Most of us go through life working hard, trying to get ahead. We all define “getting ahead” differently. Some strive for money, others look for more time, we even throw family into the mix. We think that having more of this one thing will give us the life we dream of. We think it will bring us abundance. Sadly, it never comes. In fact, the harder we chase it, the more elusive it becomes. For example, our toil for more money never reaches abundance. John D. Rockefeller confirmed it. When asked, “how much is enough?” He replied, “just one dollar more.” The Apostle Paul, however, knew better. Simply said, Paul worked out of his abundance, not for abundance.
In 1 Thessalonians 2, Paul tells us how he works from abundance. To start, he reminds us of his terrible sufferings and mistreatment. How can that be abundance? Obviously, Paul’s definition of abundance did not look like ours. His definition sounds more like righteousness. Now before you check out because you are not righteous, consider this. Paul references the righteousness of Abraham in Romans 4:21. He says that Abraham was granted it by having “no unbelief to make him waiver concerning the promise of God” and that he was “fully convinced that God was able to do what he had promised.” The result was righteousness. Paul shared in God’s righteousness as well. This righteousness is exactly what allows him to live abundantly in any situation.
When we are fully convinced, like Abraham and Paul that God is able to do everything he promises, we too will be able to live from abundance. In fact, Jesus promises it specifically in John 10:10. Like Paul, when we live in abundance, no adversity, no pain, no suffering or mistreatment will ever discourage or destroys us.