Is abundant health and wealth a mark of divine favor ├ö├ç├┤ even a reward from God?
Answer: No. However, poverty is not a blessed condition either.
The problem with a line of teaching which implies that God wants to pour out material blessings in our lives, if only we will let Him, is that it often leaves those who are suffering ill-health or financial hardship feeling as if they are unloved by God and so lacking in faith as to have doubt cast over their very salvation.
It mocks Christians under persecution in many parts of the non-Western world where, truth be known, there is sometimes greater consecration, holiness and fruitfulness for the Kingdom than in the developed world.
It further mocks the sufferings of the early church, the martyrs for the faith, and the apostles. Paul wrote that he and others with him were hungry, poorly clothed, homeless, reviled ├ö├ç├┤ the scum of the earth 1 Corinthians 4:7-13
For who makes you different from anyone else? What do you have that you did not receive? And if you did receive it, why do you boast as though you did not?Already you have all you want! Already you have become rich! You have become kings ├ö├ç├┤ and that without us! How I wish that you really had become kings so that we might be kings with you! For it seems to me that God has put us apostles on display at the end of the procession, like men condemned to die in the arena. We have been made a spectacle to the whole universe, to angels as well as to men. We are fools for Christ, but you are so wise in Christ! We are weak, but you are strong! You are honored, we are dishonored! To this very hour we go hungry and thirsty, we are in rags, we are brutally treated, we are homeless. We work hard with our own hands. When we are cursed, we bless; when we are persecuted, we endure it; when we are slandered, we answer kindly. Up to this moment we have become the scum of the earth, the refuse of the world.
"Stop drinking only water, and use a little wine because of your stomach and your frequent illnesses."
Are Christians today stronger in faith and more virtuous and deserving than Timothy? Philippians 2:19-22
I hope in the Lord Jesus to send Timothy to you soon, that I also may be cheered when I receive news about you. I have no one else like him, who takes a genuine interest in your welfare. For everyone looks out for his own interests, not those of Jesus Christ. But you know that Timothy has proved himself, because as a son with his father he has served with me in the work of the gospel.
Health and wealth may be a blessing from God and should be gratefully received, but it is not the blessing.
It is a shame to present to the unbelieving world an image of a church and Christians anxious for money, possessions and status. Even those who know little about Jesus admire Him, perhaps not as God and Saviour, but as one given over to the sacrifice of self and to the loss of everything that the world holds dear. It is that spirit which is attractive to the person who has tasted the emptiness of all that this world has to offer.
Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, "Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you."
Is God keen to pour out material abundance on His people?