The blessing of adversity is not an oxymoron. The goal of these posts on prosperity and adversity is not to depress us. The promise of adversity is not for us to adopt an Eeyore-like attitude of “woe is me,” looking for the negative in every event and relationship. It is also not about bringing on adversity needlessly by being obnoxious, offensive, etc. Adversity will have no trouble finding us when we follow the path God has laid out for us.
The goal is to develop joy in the face of adversity. It sounds difficult, and it is without the supernatural resources we have in Christ Jesus. Being joined with Christ in His death is our power and following the example of His joy is our strength. “Fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. For consider Him who has endured such hostility by sinners against Himself, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart” (Heb 12:2-3). What I have been trying to say is this, “Don’t be surprised by adversity” and “don’t grow weary and lose heart” under its weight. Instead, embrace adversity with the resources of the supernatural Christian life as being part and parcel with our current kingdom experience. May you be strengthened by it.
I also would like to quickly add that these prosperity and adversity posts do not imply that God does not financially bless or miraculously heal new covenant believers. Far from it. I have seen in our own experience God’s provision ranging from us selling our car to pay the hospital when our first child was born (we were college students with no insurance) to blessings of unexpected financial windfall. I’m just saying that as I understand the New Testament, there is no ironclad promise, no magic spiritual formula for acquiring wealth.
On the healing side, I believe God heals today. In fact, I think we are generally too timid in our prayers for the sick. I believe God heals. Sometimes it is by His choice that we can’t explain. Sometimes it is by our prayers of faith. Sometimes it is not at all. Healing miracles are happening today. I just can’t be certain when and where. But I am content knowing that God knows the when and where for His glory and our good.