God has promised to provide in the here and now. He supplies all we need. He gives himself. But that doesn’t mean bad things don’t happen. How do we embrace abundance in the face of loss in this world?
Eternity. If God hadn’t promised to reconcile the whole earth to himself through Jesus sacrifice there would be no hope. But once we enter God’s kingdom our horizon broadens. If this life was all there was then no way, it wouldn’t be good enough. It would be a bum deal. But it’s not all there is.
The promise of abundance gives us hope.
Long before he laid down earth’s foundations, he had us in mind, had settled on us as the focus of his love, to be made whole and holy by his love. Long, long ago he decided to adopt us into his family through Jesus Christ.
It’s in Christ that we find out who we are and what we are living for. Long before we first heard of Christ and got our hopes up, he had his eye on us, had designs on us for glorious living, part of the overall purpose he is working out in everything and everyone. Ephesians 1 The Message
“Glorious living,” that sounds abundant, doesn’t it?! But what happens when the life you’re living feels less than glorious?
My daughter struggles with anxiety. The move we made this summer and the passing of my mother this fall didn’t help with that one bit. She has developed trichotillomania, a hair pulling condition often triggered by anxiety, although it can have other causes.
Her eyebrows are not abundant. Actually they’re patchy and thin, along with her eyelashes. She even pulls hair on her arms and legs. Thankfully she’s stayed away from the head but I’m always afraid I’m going to find a bald patch one day.
I’ve noticed in Maggie what I’ve noticed in a lot of people, including myself, a fear of scarcity. What if love doesn’t last? What if security dries up? What if there’s not a place for me, or I can’t make friends, or someone else is better, or I don’t get a turn.
From kids to adults those fears can plague us can’t they. What if there’s not enough. Thankfully in God’s kingdom there is always enough. Of course grandmas die and moves still happen. But my prayer for Maggie is that she begins to look past the veil of this world and catch a glimpse of the cosmic story, the eternal reality, we’re all a part of, but are so often unaware of. This life isn’t all there is. It’s just the tip of the iceberg.
Before it all began you were thought of. Before sin ruined what was perfect, there was a plan. After your last breath, the living’s still not over. For those who have trusted Jesus to be the hero of the story, the one to lead us home, there is full throttle living ahead.
I want Maggie to get that! I don’t know if it will change the hair pulling, but I know it will change her anxiety. If she, if all of us, can understand that we’ve been welcomed into a kingdom of abundance I think we would be joyful, whimsical, hopeful people. Not that it won’t hurt when bad things happen but our perspective will be so much bigger than the moment.
In those dark moments, or even seasons, we have to ask ourselves; do we believe the promises God has made in the Bible, to give us a life of abundance, are true? Sometimes the promise is all we have to hold on to.
I saw Holy Jerusalem, new-created, descending resplendent out of Heaven, as ready for God as a bride for her husband. I heard a voice thunder from the Throne: “Look! Look! God has moved into the neighborhood, making his home with men and women! They’re his people, he’s their God. He’ll wipe every tear from their eyes. Death is gone for good—tears gone, crying gone, pain gone—all the first order of things gone.” The Enthroned continued, “Look! I’m making everything new. Write it all down—each word dependable and accurate.” Revelation 21 The Message
I’ve read these passages to Maggie many times. She loves them. Intuitively she knows she’s destined for another home, because this one is just not enough. Some seasons in our life do not reflect abundance materially, relationally, physically, even mentally, but God has made a promise. Abundance to all who come to him, now through his Spirit, and later face to face.
It’s in Christ that you, once you heard the truth and believed it (this Message of your salvation), found yourselves home free—signed, sealed, and delivered by the Holy Spirit. This signet from God is the first installment on what’s coming, a reminder that we’ll get everything God has planned for us, a praising and glorious life. Ephesians 1 The Message
The Holy Spirit helps us to endure, to overcome this life. He doesn’t remove us from it, but his presence with us is the down payment, the assurance we will receive all the healing and restoring that’s been promised to us. There is abundance today, but there’s a lot more where that came from!