It's interesting that the debate about what we call the "Prosperity Gospel" continues. I'm not surprised because anything that sounds like hope is a tough thing to walk away from - whether it's true or not. I have some mixed feelings because I understand that preachers of the past rightly wanted people to understand that God is a good God which is rightly so. But it's harder today for us to understand that vibe from back in the day.
Back then, most people believed more in a "God with a stick and a Big Black Belt" than any real sense of grace. Some has written very eloquently about the toxic church they grew up in and the harsh view of God they were taught. Many churches of the time were very dead places. But in those dead places we believe more in the God of the Bible that we do today.
But today, on the other extreme, it's really gotten out of control. The Old Testament prophet Isaiah said, "For My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways, saith the Lord." I rightly understand that what seems to us good may not actually be good in God's eyes, and what seems to us evil may not actually be evil. Therefore pain, suffering and disappointment may not be as bad or harmful as we assume. Likewise, prosperity, success, and accomplishment may not always be as good for us as we wish. I say we need to let God be God. Our thoughts are not His, and his judgments will often be dramatically different from ours.
Does God want what's best for us? Of course. Will "what's best" always line up with our expectations? Not hardly. I read a statistic recently about people who win the lottery. It said that within a few years, a significant number of big winners are right back where they started. In some cases, vast sums of money actually ruined their lives.So, let God be God. I believe we should encourage people, but we also need to seek a balance. We all should believe for His best for our life, but be careful assuming that God should live up to our expectations.