Rarely do I call something evil but I truly believe that one of the most insidious weeds that has invaded the Christian faith in our time is what has been labeled "prosperity theology", those preachers who promise that all you have to do is have faith,"claim the promises" and God is going to pour out blessings upon you.
What is so awful about this, besides the fact that it is heresy, is that it makes people when they are hurting feel worse. They feel that somehow they aren't praying hard enough, or they have offended God, or haven't tithed enough, that somehow its their fault.
Does Jesus promise blessing? yes. But remember also:
Jesus said, “Amen, I say to you, there is no one who has given up house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or lands for my sake and for the sake of the gospel who will not receive a hundred times more now in this present age: houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and lands, with persecutions, and eternal life in the age to come." (Mk 10:29-30)
“If the world hates you, realize that it hated me first.If you belonged to the world, the world would love its own; but because you do not belong to the world, and I have chosen you out of the world, the world hates you." (Jn 15:18-19)
And today's gospel's final words: "In the world you will have trouble, but take courage, I have conquered the world.”
Living the Gospel in its fulness means more trouble not less, at least in the short term, because we will always be in someways misfits. But our hope is in those last five words, "I have conquered the world." He has already won the victory, there may be persecution and troubles, but the ultimate outcome is known.