January 31

Written by Bill Grandi on January 31st, 2023

One of the heresies today of so many false teachers is what is called the “health/wealth” gospel or the “name-it-claim-it” teaching.  I’m guessing many of you know exactly what that aberrant teaching is: God wants you healthy and wealthy. It is your divine right to expect it. All you have to do is “name it and claim it.” Speak it out loud. Claim that whatever it is you want is yours and you get it.

I cannot begin to tell you how that turns my stomach. They twist Scripture to have it say what they mean. “Ask and it will given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened” is just one of the Scriptures they butcher. It is used a proof-text for their false thoughts.

They tell people to speak cancer away. Speak poverty away. Want that car? Claim it. Again, I cannot tell you how much that makes me cringe. Meanwhile, they get richer and richer; live in multi-million dollar mansions; wear designer clothes and $1500 tennis shoes on stage. Say what?

All while followers of Jesus die in droves in third world countries from ill health. All while followers of Jesus live under the sword of a pagan dictator or under the threat of rogue bands of vigilantes coming after them due to their faith. All while followers of Jesus are dying from cancer, or live under the specter of Alzheimers, or Parkinsons, or MS, or a wheelchair for life.

Trials, hardships, sickness, prolonged illnesses, even death are all part of living on this planet. It is the result of sin and the last I looked, the statistics for that were 1/1 have that disease. It follows that death has that same stat.

We may have trouble seeing it, but trials and difficulties can serve as a catalyst, a springboard, to new growth and a season of immense blessing from God. “Count it all joy” is what James said (Js. 1:2). The next time something happens that wants to knock you flat or even succeeds in doing that, let’s praise Him for His presence and strength to bear up under it.

And yes, I’m preaching to the choir.


8 Comments so far ↓

  1. Life is not just a journey but a schoolroom. Oh, the lessons learned through our trials and tribulations are rich and valuable in our walk with Jesus. I could never put a price on things I’ve learned about God and about myself. And that is the greatest wealth we could possibly have. Life lessons – thank You, LORD!

    • Bill Grandi says:

      That, my dear friend, is exactly the point I am trying to make. Life lessons learned in the crucible are full of great wealth. Thanks Diane.

  2. Ryan S. says:

    I find it interesting how many different interpretations there are to the scripture. How certain parts of the Bible can be twisted and manipulated to say pretty much anything that you would want to justify.

    Note, this is not new… Satan did this with Adam and Eve in the garden… He likes to take what God has said and twist it just enough, but not too much so that it still has a glimpse of truth, but is contaminated with a subtle lie.

    This is the danger in simply picking and choosing scripture out of the context. The context of the Bible itself, the context of the society and time in which it was written, the context of whether it is a promise or command or simply a recorded action of someone where we are to learn what NOT to do.

    • Bill Grandi says:

      Great observation Ryan. I might also add that Satan tried this with Jesus as well in the desert. Give just a glimmer of truth so that it looks good or right but then twist it. I agree with your comment on context as well.

  3. gail says:

    I agree with Diane’s comment. When I go through a trial, I keep repeating Philippians 4:11-14, and asking what do I need to learn from this trial? Honestly, I always hope the lesson comes so quickly that the trial has a short life span. However, God knows my heart and He knows every lesson I need. I always hate to admit, that I needed a trial to get me back on track. The lessons and learning to depend on God, really trusting Him and giving in to His plans have so much great wealth, that in the end you have to say thank-you Father I needed that.

    • Bill Grandi says:

      That is a great Scripture to use Gail! Contentment is so hard to come by these days! You are right though. We all hope for quick answers, i.e. means short trials. But sometimes God thinks we need to learn more. 🙂 And like you, I have had times when the trial was needed to get me back on track.

  4. The health/wealth gospel is so completely twisted, Bill. Let’s send it far away as the east is from the west, and depend fully on God to take care of us in this life and the next.

    • Bill Grandi says:

      Not only do I agree with you that it is twisted, I especially like your idea of sending it as far away as the east is from the west. Tragically, those false teachers will always be here and will find gullible people.