â€œAnd God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work.â€ (2 Corinthians 9:8)
Jesus said: â€œI am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantlyâ€ (John 10:10). This well-known promise is sometimes misapplied, being interpreted to mean that the Christian life would normally be a life of material prosperity, popularity, and happiness. The words â€œabundantly,â€ â€œabounding,â€ and similar terms are all based on the same Greek word, which does, indeed, mean â€œabundant.â€ But it can apply to sorrow as well as happiness.
The Christian life, as our text indicates, should be abundant in good works for the simple reason that Godâ€™s saving and keeping grace has been manifested abundantly toward us. Having been â€œstablished in the faith,â€ we are to be â€œabounding thereinâ€ (Colossians 2:7). Christians, of course, should also â€œabound in love.â€ â€œAnd the Lord make you to increase and abound in love one toward another, and toward all men, even as we do toward youâ€ (1 Thessalonians 3:12).
But the Christian may also experience much sorrow and difficulty in his life. Paul was a classic example: â€œ. . . in labours more abundant, in stripes above measure, in prisons more frequent, in deaths oftâ€ (2 Corinthians 11:23). One may also abound in poverty. For the Christians at Philippi, for example, â€œin a great trial of affliction the abundance of their joy and their deep poverty abounded unto the riches of their liberalityâ€ (2 Corinthians 8:2). An abundance of suffering for the believer can always be overbalanced by Godâ€™s abounding grace. â€œFor as the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also aboundeth by Christâ€ (2 Corinthians 1:5). Our God of all grace â€œis able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in usâ€ (Ephesians 3:20). HMM