In this series, we have asked the members of Freshley staff to choose a verse close to their heart and write on what they believe God is saying through it.
The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly. [John 10:10]
What does it mean to “have life and have it abundantly”?
One thing that I am really passionate about is not settling, especially when it comes to God. Because I believe that when Jesus said that when He came to give us an abundant life, He meant it. So, what does that actually mean?
I think that sometimes we can get stuck into habitual thinking and assume that our current way of living is God’s best for us when they may not be true. Here are some examples that I have either experienced or seen others experience:
If you battle anxiety or depression (to any degree, big or small), it can be easy to assume that you’ll have to deal with those for the rest of your life.
If you don’t have the community that you want, you might find yourself thinking that God doesn’t have more for you.
If you or a family member has a chronic illness or disease, the world is going to tell you that that is something you will literally have for the rest of your life.
If you grew up in an abusive home, it might be easy to assume that you will have personality or boundary issues in any relationship that you have.
These are just a few examples, but I think you get the point. And now, I want to encourage you in two things:
You do not have to view these circumstances as permanent.
Even in the midst of these circumstances, you can still have a full and abundant life.
You don’t have to view your circumstances as permanent
There’s a chance right now that you are thinking, “I don’t really understand how I don’t view a chronic or terminal illness as permanent.” Or whatever your circumstances, I understand if you don’t see a way out, if you don’t see goodness as an option.
But y’all, through the power of the Holy Spirit, I wholeheartedly believe that anything is possible. In the Bible, Jesus healed person after person after person of diseases and disabilities. He literally raised Lazarus from the dead!! And now you may say to me, “But Hannah, that was Jesus, and I’m not Jesus, so how is that possible?” And to you asking that question, I say, “But the Holy Spirit.” In John 14:12, Jesus Himself literally tells us that through the Spirit, we would do things greater than He did while He was here. So, believe for healing! Believe for freedom! Pray for things that seem literally impossible. Pray for things that literally are impossible without God. And this is for anything: healing, brokenness, hurts. The Bible tells us time and time again, “Ask and you shall receive.” So, why not ask?
Now, I understand that there is a caveat to all of this. There’s a good chance that there is something in your life that you’ve prayed for that you haven’t seen answered in the way you hoped. So what do we do with that?
Our circumstances do not define the abundance of our life
So, what do we do when we don’t see our prayers answered? What do we do in the midst of the waiting? Those are very valid questions. And please understand that I will not have all of the answers for you in this post. But I do want to offer you to things: joy and hope.
Joy: In the midst of any circumstance, you are allowed joy. Now, there will be sad moments. There will be seasons harder than others. And God says He’s near to the brokenhearted, so He doesn’t say that everything will be happy always. But we can have joy in our knowledge of who He is. We can choose and ask for joy because I believe that is something promised to every person who chooses God. When you choose God, you choose joy.
Hope: In the waiting, in the hurt, in the in-between, there is hope. Our God is good. Our God is all-powerful. Our God is faithful and loves us beyond measure. And in that, we have hope. We have an allowance to never give up on what is less than God’s best. We have an authority to pray for the impossible because with God, we have a hope for the best. And let me be clear: the hope is not in the circumstance. It is always in His goodness and His love and His character.
I know I just dropped a lot on you, so let me boil it down to a few main takeaways.
You can ask and pray for really big things from God. He wants good things for us, so pray for those things for yourself and others.
Don’t settle and stop hoping/asking God for something if you believe He has more for you.
However, even if our circumstances don’t match what we pray for, we can realize that we still have hope and joy because God’s goodness is not based in our circumstance. It’s based on how He loves us in the midst of it.
So, no matter our circumstances, the abundance of life can be seen in God because He still gives us joy and hope and a lot of other amazing things. So ask big. Hope big.
Wow, I love y’all, and God loves y’all, and He wants so much for you. So believe that for yourself today, okay? Because you’re worth it, and you aren’t disqualified from His goodness.
God, wow, I thank You that You give us power through the Holy Spirit. God, I pray that You will give me discernment in where I am settling for less than what You have for me. And more than anything I just ask for more of You. More of Your hope. More of Your joy. Guide me as my Abba Father. I love You, God. In the power of Jesus’ name I pray, amen.