Weddings are awesome! This past weekend, I celebrated my sister’s wedding. I had the privilege of serving as her matron of honour (can I say maid though? — that just sounds old!) and of organising her bachelorette party, and there were lots of other special moments, where I just rejoiced that God had answered our prayers by bringing an awesome and godly gentleman into her life. I have long long awaited this special moment, and am overjoyed that it has come to pass! Â Praise the Lord! Yay for Dodi and Andy!
The funny thing about a special weekend like this is that afterwards, as life begins to get back to normal, and you begin to remember all the little things on your plate, concerns for your future, perhaps even financial concerns, you can sort of get some post-wedding (or post-anything-you’ve-been-long-waiting-for) blues. Totally common I suppose. So by Tuesday morning, I was still happy to be in North Carolina (even though there were thunderstorms and I really wanted to enjoy some warm weather and sunshine) but at the same time, I was feeling a little “blah” considering what’s ahead for us when we return to Scotland — financial challenges, spiritual challenges, relational challenges, etc. The first thing I should do when I’m in a funk like that? Open my Bible and get out of it. Monday morning I did dwell in Psalm 91 for a bit, but I must admit it was a half-hearted effort that ended in a nap.
Tuesday, instead of Bible time, I opted for shower time. Slack! However, in the shower, I looked up and saw a Scripture I’d put on the wall some time ago — an encouragement about the goodness of God. In that moment, I was so encouraged in being reminded of the goodness and faithfulness of God — those who look to Him are radiant, and they are never put to shame. This simple reminder of God’s goodness brought a flood of encouragement, and I felt the Lord simply remind me of the principle of compound interest.
I’ve heard that Albert Einstein once said, “The most powerful force in the universe is compound interest.” If you’ve studied finance at any stage, you’ll find that it is truly an incredible principle. Simple interest is only calculated on the original investment. But with compound interest, a one-time investment of Â£10,000 with 12% interest, compounded yearly, will amount to Â£299,599.22 after 30 years. If the interest is compounded quarterly, you’ll have a whopping Â£347,109.87 in the same amount of time!
What I felt like I was to understand from the Lord regarding that moment was that just as the solid investments we make in the natural world will generally pay off in the long term, the spiritual investments we make will definitely have long term rewards and returns — with great interest. I’d previously invested time and effort into my relationship with the Lord — in studying and thinking about His Word regularly, in prayer and fellowship with Him, and in a moment when I simply needed to be reminded of His goodness, those investments brought a return — the reminder was there, just when I needed it.
The greater picture, I think, is that investments in a relationship with God will bring exponential compound interest over time. The Scripture actually promises blessing for your children’s children if you love God and obey His commands. (Psalm 103:17) And when times are hard, the efforts you make to learn God’s Truth, and put it into your heart will pay off. God’s Word in Your heart will keep you from disobeying Him when temptation rears its ugly head in a tough moment — I have hidden your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you. (Ps. 119:11) If you make room for God (see this post for more thoughts about that) and for His Holy Spirit to dwell in your heart, He will help you find joy in times of sorrow. If you deeply endeavour to believe God is good in every circumstance, when you’re not in the middle of a battle, then it will be easier to hold on to the Truth when the battle rages all around you. If you don’t have that Truth firmly implanted in your heart, then your faith is likely to be rocked whenever your world is.
Amazing fruits will be present in your life if you allow the Holy Spirit to be present and at work in your life: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. If you walk by the Spirit, you won’t carry out the desires of the flesh. Even if the investment is as simple as deciding to begin reading a chapter or two of Scripture a day, and then committing to obey what the Word says, you can expect exponential returns on your investments with God. You’ll never out-give Him, out-bless Him, or out-do Him. His Peace, His Truth, and His Presence will mark your life in ways you never expected — and you might just think to yourself, “Wow, that investment of ten minutes a day has brought a return I never expected! I’m gonna bump it up to twenty!”
The Sermon in a Nutshell: Spend more time thinking about the investments you’re making towards eternity. It’ll put the cares in this life into perspective. Whether the economy you’re living under booms or busts in this lifetime, your investments in God’s eternal economy will always bring incredible return — in this life, and the next.