“I have come that they might have life, and have it more abundantly” (John 10:10). What an awesome promise this is. Being a Christian does not mean being sour, sad and deprived of every good thing that life has to offer. It does not mean that we can or should no longer enjoy life. Quite the contrary; the pursuit of Jesus is supposed to bring true fulfillment, true life – life more abundant than what we had before.
“The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace…” (Galatians 5:22). If we are lacking these them we are deficient in our journey. We are lacking the essentials of our walk. Perhaps sin has snuck in through the back – or front – door and robbed us of our joy and peace. Perhaps it’s a lack of faith that has taken our eyes off the Master and placed it on the billowing waves at our feet. It’s no wonder then, that we sink. (See Matthew 14:22-33). If we can only learn to fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and the finisher of our faith, then we can learn to run this race, walk this walk, and do so with a hop, a skip and a jump.
I’m not too naive as to think that true devotion to Christ will not bring its share of suffering, because it will. Blessed are you when people persecute you and say all manner of evil against you for falsely for His sake. Rejoice because they did the same to the prophets before you! (Matthew 5:11-12)
And there you have the full truth; following after Christ does not eliminate problems from our lives, but faithfully following Him unlocks the ability to be joyful and at peace in the midst of whatever life may throw at us.
Worry about nothing. Pray about everything. Turn your worries into prayers, and then the peace of God which is greater than we can understand will keep our hearts and minds through Christ Jesus our Lord. (Philippians 4: 6-7)
Life more abundant – not based on how much is in the bank, or how well our relationships are going, or how healthy or comfortable we feel, but based on the faith that God is in control no matter what, and will work it all out for our good. The circumstances become less important, and trust in the One who holds it all together takes center stage.
Derek Tidball told the story of a young boy who trusted his father was good, despite everyone telling him his father was a Frankenstein who cut people up. He knew his father cut people open at work and but he also knew that his father was good. It was only after he grew up a bit more that he full understood that his father was a surgeon, and he cut people up to heal them.
I have always loved that story. We can’t understand everything God does or allows now, but we know that He works all things together for the good of those who love Him. (Romans 8:28) This is the source of our joy, our strength and our peace. Our God is good, our God is in control and He’ll make it alright in the end, on this side of eternity or the next. (I Corinthians 13:12)
Rest, trust, and begin to live life more abundantly.