Why the Abundant Life is Also Abounding in Suffering

By James Faris

What kind of life has Jesus promised his people? Abundant life. That’s his promise in John 10:10, “I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.”

With what does the abundant life abound?

The Scripture assures us that the Christian life abounds with joy, with love, with grace, with power, with peace, with pardon, with salvation, with wisdom, with knowledge, and even material blessings as the Lord pleases. Further, we enjoy the abundant mercy, steadfast love, righteousness, goodness, power, of the Author of Life himself. Indeed, the context of John 10 contrasts the life Jesus gives to the murder and destruction worked by the thief, Satan himself.

Life in Jesus Christ is really full. The Christian life is full of knowing God and knowing his people. It is full of service and meaning. It is full of grace and truth. It is full of untold riches in Christ. The Christian life abounds with attractive and pleasant things.

But, do we recognize that the abundant life Jesus promises is also a life that abounds with suffering in the present age? In John 10:11, Jesus immediately pivoted to say that he would lay down his life for the sheep. He gave life by giving up his life. He reminded his disciples constantly that their way would be his way: the way of the cross.

Paul fills out the idea of abundant life in Christ a bit more in 2 Corinthians 1:5, “For as we share abundantly in Christ’s sufferings, so through Christ we share abundantly in comfort too.”

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Source: Church Leaders