Freedom Friday: What is Abundant Life?

Today, we are continuing the Jesus series as part of Freedom Friday.

The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full. John 10:10

What is abundant life?  What exactly did Jesus come to give us?

Abundant life is not free of pain or trials or heartache. Instead, it’s full of perspective.


How do you view your life? How do you view the challenges that you face?

As I began typing this, I immediately thought of Wosne.  I read her story recently in this blog post.  When her husband and the father of her 4 children died suddenly, she had no way to support herself or her family.  She wished God would end her life.

Let’s stop at that point in the story.

I have never been in this woman’s shoes, not even remotely, though I’ve certainly had situations where I wished God would just come and take me home.

The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy……

But God had other plans.

Two of her children were able to get sponsors through World Vision.  She was able to buy chickens and make a living by selling the eggs.  She bought more chickens, and then a cow, selling its milk. She eventually was able to purchase a modest four-room house for herself and her children: dirt walls with a tin roof.

The post describes Wosne this way:

The day we met Wosne she was radiant. Her children encircled her and quietly sat as we spoke through an interpreter. She shared her story of hardship yet beamed as she recounted God’s provision for her family. 

She had become so prosperous, in fact, she had adopted two other children in the village. She even had a couple of pieces of used furniture and electricity—a single bulb hanging from the ceiling. 

By our standards, she was still living in abject poverty. By the standards of her village, however, she was one of its wealthiest citizens.

A typical Ethiopian village

She was asked:

“Wosne, if you could have anything else, what would it be? How can we help you?” Her answer stunned us. 

“Nothing,” she declared. “Nothing at all. I have everything I need. I am the happiest woman in the world.” And she meant it.


When I started writing this post a month or so ago, I thought I’d write that abundant life is bountiful joy and overflowing peace and lavish love.  And it does bring all those things, if we keep a godly perspective.

Following Jesus is so much about how we choose to look at things.  Do we choose to look at our lives through His eyes, through the truth of His Word?

What frames your perspective?

There are many, many posts here about the way we think.  Here are a few to help you flesh out what I’m saying.

Think Like a Free Person, part 1 & part 2
Resources for the Journey

Monday Morning Meditation: Overflowing Hope

Could you use a dose of hope today?
I could.
Romans 15:13 is a challenging and inspiring verse on hope:

“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.”

The progression of this verse has been really encouraging to me lately, so I thought I’d share it with you this morning. Let’s read it bit by bit.
“May the God of hope…”
Notice first this is phrased almost as a prayer. “May the God of hope..” This is one of many almost-prayers in the book of Romans, and even in this chapter. Paul seems to be praying this verse for the readers of the letter.
Second, notice that God is called the “God of hope.” This Greek word, translated “hope”, appears 8 times in the book of Romans, and 48 times total in the New Testament. In Romans 5, Paul says that “hope does not disappoint,” and this particular hope is brought about by the character building that comes through suffering and trials.
“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him….”
I consider this bolded portion to be the heart of the verse: as you trust in Him.
The joy & peace come as we choose to trust…. and choose to trust again…. and choose to trust again.
I just talked about this in Freedom Friday a few weeks ago. Choosing to trust God has been such a big part of my journey, as I did not truly trust God for much of my Christian walk. My trust of God depended on my circumstances, my perceptions of what He was doing, and my speculations concerning His character.
A turning point came when God asked me to trust Him, and I realized that while I believed I was trusting Him, my actions and thoughts showed otherwise. At that moment, I realized trust is a choice. It cannot be dependent on what I see or how I experience life. It needs to depend solely on His character.
“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.”
By the power of the Holy Spirit (the same power that was exerted to raise Christ from the dead, according to Ephesians 1:19-20), overflowing hope is possible as we choose to trust.
I challenge you to choose hope this week. Choose to trust in the God who made you. Believe that overflowing hope is possible. Because He cares for you.

The Bible verses above are quoted from the NIV1984 translation.