"Blessed are the poor in spirit, For theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are those who mourn, For they shall be comforted. Blessed are the meek, For they shall inherit the earth. Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, For they shall be filled. Blessed are the merciful, For they shall obtain mercy. Blessed are the pure in heart, For they shall see God. Blessed are the peacemakers, For they shall be called Sons of God. Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness' sake, For theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake. Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven."
Matthew 5: 1-12
Cars. Jobs. Mascara. Achievements. Clothes. Relationships. Food. Embarrassing moments. What do each of these have in common? Trades. We all exchange one thing for another quite often. Perhaps we move from an old home to a new one, an "upgrade." Perhaps we change our mind at the last minute, choosing something different from the menu. Perhaps we simply give up time in exchange for a failed joke or perhaps a breath-taking moment. Most trades aren't bad. As a matter of fact, we generally get excited about trades: trying a new product, driving a new car, making new friends. However, we cannot deny that some trades are just not worth it, and usually when we make a bad trade, we automatically brand the trade as a traitor.
In the Bible, we see many examples of trade. Adam and Eve traded everlasting perfection for a bite of fruit (Genesis 3.) Moses gave up his right to see the promised land for a moment of anger, striking a rock instead of speaking to it (Number 20.) David choose adultery and murder, exchanging his peace of mind and clean reputation for a married woman (II Samuel 11.) Judas traded Jesus for thirty pieces of silver (Matthew 26.) In each situation, human beings gave up something they once had for something that, in that moment, seemed more appealing. They made choices that would hurt them and those around them, but they didn't know exactly how destructive those choices were until the consequences came rolling in.
Today, we are exactly the same. We human beings still make choices that damage ourselves and our loved ones. We make trades that do not end the way we expect. We give up our innocence, our joy, our peace, and our comfort for moments in time that, in retrospect, are wasted. We trade in our health for addictions. We trade in our loved ones for busyness. We trade in our peace for drama and our comfort for worry.
Every day, we exchange moments in our lives that we will never ever get back for people and things and ideas and works that do not fulfill us, but there is one trade that is always worth it: Jesus Christ.
Our Heavenly Father made the ultimate trade. He traded His one and only Son for a personal relationship with each of us. Jesus followed His Father's example. He traded His life, so we could stand before the Father spotless, and the trades don't stop there. Matthew 5 tells us that in Christ, our mourning, our hunger, and our persecution will all be traded for the riches of heaven. In Isaiah 60, God promises to exchange "the tyranny of the present [with] peace and righteousness" and "[the sun and moon for] an everlasting light." Psalm 126 proclaims that "they who sew in tears shall reap in joy and singing." Our God is the best Trader! He takes away all our pain, sorrow, worry, doubt, hurt, anger, resentment, bitterness, and fear and replaces them with His very essence: love. Never we will walk away from a trade with God calling Him a traitor.
God has it all. He holds all the best commodities in His hands, and He wants to make a trade with you. Today, in this very moment, He is calling. He is asking, "Will you trade this time to be with Me? Will you trade your sickness for My healing? Will you trade your worry for My peace? Will you trade your flesh for My Spirit?" With God, you do not have to contemplate whether or not the trade is worth it. His Word promises it always will be. What do you need to exchange today? What worry is plaguing your heart? What sickness is disabling your body? What thought is trapping your mind? Whatever it may be, Jesus is waiting, arms stretched out on a cross, to make the trade.
This blog was written from the traded-in heart of Megan Forsyth Bolton. If I can pray with you, please feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or find me on Facebook or Twitter.