CHRISTIAN LIFE & GROWTH
Abundant — not easy — Life
By Desirae Tucker
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My answer came in October 2015. I was sitting in my room after coming home from my fourth knee surgery just days before, and next to me sat my Bible. Being the dutiful Christian that I am, I made sure it was on the nightstand next to me so that all those people coming in and out of my room would know what a "good Christian" I was. I was so angry with God because, once again, I was laid up and "broken" and He didn't do a darn thing to stop it. I intended to throw my Bible across the room in that moment. Instead, I dropped it open and it landed on John 10:10. "The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have abundantly." I can't tell you how many times I had read this verse, heard this verse, and quoted this verse, but this time it was different. The part that stuck with me was that it's the thief that seeks to destroy my life, not God. God's plan is to bring me abundant life.
So here is what God showed me that day:
There are far more passages about life's struggles and hardships in the Bible than the "good and easy" times. They key is that each of those verses comes with a promise: Even though you have to go through trials, God is always there walking with you. I think that's the point. Trusting that God is with us and has our best in mind, no matter what happens, is the cornerstone of what I think is a true relationship with God. We must know, remember, and hold on to the truth of who God is: A God who desired an abundant life for each one of us, and who has a plan to prosper you, and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future.
Know: "Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you [God] are with me" (Psalms 23:4).
Remember: "In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world" (John 16:33).
Hold on to God's Truth: "He will wipe every tear from their eyes, there will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain" (Revelations 21:4).
There is a very big difference between "easy" and "abundant." The definition of easy is "requiring no great labor or effort," while the definition of abundant is "present in great quantity, more than adequate, richly supplied." There is no such thing as an "easy life." For one to simply have life is not easy. I mean they call it "labor" for a reason. Mankind gave up "easy" when Eve ate the fruit, and in that moment I think God went to plan B. Man choose evil, and God choose to work that evil for good. (Romans 8:28). If everything in our life goes well, and there is no pain or suffering, then why do we need God? I claim that trials in life are the catalyst to your complete dependence on God and thus one of the most important parts of the time you spend on this earth. Without pain, could you really appreciate joy, peace, comfort, rest, hope, the fullness of God's love or even fully know God? These are the things that He wants to richly supply each of us with, and what I believe makes up an "abundant life."
President Theodore Roosevelt said is so well "Nothing in the world is worth having or worth doing unless it means effort, pain, difficulty....I have never in my life envied a human being who led an easy life. I have envied a great many people who led difficult lives and led them well."
Since that day, life has not gotten any easier. I just recently had my fifth knee surgery, riddled with complications, and more medical bills than I know what to do with. I am still living with migraines, lung complications, and more visits to my various doctors than anyone person should have to deal with. What has changed? My attitude. My attitude towards God, my circumstances, and life in general. I now know, without a shadow of a doubt, that God loves me more than I could ever hope to understand, and he only wants what's best for me. I know that every moment of every day, no matter what I am facing, God is right there with me and will give me the strength to overcome whatever comes. I know that through each of the trails that I face, God is teaching me more about who He is and who I am in him. The trials are still hard, and I struggle every day, but as James says, "Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything" (James 1:2-4). My life is abundant, just as God promised.
Image Credit: ferobanjo; untitled; Creative Commons
Tags: Biblical-Truth | Christian-Life | False-Teaching | Hardships | Health-Wellness | Personal-Life
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Published on 4-17-17