I used to wonder about the unfairness of circumstances among people whether they are Christian or of any other faith or without a faith. I felt it most keenly one night when I was upset about something I thought was big in my life but I lay in a modest dwelling with a favorite blanket wrapped around me. It was about 45 degrees outside and I knew quite well that the homeless would be lucky to find a place for the night and they probably wouldnt have their favorite blanket with them. In the eyes of God, I do not merit a blanket and others the cold hard ground in the winter.
If I remain unemployed much longer I will lose my house but I do thank God that I ever had a house to begin with and He never promised me a house He promised me a lasting home, with Him.
Why, if we are all to prosper literally, do some dig through rubbish for food (in our country or any other)? Why am I ambulatory and another confined to a wheelchair if God wants us to prosper (in health) in this life? In the past few years I have come to agree with the pastor of the church I attend God loves us and wants us to prosper but it is not always material things or physical health that he uses to prospers us.
God also promises in this life you will have struggles and my pastor jokes that he has yet to see that particular promise in a inspirational Hallmark figurine (like the little waif holding a sign that reads I wuv you) or a lovely Hummel figurine.
I think Joel Osteen preaches half the message the encouraging half and by omission does a disservice to those who are undergoing struggle, financial or otherwise. I read his book and was at times encouraged by his positive mindset and other times repelled by his confidence that God wants him to have a luxurious house (my paraphrasing of a passage in Joels book).
I think there is room and need for both halves of the Word the struggle half and the prosperity (in all its forms) half. Why did Job struggle? It wasnt because he didnt love God or wasnt faithful. This recorded (mp3) sermon, titled “Surviving Life’s Unanswered Questions” finally makes sense to me and has given me the best explanation, so far, for the ‘unexplainable’ (the concept of suffering)
I feel Joel doesn’t help his followers prepare for the hard times we all face.
“I think there is room and need for both halves of the Word the struggle half and the prosperity (in all its forms) half.”
Interesting that you make this statement. Your post only spoke of the struggle half, not the prosperity half.