I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world. JOHN 16:33 (NLT)
We can make a couple of mistakes when thinking about living the abundant life Jesus promised His followers. One mistake is to assume it means great material prosperity, uninterrupted personal success, and utterly perfect families. In other words, an armchair ride to heaven.
The other mistake is to assume it refers to life after death – eternal life in heaven. Till then, we grit our teeth and expect a fair share of misery in this life. Trouble and sorrow are our lot in life, but one day we can experience abundance in the new heavens and new earth.
The same Jesus who promised us abundant life, also promised trials and sorrows. The same Jesus who promised us trials and sorrows, also promised us joy and peace. Jesus neither consigns His disciples to a life of grinding misery nor waves a magic wand over them granting them all they might wish for in this life.
It seems abundant life is not without its troubles. But what makes it ‘abundant’ is our realisation that in all our troubles we can be assured Jesus is with us. We can be assured Jesus will work things for good here and now, and will one day usher us into a never-ending experience of His love.
We can live abundant lives here and now by grasping the strong sustaining love of Jesus. We can look forward to abundant lives when He calls ‘time’ on this world’s history. True abundance doesn’t rest on our having lots of things. It rests on our having the constant companionship of Jesus now and forever.
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