Today, Monday October 11
A Soul That Prospers
3 John 1:1-4 “The Elder, To the beloved Gaius, whom I love in truth: Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers. For I rejoiced greatly when brethren came and testified of the truth that is in you, just as you walk in the truth. I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth.”
John introduces us to three men by name in this little epistle. Two of them had a good testimony and one of them had a terrible reputation. For sure, it appears that all three were very involved in this particular local church. Actually a key word in this letter is the word testimony or witness and John describes the “testimony” of these three.
The three individuals are Gaius, Diotrephes, and Demetrius. It is interesting to me that over the years as I have I had conversations with other pastors about their church, it has often come up that that they would mention that they had a “Diotrephes” in their church. He was the one causing major problems in the church. Maybe you have heard that said too.
This letter seems to be written very specifically to Gaius. Notice the number of times in the first eight verses that John says “you” or “your”. From what John said about praying for his “good health”, we take it that Gaius was experiencing some health issues. But at the same time John recognized that Gaius had a “soul that prospered.”
I have observed in my ministry that someone who has “a soul that prospers” is also someone who has major health issues and lives from day to day in great pain or discomfort. Remember Paul had a thorn in the flesh and he prayed three times that the Lord would remove it but was denied each time. And Paul concluded that because of this “thorn” he found his strength in God’s sufficient grace and then he could rejoice in his weakness because it actually prompted him to trust the Lord for everything. (2 Corinthians 12:7-10)
I wish I had the time and space to tell you of all the dear people I’ve known over the years who had “souls that prospered” and were very healthy spiritually, and had the “glow” of God upon their countenance, as they dealt with tremendous physical discomfort and pain. These are individuals who have learned to “walk in the truth”, which means they are walking with Jesus in His Word and prayer. They know what it is to experience the “fellowship of His suffering.” (Philippians 3:10)
Job is a good Old Testament example of someone who experienced great suffering, physically, mentally and emotionally and because of it, he developed “a soul that prospers.”
It is my prayer today that you and I will have the testimony of a “soul that prospers.”