Somebody asked me recently about whether if a prophet speaks of a
trouble, are they a prophet of God or a prophet of doom? “It
worries me,” she said, “that some people spend so much time
promoting these ‘words’ that they become self-fulfilling.”
From my viewpoint, this really is a legitimate concern.
Having said that, to completely avoid any mention of trials, to become only a “warm and fuzzy prophet” (prophesying “comfort porn”) is equally errant. Both ditches are problems. And there are other “ditches” I suppose.
Fake news among the prophetic community?
Yeah, that’s why God gave us the gift of discernment. It’s probably more needful now than ever before.
I observe, however, that many Biblical revelations did, in fact, acknowledge coming trials. It’s easy to find this in the Old Covenant, and it’s easy (and often appropriate) to write many of those warnings off as ministering under an inferior covenant.
At the same time, most of the prophetic words to Paul during the latter part of the book of Acts fit that category as well; Agabus is never even hinted as being a false prophet. Even Jesus prophesied warnings; have you read Matthew 24 recently?
If a “prophet of God” is legitimately speaking about troubles, I’d argue that there are some ways to discuss that topic that are more appropriate than others. “The spirits of prophets are subject to prophets,” after all.
It seems that prophets need to speak what God is actually saying, not from other (lesser) voices/motivations. But those who hear the words have no less need to hear God as we discern those words.