The "good" in God's plan for your life

Here is an exchange on Twitter that occurred this evening.

The Prosperity gospel/Word of Faith that the Osteens and their kind promote is a deathly error. It drags away the unwary, it devastates the witness of the true Christians, and it condemns the Osteens to hell.

The "good" plan for your life, according to the Osteens, is a healthy checkbook, a large house, health, and happiness.

However the "Good" that Jesus plans for us may or may not include any of the above. Peter was told by Jesus that Peter will stretch out his hands and go where he will not want to go (crucifixion. John 21:18). Paul was told he will be tormented in every city will he ever travel to.

"And now, behold, bound in spirit, I am on my way to Jerusalem, not knowing what will happen to me there, except that the Holy Spirit solemnly testifies to me in every city, saying that bonds and afflictions await me." (Acts 20:22-23)

Stephen was bashed in the head with rocks, dying a martyr's death. This does not sound like "a good plan for your life."

What satan offered Eve was a temptation involving the lust of the flesh, the pride of the eyes and the pride of life. (1 John 2:16). In other words, the world. And the Osteens offer the world, too, wrapped in a veneer of prosperity and 'happiness'.

Was Stephen happy when he was being stoned? No but yes. He was in pain but also saw the Jesus in glory standing at the right hand of the Father. Was Paul "happy" when he was beaten and left for dead? Or put in chains in jail? No but yes. He wrote in Philippians 4:4, "Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice."

I have a feeling if Victoria Osteen was beaten and left for dead she would not have the wherewithal nor the capacity to shout Rejoice! That is because the Osteens attach happiness to their worldly circumstances. Paul did no such thing. He rejoiced with friends at supper, while teaching in the synagogue making disciples, sewing a tent, or while sitting in chains in the sewer sludge. That's because his 'happiness', prosperity, joy, came from above, not the world.

The 'good' in God's plan is Good not because we receive pleasant things from the world. It is good because:
  • God made the plan and everything God does is good. We proclaim this by faith, and
  • All things work together for the good of those who love Him, to them who are the called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28, and
  • God receives glory from the perfect outworking of His plan. The good is the glory He gains when saints acknowledge Him as good, no matter their circumstances. The 'good' in our lives is Jesus, not the world nor the things in it.
We do not seek the things the world calls good, but the things that God calls good. 

We do not say in our greetings and our letters and our prayers, "I want a mansion, perfect health, and a fat checkbook for myself" but we say -

May mercy, peace, and love be multiplied to you (Jude 1:2) because it was multiplied to us. Now that's good!


Further Reading 

Al Mohler: The Osteen Predicament


  1. On July 3, 2014, I learned that breast cancer was the "good" in God's plan for my life. To say that it's hard to understand would be an understatement. :-) From the early days of my diagnosis, and all during treatment, there were 4 truths that I clung to:
    1. God loves me.
    2. God is not surprised by any circumstance that comes into my life.
    3. God has promised He will never leave me nor forsake me.
    4. God is sovereign.

    My philosophy is that every circumstance and situation in my life is an opportunity for me to grow to be more like Him. It is a choice that I must make daily. I have realized that if I choose to be angry, upset, dig in my heels, or have any other childish response, I will turn into someone I refer to as "Old Ms. Crankypants". I've seen her, and she's not pretty. :-) So I choose to allow God to work in my life however He sees fit. I will admit that sometimes I start down that other path, but the God kindly and graciously directs me back. I think He doesn't want to see "Old Ms. Crankypants" either. :-)

    I finished treatment in February, and got the 'all clear' at the beginning of April. I may never know "why" He allowed me to have cancer. But I will always know those 4 truths about Him.


  2. Thank you for your beautiful testimony! It was a blessing to read. Our County's Relay for Life begins tonight, your truthful and graceful words will resonate with many. I'm glad you have the all clear!

  3. People need to stop all the hate with the is God who giveth power to get wealth.. Love is for all..there is no condemnation to those in Christ Jesus!

  4. Hi Anonymous,

    God gives wealth and power, He also allows satan to do the same. It's not having wealth that is an issue, it is loving it too much, for it is the root of all kinds of evil. 1 Timothy 6:10- "For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evils. It is through this craving that some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pangs."

    You cannot love money and God. Matthew 6:24 says,
    “No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money."

    Having wealth and/or power is not a sign that one is in God's favor. This was the devastating point of view the Pharisees had and it's just not true. It is called the Retribution Theology, and it's carried through the book of Job. It's that if you are in favor with God, He will visibly or materially reward you, and if you are out of favor with God, He will visibly punish you.

    Today this errant theology is carried through the Word of Faith false preachers- like Joel Osteen.


Post a Comment