Acts 24:27 says, “When two years had passed, Felix was succeeded by Porcius Festus, but because Felix wanted to grant a favor to the Jews, he left Paul in prison.”
Why would God not “bless” Paul here, and allow him to be set free? If struggles in this life, whether they be physical or financial, are from a lack of faith, then why did Paul have to suffer? Surely his faith was stronger than that of anyone reading this post. Examples like this completely destroy the prosperity gospel. In addition to the numerous passages in scripture where suffering and trials for the believer are assumed, actual examples of people of great faith who suffer are the rule not the exception in God’s redemptive history. Most importantly, our Savior suffered, and told us that we would as well.
In John 15:20 we read:
Remember what I told you: “A servant is not greater than his master.” If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also.
Thankfully, this life is not where our hope lies. If we have an eternal perspective grounded in biblical truth, we’ll know that trials are from the Lord, and are part of this life so that we would grow in trusting Him.
Specifically, James 1:2-4 tells us:
Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.