Question:

With all the due respect, let me take this opportunity to thank you for all your efforts in teaching us, and the whole world at large, the word of God and all the spiritual food that you feed us. May God bless you!

As a believer of Christ, I have a question that is puzzling me. Everybody in the world looks for success in life and those who get it use different ways. However, many people use magical powers and witchcraft and suceed while others pray to God and they suceed to. But there is a group of people who pray to God and they remain failures in life!

Should I say that God loves some and hates some? Or do magical powers and Satan also give riches? But how can one then be successful in a good way?


Answer:

"I have been young, and now am old; yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his descendants begging bread. He is ever merciful, and lends; and his descendants are blessed. Depart from evil, and do good; and dwell forevermore. For the LORD loves justice, and does not forsake His saints; they are preserved forever, but the descendants of the wicked shall be cut off" (Psalms 37:25-28).

There are several mistakes being made. First, blessing are not restricted to only the righteous. "But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust" (Matthew 5:44-45). All blessings come from the Father (James 1:17), but it is a mistake that God doesn't grant some blessings to the wicked. If the later were true, none of use would have been saved because "while we were still sinners, Christ died for us" (Romans 5:8).

A second mistake is success on earth is true success. "Then He spoke a parable to them, saying: "The ground of a certain rich man yielded plentifully. And he thought within himself, saying, 'What shall I do, since I have no room to store my crops?' So he said, 'I will do this: I will pull down my barns and build greater, and there I will store all my crops and my goods. And I will say to my soul, "Soul, you have many goods laid up for many years; take your ease; eat, drink, and be merry."' But God said to him, 'Fool! This night your soul will be required of you; then whose will those things be which you have provided?'" (Luke 12:16-20). It is so easy to get caught up in viewing earthly life as if that is all that exists. The rich man in Jesus' parable appeared successful, but he lost his soul. Therefore, earthly success is not the same as the same as spiritual success.

A third mistake is to think that success is permanent. "Behold, these are the ungodly, who are always at ease; they increase in riches. Surely I have cleansed my heart in vain, and washed my hands in innocence. For all day long I have been plagued, and chastened every morning. If I had said, "I will speak thus," Behold, I would have been untrue to the generation of Your children. When I thought how to understand this, it was too painful for me -- until I went into the sanctuary of God; then I understood their end. Surely You set them in slippery places; You cast them down to destruction. Oh, how they are brought to desolation, as in a moment! They are utterly consumed with terrors" (Psalms 73:12-19).

What the Bible teaches is that witchcraft is nothing but deception. There is no power there. But it doesn't mean that God doesn't allow people to think they have power in order to demonstrate their wickedness and lack of love for the truth. "The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders, and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this reason God will send them strong delusion, that they should believe the lie, that they all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness" (II Thessalonians 2:9-12). Thus, temporary success doesn't mean they are right.

Why do some, who claim to be Christians pray and not receive the answers they hope for. The answers can be varied, but one to consider is a warning from James. "You lust and do not have. You murder and covet and cannot obtain. You fight and war. Yet you do not have because you do not ask. You ask and do not receive, because you ask amiss, that you may spend it on your pleasures. Adulterers and adulteresses! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Whoever therefore wants to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God" (James 4:2-4). Everyone who claims Christ is not necessarily following Christ.

I want to express my sincere greetings and thanking you for such encouraging words of God that you sent me. Thank you! And may the good Lord bless you!