Originally published Monday, 08 July 2019.
If I’m being honest, when I see the word ‘abundance’ these days, my first thought is not of the plentiful ways God has blessed me, though I’d like to say it is. I just find it a whole lot easier to look at struggles with anxiety, problems in relationships, and poor health and just see chaos.
I’m not one to press into fear, pain, or conflict, choosing instead to ignore it and distract myself with other things. But as I’ve had to face the reality of some ongoing health issues lately, I’ve found there can be a balance of both facing the negative and seeing the abundance of Christ in it all, despite the mess.
In 2 Corinthians 1:3-5, Paul says, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. For as we share abundantly in Christ’s sufferings, so through Christ we share abundantly in comfort too.”
We share abundantly both in Christ’s sufferings and in comfort.
He is the God of all comfort, and he comforts us so we are able to encourage others in their suffering and, in turn, share the rich love of the Father.
Our Father is a God of abundance – in love, in grace, and in wisdom. He gives us all we need, and he always has more to give.
I can get so caught up in what’s not going according to my desires that I forget he already has a plan that is so much more than mine. And sometimes, that plan includes not doing what seems easy or logical but placing things in my path that will allow him to use my life to show others who he is.
In all things, we can trust in him and see the abundance of his goodness. I look to our God and see his steadfast character standing firm even in weakness. Four elements of who he is are standing out to me in this season and offering light when I am tempted to stay in the dark.
He is Healer, but whether or not he decides to heal someone, he is good.
He is Strength, and when I can’t muster up the emotional energy to talk to people or physical strength to get through work, he is there and he is good.
He is Creator. He created all of us in his image and is continually molding us into just who he desires, so he is good.
He is Spirit, and that Spirit who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in me and gives me life, so he is good.
Ultimately, as it says in 2 Corinthians, God pours out an abundance of blessings on us so we can do the same to others.
I believe and know that God wants us to experience his abundance. And I think one of the main ways we can do that is by accepting the way he has laid out for our lives. If we live according to the fruit of the Spirit – love, joy, peace, patience, goodness, kindness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control – we can fully experience all he has given us. We hold to God’s plan when it is far from our own knowing we can trust His character.
Even if everything looks daunting and terrifying, He is still bigger.
Ephesians 3 says the Lord desires for us “to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.”
Focusing on the abundance of Christ will lead to peace, growth in our relationship with him, and fulfillment. May we live for the hope he brings.
For you, O Lord, are good and forgiving,
abounding in steadfast love to all who call upon you.
Sarah Moreau is a twenty-something who loves hiking, camping, reading, and going on adventures with friends. She works at a homeless shelter for women and children where she teaches, helps women obtain GEDs, guides them in pursuing education or careers, and walks with them through the difficult path of recovery from addiction and life struggles. Sarah has been writing since she was a kid – both for her own enjoyment and for others to read. On her days off, you can find Sarah reading, spending time with her 2-year-old nephew or close friends, hiking, or coming up with a new recipe in the kitchen. You can read more of her work at Problems 31 Women.