My favorite verse in the Bible? There are so many, but the one that always jumps out is John 10:10, “A thief comes only to steal and to kill and to destroy. I have come so that they may have life and have it in abundance.” (HCSB)
A life of abundance. Sounds awesome, right?
But then there’s today.
We’ve all been there – those “todays” when we are weary, sad, heavy-hearted, seeking, questioning, hurting. Sometimes the days can string together into weeks or months and we wonder where that “abundant life” went or maybe if it even exists. It does, my friends, even on the days when our hearts think our only hope is survival.
Whatever we face today, Christ has a life of abundance in the midst.
How do I know? Because I remember.
Having been pulled aside by my supervisor while working my summer job after my freshman year of college, I looked in his face as he told me my mother had passed away the night before.
Sitting in the hallway of my house, I was waiting for my boss to show up. The three weeks before that had been some of the most challenging of my life as a Camp Director, even to the point of coming close to losing a child. I was waiting for my boss so I could leave camp and never come back.
Walking into my house one 4th of July weekend many years ago, I found all of the things of my husband gone. After six and a half years of marriage, he had decided he was done.
I remember hard and difficult moments of life. And in the midst of those, I remember Jesus.
How do we go from survival to thriving, from a life of being overwhelmed to a life of abundance?
Four easy steps:
And they begin and end with Jesus.
1. Worship HIM –
1 Chronicles 16:8-10 “Give thanks to Yahweh; call on His name; proclaim His deeds among the peoples. Sing to Him; sing praise to Him; tell about all His wonderful works! Honor His holy name; let the hearts of those who seek Yahweh rejoice.”
Psalm 96:9 “Worship the Lord in the splendor of His holiness; tremble before Him, all the earth.”
Our first step toward the abundant life is to worship. God is God; He is holy. Worship brings with it a surrender, a humility that changes our heart not only in relation to Him, but in relation to life. Honoring His authority, His wisdom, His gifts of grace, mercy and salvation, His sacrifice, His God-hood brings with it a submission to His will and His ways. Although circumstances can be challenging, He is still God of all and above all.
Worship brings us to His feet again, the place He longs for us to be as He ministers to and loves us in a way only a Father can. Abundant life? We first must worship the One who gives life.
2. Seek HIM –
1 Chronicles 16:11 “Search for the Lord and for His strength; seek His face always.”
Matthew 6:33 “But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be provided for you.”
How is seeking the Lord different from worshiping Him? Worship lands more in reverence and adoration. Seeking is more of a seeking or searching the heart of God. Seeking takes place as we dwell in His Word and spend time in prayer, a conversation with God himself. This seeking doesn’t come half-heartedly. To truly know the Lord we must have a whole-hearted desire to seek Him and to know Him.
How much time do we spend with Him? Are we reading about Him or reading HIS words? What does our prayer life look like? Do we listen as well as talk? Thriving requires seeking the heart of God.
3. Remember HIM –
1 Chronicles 16:12 “Remember the wonderful works He has done, His wonders, and the judgments He has pronounced.”
Psalm 77:11 “I will remember the Lord’s works; yes, I will remember Your ancient wonders.”
God gave us a beautiful gift in our ability to remember. We can remember His presence, His faithfulness, His provision. When we are smack dab in the middle of messes, we can recall what He did with the other messes. The ability to remember builds our faith in our God today. We KNOW what He has already done. We KNOW His faithfulness in those things. We KNOW how He worked His good even in the most yucky moments of life. We KNOW. We REMEMBER. We TRUST.
4. Stand with HIM –
1 Chronicles 16:43 “Then all the people left for their homes.”
Ephesians 6:13 “This is why you must take up the full armor of God, so that you may be able to resist in the evil day, and having prepared everything, to take your stand.”
We have worshiped, sought, and remembered, but at the end of the day we have to stand–not on our circumstances or on reality as we see or feel it, but we have to stand on truth. In the armor of God (Ephesians 6), it tells us to take our stand with truth, righteousness, the gospel of peace, faith, salvation, and His word. Standing on the things of God, we again gain our solid footing and begin to see the “goodness of the Lord in the land of the living” (Psalm 27:13).
Read through Psalm 27. David encountered difficult circumstances and found his stronghold in the Lord. He did these same four things. Worship, Seek, Remember, Stand.
Life has some hard seasons and difficult moments. Fear, sadness, hurt, anger, weariness all start to seep in to our hearts and minds.
God has a much better plan.
He has promised a life of abundance, not conditional abundance. He didn’t say “when circumstances are good,” “when we are in the comfort of our church family,” “when we see good overcome evil.” No conditions are listed in John 10:10. He has come that we may have life and have it to the full.
Wherever you are today, I pray that you will take time to worship, seek, remember, and then stand on the foundation of a God who is immovable and unchanging. Regardless of our circumstances or questions of life, there is one answer – His name is Jesus.
What are you encountering today? How can we pray for you? Do you have moments when you can recall the goodness and grace of the Lord? We would love to hear about them!
Standing with you, friends, and grateful for the ability to remember. We too will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. We too can thrive. He is faithful. He is good. Always.
Kori Yates loves adventure. Her former life as a Marine and ongoing stint as an Army wife has given her just that. Desiring to bring together Christian military women and impact a globe for Christ, she has helped launch Planting Roots. Through events, online Bible study, and a social media community, their prayer is for revival among military women. Kori is also an author (Olive Drab Pom-Poms) and speaker, as well as a homeschooling mom of two amazing kids and wife to one awesome Soldier.