The Abundant Life

What sort of life do you want to live? Many people would respond to this question by saying something in the fashion of: “I want to live a good, fulfilling life that has meaning and purpose!” This would be a life that offered its share of challenges, no doubt, but would reward the person with a maximum of self-satisfaction, peace, love, and joy and a minimum of self-doubt, guilt, and despair. But where can you find this kind of life? Some in the world say that it can be found through the acquisition of much secular learning and study of philosophy. Others claim that it is reserved for the wealthy and the famous. Some will even maintain that it can be discovered only after completing some great deed or self-sacrificing work. Solomon, the wise king of Israel and son of David, searched for the meaning of life. Like many in the world, he thought it could be found in secular knowledge, wealth, pleasure, or work. He pursued the things in life that supposedly provided “meaning,” “peace of mind,” and “happiness” and discovered, to his great frustration and disappointment, that they all came up empty. They were all found wanting! Solomon could find neither meaning nor satisfaction in the pursuit of knowledge. Rather, he learned that: “For in much wisdom is much grief, And he who increases knowledge increases sorrow” (Ecclesiastes 1:18) [NKJV]. Neither could he find what he was looking for in wealth, possessions, pleasures, or great accomplishments. In Ecclesiastes 2:11, he reports: “Then I looked on all the works that my hands had done and on the labor in which I had toiled; And indeed all was vanity and grasping for the wind. There was no profit under the sun.”

Don’t we see this in the world today? People hope to find happiness and satisfaction in their quest for material wealth, fame, and notoriety and yet end up miserable and frustrated. They then turn to various things to ease their pain and disappointment. Sadly, their problems only get worse. They turn to drugs and become addicted. They turn to alcohol and become alcoholics. They may even bury themselves in their secular work and become “workaholics.” None of these things provide the answer.

Eventually, Solomon came to the correct and wise conclusion concerning the true meaning of life. He concluded that one’s true purpose was to: “Fear God and keep His commandments, For this is man’s all” (Ecclesiastes 12:13). God, our Creator, knows what is best for us and how we can have a life of happiness and fulfillment. We just need to recognize our Maker and obey His will. We need to follow His paths! Solomon’s earthly father, the psalmist David, stated it very well in Psalm 16:11, “You will show me the path of life; In your presence is fullness of joy; At your right hand are pleasures forevermore.”

In His great love, God gave us His Son Jesus Christ who came to this world to offer us salvation. Through Christ, and only through Him, can we have a proper relationship with God the Father and a life filled with true meaning and purpose (John 14:6). Christ offers us an “abundant” life. He states in John 10:10, “…I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.” This word “abundantly” is translated from the Greek term PERISSOS which means: “superabundant or …superior.” (1) In Christ, we do not just merely exist or survive. We live a better life, a happier life! We live a “superior” life of a quality that is so far above and so far exceeds anything that this sinful world can offer. And unlike many in this world, we know why we are here and how we are to properly live this life. Let us praise God for the wonderful blessing of His Son Jesus and the abundant life that we can have in Him!

(1) James Strong, A Concise Dictionary Of The Words In The Greek Testament, in Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance Of The Bible (Peabody, Massachusetts: Hendrickson Publishers, 1990), 57.  Used by permission.  All rights reserved.

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