THIS SHOULD NOT BE A PROBLEM
3 JOHN 2-4 NKJV
2 Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers. 3 For I rejoiced greatly when brethren came and testified of the truth that is in you, just as you walk in the truth. 4 I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth.
For some reason, people have had a problem with verse two. Maybe some have taken the verse out of context, but if we look at verses 3-4, it should clear things up.
John is writing, by inspiration of the Holy Spirit, to a believer who is close to him.
He loves Gaius and prays that he would prosper in all things and be in health just as his soul prospers.
Those of us who have children, wouldn't we want the same for them? Wouldn't we want them to do well in their lives and be healthy? Wouldn't we want their inner life with the Lord to be strong and thriving? Is this an ungodly desire?
As the father of three, I can tell you no, absolutely not. I want my children to do well. Especially when they are doing well spiritually.
And Gaius was doing well spiritually. He had such a strong, robust spiritual life that other people noticed and reported back to John. People spoke of the truth Gaius was walking in. Gaius was doing well spiritually, and John was rejoicing. Because nothing gave John more joy than knowing that his spiritual children were walking in the truth.
I realize some have over-focused on the prosper and be in health aspect of these verses. But that's not God's fault. Nor does it do away with His desire for His children to prosper and be healthy.
The qualifier here is prospering spiritually. Our Heavenly Father desires that His children walk in His truth. Walking in His truth will strengthen and help us on the inside, and our souls will prosper. And when we are doing well on the inside, it will influence the outside.
This should not be a problem. With our focus on walking with the Lord, walking in the light, we will prosper in our souls. And as we prosper on the inside, seeing God's provision and healing on the outside should be a natural by-product.
If my children were healthy and prospering but away from God, it would drastically limit my joy. But if they are loving God and living for Him, I am delighted. And certainly, happy that they are doing well in the other areas of their life. As a pastor, I feel the exact way about the people at the church. I have no greater joy than to hear they are walking in truth. And I pray that they prosper and be in health as their souls prosper.