S178P11 – Jesus said that: a great trade

Lk. 6:24-26

But woe to you who are rich, for you have received your consolation.  Woe to you who are full, for you shall hunger.  Woe to you who laugh now, for you shall mourn and weep.  Woe to you when all men speak well of you, for so did their fathers to the false prophets.

Jesus spoke many times about spiritual investment, which we have reviewed in part already in this series.  If we view spiritual investment the same way that we view monetary investment, then we understand that the point is to increase value even if investments do not always work out that way.  A person who had decided to sacrifice $1,000 in 1985 to invest in Apple would see a stock value today much greater than that initial investment.  Foregoing the use of that money then, which was no small amount in those days, would have paid off incredibly now.  The trade for that person would have been to use that sum then on anything else that would have satisfied them at the time.

One of the spiritual investments we make during our lives here is prayer.  We have the option to ask God for anything because He can provide anything and everything.  This does not mean that He will do so, but our lips can request whatever our minds can imagine.  I can invest my prayer today in myself and ask God to give me whatever I want to live a comfortable or opulent life.  I can focus on myself and the things that I want to have now in this world, or I can invest those prayers in another way.  I can pray selflessly, which is a spiritual investment that yields great returns not just in this life but in the next.  The same way we can choose to use our time, energy, and money to build something in this world now, we can use our prayers the same way or invest them in our future.

The question is whether we want God to give us riches now or then.  Do we want to be full in this world or full in eternity?  We have the option to pursue in prayer whatever there is to gain in this world, or we can forget about that immediate gain and use our prayers to invest in our future.  Surely we pray to God today to meet all of our actual needs, and we trust him to do so, but we must understand the difference between needing and wanting.  Let us be content with little in this world, investing selfless prayers now for an eternity of riches then.  Father, teach us this lesson of contentment, and help us to offer prayers that are an investment not in the temporary world but in your everlasting kingdom.