What is the Abundant Life?

Jesus said he came so that we “might have life and have it abundantly” (John 10:10). The word we translate abundant or full means more than just adequate. It is used to indicate when something is sumptuous or even superfluous. Jesus says he came so that we might have a life that is fuller and richer than we can imagine. What is an abundant life for a Christian? The key is in the context in which Jesus makes this promise. In John 10 Jesus is telling his followers that he is the Good Shepherd for his sheep. His sheep know his voice. The shepherd leads, provides for and protects the sheep. An abundant life is one lived under the guidance, care and protection of our great shepherd. An abundant life is one where we listen to and follow our Shepherd.

In Isaiah 55:9 God says, “My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.” In reality, God has a higher purpose and plan for our lives than we could ever come up with on our own. God says again in Jeremiah 29:11, “I know the thoughts that I think toward you, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.”

God wants us to realize the plan He has for us is to live a life full of hope and peace. As we realize that God’s desires for us are good, we can feel free to give our lives completely to Him, allowing Him to have His Way in our lives. The Word of God is filled with instructions which, if followed will empower us and teach us how to live out those hope-filled, peace-filled lives. We will learn not only to trust God to lead us into the life He has for us, but how to avoid the traps and pitfalls that would keep us from having His best for us.