Finding the Abundant Life

There’s a lot of talk these days about living the abundant life. What does that really mean though – “the abundant life”? Does it mean having a million dollars? Finding the perfect mate? Living a life of ease and pleasure? A single friend who is going through a rough time, said to me the other day “I just want the abundant life.”  Having recently been through some very challenging circumstances myself, I have pondered the concept of the abundant life and so I thought I’d share the answer that came to me. It might surprise you as it did me.

Yes, life can be rough at times and the seasons can seem like an eternity. Singles have it particularly tough as there is no one there beside them to help carry the load and bear the burden. Many singles have a tendency to try to go it alone, but, as I encouraged my friend, we all need someone there for support. But what about the people we see who are in a less fortunate position?

We all know people living in dire circumstances, working at a menial job,  who still have a smile on their face and a spring in their step. There are paraplegics in wheelchairs who are great contributors to society, travel the world, and speak to thousands. Look at Nick Vujicic as an example. He has no limbs. Take a look at this video see what this man has endured and what he has become.

If it is possible for people in these circumstances to be joyful, content, and productive, could it be that the abundant life has more to do with our perspective rather than our circumstances?

Jesus said “I have come so that you may have life and have it more abundantly,” (John 10:10). I believe that to mean he came so we can live a life of healing, wholeness, and harmony. When we have been healed emotionally, physically, and spiritually, we are set free to follow our dreams and discover our destiny and purpose, and more often than not, there are some times of adversity we must go through before we get there.

When the flames of adversity seem to engulf us on every side, we have a choice to make. We can either become angry, bitter, and resentful or we can ask ourselves this question: “What am I supposed to be learning here?”  Yes, I know the tendency is to want to point the finger at other people: what they are doing wrong, how insensitive they are, why they don’t make more time for us, ya da ya da. But when we expend all our energy focusing on other people’s issues, we don’t have any left to focus on ours. I don’t know about you, but I want to learn the lesson so I don’t have to repeat the grade.

When we ask the question “What am I supposed to be learning here?” be prepared to take a look in the mirror. The reflection may not be so pretty. The key to breaking the cycle is 1) to surrender to what is and 2) to learn whatever lessons are before us. I always learn something new about myself, others, and God. God allows trials for a reason and that is to purify us, to grow us up and to remove the imperfections in our minds and souls. After all, that is what life is all about right? The growth and development of our souls.

Yet it is possible to live the abundant life, no matter what our circumstances are and while we are on the potter’s wheel. When we learn to view trials as stepping stones to a better tomorrow, they will be less difficult to endure. When we understand that there is a purpose to the pain, we can see the light at the end of the tunnel.

To summarize, here are a few techniques I’ve learned over the years that have helped me to live an abundant life and I know they will help you too:
  1. Learn to be thankful, for our blessings and also for the trials and difficulties we encounter.
  2. Live to give. Find some way to give back, sow a seed, help someone else.
  3. Expect victory. Know that God is on our side and He is faithful to bring us through every situation  better and clearer than we were before.
  4.  Keep our joy. When we lose our joy, we lose our strength to persevere. God is the source of our  joy and when we keep our focus on him, we can be joyful during the trials of life.
  5. Look for the good. I believe there is always a positive outcome from negative circumstances.
When we change our perspective and put on our spiritual glasses, we will see it.

If this post has helped you in some way, please leave a comment below. It means a lot to me to hear from you. And if you know someone who needs a lift, do send them the link to this page.

Until next time, keep looking up!