word and diligently seek Him, He will bless us. Verse 11 below really tells me that God desires to bless His people.

    Matthew 7
    7 “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. 8 For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.

    9 “Which of you, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? 10 Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? 11 If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!

  3. @Tristan
    thanks for sharing – that is a great verse as well!

  4. AtomicWedgey

    These verses are great, at least for those of us in USA and Western Europe, but I can’t help but wonder how the believers among the Karin peoples of Burma should interpret these verses? With the cyclone that killed so many, and a government that does so little for them already… Yet the church there is growing by leaps and bounds as it is throughout the third world, and I promise you that it has nothing to do with promises of safety or sufficiency. In most of the third world, belief in Christ exposes you to persecution and reduces your safety…

    With all due respect to those who are quoting single verses, I would encourage you to look back at the passages they come from and read them from within the context they were written, keeping in mind to whom they were originally written. Philippians 4:13 say that “I can do ALL things through Christ who strengthens me.” (I added the caps for emphasis.) Does this mean that I can fly to the moon and back under the power of the holy spirit only? I think not. Paul was speaking to the sufficiency of Christ in being able to provide for his needs, and that he could do all that Christ was calling him to do, because Christ would equip him for his purpose. One must be careful not to take God’s word and pull things out of context.

    A friend once went into a “Christian Health Food” store. Inside, prominently displayed on the wall was a verse that said (and I paraphrase) Eat not … drink not … (the ellipses replace the stated items) Upon arriving at home, he looked up the quoted verse and it said “Let us not say ‘Eat not … drink not…’

    Sorry for my long 2cents.

  5. @Atomic
    I completely agree that scriptures can be mis-interpreted when out of context and that scripture should be judged with other scriptures… Which ones do you think are out of context?

  6. Ravindra Emmanuel

    Thanks dear for the message. I was searching for “What the Bible really says about prosperity” and you have answered it. I have a questions. Is it okay to invest stocks?

    What is your name? buddy. Thanks/Ravi

  7. Personally, I do not see anything wrong with investing in stocks in general. But you have to remember that when you buy stock in a company, you are buying ownership in part of that company. It is part of our duty as stewards to be aware of the actions of the companies that we invest in and ensure that we are not growing the money that God has entrusted us with through immoral means. Think of it this way. How would you feel if you found out that your church was taking the money you tithed, and instead of giving it to the poor, bought part of a pornography studio or abortion clinic as an investment to grow that money so that there would be more to give to the poor? It’s important that we do our research and don’t use companies that support anti-christian lifestyles to grow the money that God has entrusted us with. It is part of our duties as stewards. You can find out what many companies support and promote at http://www.MoralMoney.com. I’ll be honest and let you know that this is my website but as far as I know its the only free source of this information.

  8. Mark,
    thanks for answering this –

    Ravi, I am sorry I missed your comment, they come in a feed and if I get too many too fast, they fall off the screen and I miss them… sorry…

    also, Mark I completely agree with you – I always think about it as – would I start this business myself? If the answer is no, then I don’t feel good about buying the stock…

  9. The passage about worry and all these things will be added unto you needs to be put into it’s proper context.

    It is talking about what you need to survive. Not propserity or wealth.

    Also in the Old Testament we find God “promised” material blessings.

    In the NT we find Jesus first sermon. He promises his true followers what? Persecution. To emphasise this he mentions it twice. (Sermon on the Mt. Matthew 5-7)

    • Hello P31 Woman,

      I really appreciate what you have said here…it’s the kind of deeper study I have been looking for…is there any way in which we can communicate? I am currently grappling with questions about wealth, prosperity and survival. I think in the New Testament there is not much said about having riches and being wealthy. Off the top of my head the closest thing I can think of is in John10:10…but maybe I’m even taking that out of context..

      I just started working and am trying to figure out what God says about money especially in light of the new covenant…many things wetre changed in the new testament by Christ and I don’t want to get frustrated expecting things from God that He never promised or were never in His plan…

  10. 3 John verse 2 – “Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth.”

  11. I just pray that we are using that in the right context and are not referring to money. (1 Timothy 6:10 For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.) I hope that you mean to succeed in the Spirit of God or to grow and produce in the Word of God. I mean its a couple of definitions to the word prosper and it creates confusion, but if you use it in the right context then you will truly be blessed and to let you know that financially is not the only way you can prosper but in spirit and truth and in faith and in the Word of God you can. I dont know nothing Thats why I pray and ask God to show me. Im probably late on the situation but God is dealing with me for whatever his will is. And his will is to be done.

  12. Julita T de Villa

    Dear Bob,
    I thank God for your life and keep on mentioning your name in my prayer. God is good allthe time and all the time God is good, I know that He is the one who directed me to your website. I would like to comment on Re :AtomicRedwey’s comment regarding on the verse on Philippinas 4:13, is it not that if we want revelation then we seek first the holy spirit who guide us n every areas of our lives. If not of the holy spirit then we can’t really understand what the Bible is all about. Before I became a born again Christian I can’t really understand the Bible but after I became born again I can understand what the Bible is saying and believe also. It is also very important for us to seek God through reading His word. Of course I always ask first the guidance of the Holy Spirit because the Words of God is spiritual and therefore to understand it, it is necessary that we should seek the help of the holy spirit. Praise God halelujah.-I am Julita T de Villa of the Philippines

  13. Ev.Evard

    Thanks for the message about prosperous, i think we need to believe that the bible talks about prosperous both spiritually and physically. Because if we say it is to prosper spiritually then it will mean that some of us will not work but here is the verse that i can share for now.

