Q. I don’t believe there was ever a time in my life that I wasn’t saved, and I was baptized at the age of 21. However, I have had a lot of disappointments in life. Now am I supposed to believe that my faith isn’t good enough to have lots of riches. That’s what you have been saying. I know I am not supposed to have great riches, because I don’t have any. God, for some reason doesn’t want me to have great wealth. What I do have is enough. My faith is exactly what it should be. That much I know. I am exactly where I should be, going through exactly what I am going through. Does there have to be a reason some people fail in life? And if Satan is in control of the earth, why does anything good happen?
A. I think you’ve misunderstood me. I never said the Lord promised great riches to those who have great faith. I said the wealth we enjoy is proportional to our generosity. In Luke 6:38 the Lord said, “Give and it will be given to you” and “With the measure you use it will be measured to you.” He also said, “I have come so they might have life and have it abundantly” (John 10:10) and “In this world you will have trouble but take heart for I have overcome the world” (John 16:33). And speaking of generosity, Paul said, “You will be made rich in every way so you can be generous on every occasion” (2 Cor. 9:11).
If what you have is enough, then by world standards you’re rich, because the majority of people on Earth don’t have enough. That’s something to be thankful for.
Jesus called Satan the Prince (ruler) of this world (John 14:30), Paul called him the god of this age (2 Cor. 4:4) and John said the whole world is under the control of the evil one (1 John 5:19). So this isn’t just my idea. But think about it. If Satan prevented anything good from happening, people would rush to God for relief, something he doesn’t want. So he tries to make the world appear to be mostly good in order to persuade people they don’t need God. This is why faith is often stronger among people who have greater need.
Please read the passages I’ve cited and see what they mean to you. Then if you decide I’m wrong, you’re free to ignore everything I say.