Jesus said “I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.” That’s God’s plan and that’s Jesus’ promise. To give us life—and not just life—but abundant life.
We all know what life without abundance most certainly is. Most of us have experienced what we would call ‘zero abundance’ at some point in our life. Maybe when you were growing up, you lived in a household with very little extras. How many bedrooms were in your childhood home? Bathrooms? Did it have an attached garage?
Time was when only the wealthy had air conditioning, even in the hottest climates. Long distance was used only in emergencies, television was non-existent and radio static-filled. By today’s standards, we wouldn’t call this the ’abundant life’ at all. Yet that is what Jesus promised to give.
So then what is this abundant life? Miriam-Webster’s 11th Collegiate Dictionary defines “abundance” as having ample quantity, affluence, wealth. This is exactly what many want to believe in regards to Jesus’ promise: i.e., that we will be monetarily rich.
It tickles our ears to hear that prosperity comes with acceptance of Jesus. But if this is the promise, how then do we explain the person who loves the Lord, tries to live a life that is pleasing to Him, who gives generously from the heart but who still lives in poverty?
It would seem that the “abundance” Jesus talks about means something far different from financial success—that it actually refers to a life filled with the fruit of the Spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. In Matthew Jesus invites us to take up His yoke and find rest for our souls. In all four gospels—and in Acts—He assures us there is no need for us to be afraid for He is with us. We are under His protection.
Jesus sends the Comforter to be with us in times of trial, He provides our needs, He is always with us. When we live in Him and walk in His ways, we have a sense of security that is beyond anything we can imagine, a peace that surpasses all understanding.
The “abundant life” is all about quality, not quantity. It’s all about riches in Christ and not wealth in the world. It’s about walking hand-in-hand with Jesus and knowing who we are in Him.