A person may be thought of as prosperous when he is favored by God. Proverbs 22:1 reads, "A good name is rather to be chosen than great riches, and loving favor rather than silver and gold.” Therefore, let us look at two persons whom God highly favored and consider if God blessed them with earthly riches or spiritual riches.
Jesus, God’s only begotten Son, was certainly favored above all others. Yet, as an adult, he told a follower that he was homeless and didn't even have a bed, “Jesus replied, ‘Foxes have dens and birds have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head.’ ” Matthew 8:20.
God greatly honored Mary, Jesus’s mother. “Then the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God.” Luke 1:30. Yet, she was branded as promiscuous, conceiving Jesus before marriage. (The Jews said to Jesus, “We are not illegitimate children…” John 8:41 as they implied He was.) From these two examples, we see that God’s favor does not necessarily bring earthly prosperity and honor.
God blesses His children with that which He values. God doesn’t value earthly riches: “the world is Mine, and all it contains.” Psalm 50:12. God favors us with the truth. “For it is the God who commanded light to shine out of darkness, who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.” (2 Corinthians 4:6) As Christians, God gives us grace with salvation, the holy spirit, peace with Him, answered prayers, providences, etc. Who can put a price on these invaluable gifts? Is not the man who has these blessings prosperous in God’s sight?