    Deuteronomy 30:9 (Then the LORD your God will make you most prosperous in all the work of your hands and in the fruit of your womb, the young of your livestock and the crops of your land. The LORD will again delight in you and make you prosperous, just as he delighted in your fathers,)

    • n mulonda,
      I think we should ask God for prosperous both spirictually and physical and also wisdom should be added so that we can manage our prosperity,so i think it work like that.

  14. Shepherd Of Men

    When God speaks of prosperity I feel it’s a matter of well being, not necessarily being blessed with houses or cars and vast amounts of material wealth for our diligence and obedience. It’s more of supplying our needs in order to allow us to live worry free in comfort. The Bible says in Mark 10:25, that it’s easier to put a camel through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to get into Heaven. To me this is very telling. I don’t think God wants us to be wrapped up in prosperity talk, because too many have distorted the meaning. Who are the ones God talks about the most in the Bible as far as protecting? Widows and Children, two who can’t take care of themselves. Those who have should give, God loves a cheerful giver. Prosperity to me means Richness of Life not money or material things. Acts 20:35 says it’s better to give than to receive. So, why are we as a society enamored with prosperity? Bible says if a man will give all the substance of his house to obtain wisdom in the captivity, I will return unto him,”double in the world to come”. See in Mark 10:30, (But he shall receive an hundredfold now in this time, houses, and brethren, and sisters, and mothers, and children, and lands, with persecutions; and in the world to come eternal life) people talk about the 100 fold as if God will bless them with all that wealth. It’s speaking of receiving the VALUE of all those things, but it will come with persecution. It means hundred fold more happiness than any or all of these did or could afford. But let it be observed, none is entitled to this happiness, but he that will accept it with persecutions. That’s my take on prosperity.

  15. Yvette Louw

    I really do not believe that when the bible refer to prosperity that it means financial wealth. Jesus never walked around in the best clothing and expensive jewellery, but yet he prospored spiritually and therefore was given everything needed to spread the word of God. He always had a place to sleep and food to eat. An abundance of happiness and health is far more rewarding than the abundance of money. God knows what we need to survive and he will provide.

    Matthew 6:24
    “No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.”

    Timothy 6:5
    “and constant friction between people of corrupt mind, who have been robbed of the truth and who think that godliness is a means to financial gain”

    1 Timothy 6:6-10
    “But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that. Those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs”

    I believe christians should be humble…!

  16. Perezjudy

    I really have been blessed by ur views on properity. A big God bless you to brother Bob. I’ve been able to understand that God wants us His children to prosper. We may not be wealthy in the eyes of the world, but because we are in Christ Jesus we have all things, through grace and not of our works. For His divine power has given us everything we need for life n godliness through the knowledge of Him who called us. God bless you all

  17. Glory to God alone. I’m not a good or excellent person. I’m just a simple man w/out degrees. I’m not capable to understand Holy Words of God. Praise God that I found your website about this Prosperity. Because I’ll share this topic of Prosperity as offerings thought. I have can see more topics on your website. I like it the ideas here are not difficult to understand. Please keep it simple. God bless you Bob included the people who’s part of this website.

  18. many want to prosper, but they have left something behind (1)joshua 1:8 (2) mathew 6:33 and there was something the lord told in-order to confirm his covenant Gen17:1-2.Only if we will seek GOD and walk RIGTHEOUSELY before our lord GOD , he will surely establish his convenant of prosperity with us. I realy appreciate this message and may GOD continue to prosper u

  19. Len Gandy

    Be ye warned, god is not marked… Stop twisting the Word of God to get rich and cause others damnaiton. Read the word of that Jesus speak of giving to the POOR!!!

    Matthew 6:24
    [ You Cannot Serve God and Riches ] “No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.
    Matthew 6:23-25 (in Context) Matthew 6 (Whole Chapter) Other Translations
    Luke 16:9
    “And I say to you, make friends for yourselves by unrighteous mammon, that when you fail, they may receive you into an everlasting home.
    Luke 16:8-10 (in Context) Luke 16 (Whole Chapter) Other Translations
    Luke 16:11
    Therefore if you have not been faithful in the unrighteous mammon, who will commit to your trust the true riches?
    Luke 16:10-12 (in Context) Luke 16 (Whole Chapter) Other Translations
    Luke 16:13
    “No servant can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.”
    Luke 16:12-14 (in Context) Luke 16 (Whole Chapter) Other Translations

  20. @ len gandy, How can you give to the poor if you have little? I know time, love, understaning, peace, I get that but people need things and God provides but I dont understand how we can say God is not talking about financal things in his words when we are supposed to give to the poor. I am blessed to have what I do and I thank God for it, but if he blesses me more and I am able to help more people is this really a bad thing.

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