The elder to the beloved Gaius, whom I love in truth. Beloved, I pray that in all respects you may prosper and be in good health, just as your soul prospers. For I was very glad when brethren came and testified to your truth, that is, how you are walking in truth. I have no greater joy than this, to hear of my children walking in the truth.
– 3 John 1:1-4 NASB
This very short letter is the third one we have from the apostle John – the same apostle who wrote the Gospel of John and the book of Revelation. We know hardly anything about Gaius, who was apparently one of the faithful church leaders in the area of modern-day Turkey where John ministered near the end of his long life.
John had learned from Jesus that managing the well-being of one’s soul was the most important of a human’s tasks. For this reason, John puts prosperity and health in the proper perspective. That is, his first concern is Gaius’ soul, and then, based on that, John wants prosperity and health for Gaius as well. This, too, John learned from Jesus, who said:
“Do not worry then, saying, ‘What will we eat?’ or ‘What will we drink?’ or ‘What will we wear for clothing?’ For the Gentiles eagerly seek all these things; for your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.”
– Matthew 6:31-33 NASB (Jesus speaking)
God does not begrudge us, or withhold from us, prosperity or health. He simply wants us to keep our souls right above all. This means doing what is right in His sight, without regard for the consequences this may bring from human beings.
Jesus did what was right in the sight of God to the point of death on a cross. For this faithfulness, He did indeed suffer for a time. However, He was rewarded – through His resurrection from the dead – with eternal and immeasurable prosperity and health.
You and I will probably never face crucifixion, but whatever hardship we do face, let us recognize that if we stay focused on keeping our souls right – that is, if we keep “walking in truth” – then our circumstances will eventually conform…sometimes by the third day!
(Remember that prayer is more about listening than talking. Use the words below to start yourself, but then allow time to reflect more on the Scripture above before you say the “Amen.” During that time of quiet reflection, let God shape your thoughts and wait for a sense of peace to come. That’s your signal to say “Amen” and go forth to the day.)
Lord, I’m not going to worry about food, drink, and clothing. Rather, I’m going to focus on doing my best for others…(this is where you remain quiet in order to let Him work in your thoughts)… Amen.