Sometimes we get the notion that real blessing exists only if there are no problems in our lives. In fact, some people come to God and think that salvation discounts any future potential for trouble, only to be disappointed and disillusioned when trouble is on "every hand". Some depart from the faith when they realize that God has chosen not to open a door for them in a crisis, in the manner in which they had hoped. And still there are others who live in a topsy-turvy, “one-day chicken, next-day feathers” kind of mindset. Today....... I'm blessed, tomorrow..... I'm not blessed, on and on the vicious circle goes. So what DOES the phrase "abundant life mean?"
I believe the answer lies, in part, in the fact that God mentioned His provision and the attack of the enemy of our souls in the same passage. It's as if there's a huge "HOWEVER" that links the two. God is not saying that abundant life comes in place of our suffering...He's saying this gift is IN SPITE OF persecution, famine, nakedness, peril and on and on and on and on.............
So for the person who says, "Well, if my life isn't going to be blessed by God without trouble as a sanctified child of God, then what's the use in sacrificing to live this life at all?" Wellllllllll........., let me tell you that whether you're a believer or not, you're not going to escape troubles and trials. But as a born again believers, we have been given prayer, and fasting, and fellowship, and the Word to ward off many (not all) disasters before they ever get a chance to come to fruition in our lives.
Sowing and reaping good seed is one way of avoiding some hardships.
Making life decisions based on God's wise Word also keeps us from many seasons of regret and heartbreak as well.
For the remainder of the troubles we face in life, those things we can't altogether avoid, those rainy days that fall on the just and the unjust together, comes the assurance Jesus gave in John 10:10. "The thief comes only in order to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have and enjoy life, and have it in abundance (to the full, till it overflows)." You can't afford to live without the One who assures a simultaneous outpouring of abundant, full life, even in times when you're being pummeled by the enemy's strategy against you.
How is it then that we can, at the same time, have joy while all hell is breaking loose around us? That , friend, is the miracle...NOT that we have no trouble to start with! Instead, the true miracle lies in the fact that we can be battling sickness, financial trouble, problems with our kids, aggravation on the job, empty bank accounts, troubled marriage, unsaved spouses; and at the same time have a calm, navigating peace that we can neither deny nor explain. Because the door doesn't open when I want it to, does not mean God has forsaken me.
As Paul named off a laundry list of potential unpleasantries in life, he countered all these things with the huge weight of the most powerful force in the universe, the fixer of all broken hearts, the one thing that hell cannot stop, the secret supernatural force that God uses to draw all men to Himself, the love of God.
"Who shall ever separate us from Christ's love? Shall suffering and affliction and tribulation? Or calamity and distress? Or persecution or hunger or destitution or peril or sword? Even as it is written, For Thy sake we are put to death all the day long; we are regarded and counted as sheep for the slaughter. Yet amid all these things we are more than conquerors and gain a surpassing victory through Him Who loved us. For I am persuaded beyond doubt (am sure) that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities, nor things impending and threatening nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation will be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord." - Romans 8:35-39 (AMP)