Being Prosperous in Christ
by Madelein Wolfaardt
The Lord chastens me
Psalm 118:18, 19 & 20 “The Lord has chastened me sorely, but He has not given me over to death. Open to me the gates of righteousness; I will enter through them, and I will confess and praise the Lord. This is the gate of the Lord; the [unconpromisingly] righteous shall enter through it.” (AMP)
The Lord reprimands and chastens us for our own good. He will never forsake or give up on us. He will not give us over to death, but He is patient and takes time to mold us in His image. No one ever changes for good where they are comfortable. We grow in discomfort because we are forced from our comfort zones.
The chastisement of the Lord molds us and changes us to become righteous so that He can bless us.
Righteous = to be in accordance with what is right.
We must become righteous in order to be worthy to enter through the gate of the Lord.
God is always there
Psalm 118:21 & 22 “I will confess, praise, and give thanks to You, for You have heard and answered me; and You have become my Salvation and Deliverer. The stone which the builders rejected has become the chief cornerstone.” (AMP)
The Lord hears our prayers, even if it sometimes feels like He's delaying the answer, we must always remember that He knows EVERYTHING. He knows the future and the plan He has for each one of us. That is why he molds us so that He can fulfill the plan He has for your life. That is why it is of utmost importance to never doubt Him. We must surrender to Him knowing that He is always in control, even though it might seem that He does not hear and our circumstances are bad. We must rely on Jesus Christ who is the chief cornerstone. He is steadfast, immutable, and worthy of being trusted.
If you realize that your faith is lacking and that you stumble because you are not placing your trust in God, you must remember that you can pray and ask God to increase your faith, just like the disciples did in Luke 17:5.
Rejoice over the future
Psalm 118:23 & 24 “This is from the Lord and is His doing; it is marvelous in our eyes. This is the day which the Lord has brought about; we will rejoice and be glad in it.”
“...she rejoices over the future.” I have always wondered how the woman in Proverbs 31:25 manages to rejoice over the future.
We must rejoice and be glad over every day because it comes from God, He has made it and given it to us. This new day, being a gift from God to us is enough to make us rejoice and be glad in it. Now, if we consider all the things that we can be grateful for on top of that, we will have more than enough reason to be glad and rejoice in every day.
Entering each new day with such a positive attitude will give us the courage to face whatever we may be facing. An attitude like this will expel all negative thoughts allowing us to enter each new day with expectation. When difficult things come our way we will handle them in a completely different way. We will wait on the Lord with an expectation to see how He works in our lives. Having this positive attitude is crucial in the life of a Christian because we are the light of the world. If our light is burning low because of negativity and despondence how will we be a light to this dark world?
Being prosperous in Christ
Psalm 118:25, 26 & 27a “Save now, we beseech You, O Lord; send now prosperity, O Lord, we beseech You, and give to us success! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord; we bless you from the house of the Lord. The Lord is God, Who has shown and given us light...” (AMP)
In these verses we clearly see who is blessed - it is he who comes in the name of the Lord. Those who know Him. It's to them also that He shows and gives light; the people who know and follow His directions. To be prosperous we must walk in the light that God shows us. Have you ever walked with someone who is holding the torchlight at night on a dark path? Then you would know that this is to closely follow Him and to walk only where He shines the light.
Ps 18:28 “For You cause my lamp to be lighted and to shine; the Lord my God illuminates my darkness.” (AMP)
A surrendered life
Psalm 118:27b “Decorate the festival with leafy boughs and bind the sacrifices to be offered with thick cords to the horns of the altar.” (AMP)
To lay down on the altar: There comes a time in each child of God's life where we realize that we are not completely surrendered to Him but, that we are still following our own will most of the time. Here we see that we must tie the offer to the altar with thick cords, and this offer is you and me. When I surrender to God I choose to lay my life down willingly on the altar. It's not easy to do this because now I'm relinquishing my spouse, children, time, work, money, possessions, dreams, ambitions, plans, and future. I now place all of this in God's hands. This is why this offer needs to be bound with thick cords, as to not get loose and jump off the altar, but to stay there in surrender.
How to stay on the altar: To live a life surrendered to God is a choice that each person has to make. The moment you realize that you have taken things into your own hands again, pray and surrender anew asking God to help you. "...bind the sacrifices to be offered with thick cords to the horns of the altar.” Horns speak of strength and power. We need to trust God to help us stay surrendered to Him and not trust in our own strength. It is by His help and strength alone that we will be able to surrender all aspects of our lives to Him to guide and lead us on.
A life that glorifies God
Psalm 118:28 & 29 “You are my God, and I will confess, praise, and give thanks to You; You are my God, I will extol You. O give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; for His mercy and lovingkindness endure forever.”
When we allow God to work in us, to exhort and chastise us, we will live a life that honors and exalts Him. When we are molded in His image in our goals, thoughts, and actions. As we learn to trust in God more and more our faith grows stronger and it becomes easier for us to stay on the altar. This surrendered life is a life that glorifies God, a life that shines His light into a dark world.