Dr. Dan Hayden •
Financial planners will tell you that if you follow certain principles of asset management you will have a prosperous life – and they are generally correct. But they cannot guarantee success because of factors at work outside of their control, like the recent economic recession and rising unemployment.
The economic well-being of any society hangs by the thread of integrity. When people are honest and play by the rules, the system usually works. Trends tend to be predictable and investments are rewarded by patience. But, as we now know all too well, when executives and politicians become selfish and greedy the system can topple in a heartbeat. Nothing is financially sure anymore and the unthinkable has become the new reality.
Yet a silver lining rims the dark clouds of today’s thunderous deflation. The opportunity of a lifetime hangs suspended within reach of our trembling hands as we sit in the ashes of what once was. Worldly riches can be seen more clearly for what they are – temporal, transient, and relatively cheap. Heavenly treasures appear larger now, glowing with an eternal value that is off the charts. As we reflect on things that really matter, our choices for investment can be wiser. That is our wonderful opportunity.
So, how would you like to be guaranteed true prosperity as a result of your investments? Well, that is exactly what God does for His people. To those who follow His plan for success, He guarantees ultimate prosperity.
God says that the person who lives according to His Word rather than according to the world’s wisdom, will be like “a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither. In all that he does, he prospers” (Psalm 1:3).
Now, that’s a straight forward guarantee. In all that he does, he prospers. The word prosper in the Hebrew text literally means “to push forward; to pass through; to get on.” It carries the idea of thriving and succeeding in what you do.
Well, we need to understand what God means by this word. You see, you have to know His way of thinking to truly comprehend His promise of prosperity. For instance, God is obviously more interested in spiritual and eternal things than He is in physical and temporal things. It’s not that He is unconcerned about our physical and financial well-being. But that’s not where the guarantee is.
The blessed person of Psalm 1 is assured of a much higher level of prosperity – things that money cannot buy. Just imagine having unending joy and peace in the midst of an anxious and agonizing world. Or, cast your eyes on the incredible riches of heavenly glory as Moses did when he considered the treasures of Egypt to be less than nothing (Hebrews 11:26). Having less here, and everything there, is a far better deal than everything here and less there.
Just think about it. It’s a no-brainer. In our economically declining society we have the opportunity to refocus upon genuine value as we invest in a guaranteed prosperity.
So here’s the deal. If we set our hearts on the Lord and the truthfulness of His Word instead of walking in the counsel of ungodly people and standing in the way of sinners and sitting in the seat of scornful antagonists (Psalm 1:1-2) – we will be like a healthy tree amidst an otherwise desolate forest (v. 3). And here’s the clincher: Whatever we do will prosper with ultimate value – value that will never deflate.
Now, that’s an investment worth making!