If we look around, it’s easy to believe that there is always someone living a “better” life than we are. Those with more money seem to be free of concerns about how to make ends meet, or how to pay for house repairs. Those with musical, athletic, or political talents seem to attract fans and followers, without the effort that “regular people” have in trying to make make friends. We may aspire to lives of leisure, freedom from pain, and the attraction of comfort; if only because others seem to have achieved those things.
Still, as we talk with individuals in situations like this, and see past the surface, many of our fellow human beings – even those who seem to have it all – still struggle with temptations, vices, and challenges. Getting to these coveted “tiers” in life doesn’t actually bring the peace that one would think. Reflecting a little further on this topic, we may even realize that other people might look up to us (despite our not being the best at something we aspire to), and think that we have it made.
Understanding and embracing contentment is important (see 1 Timothy 6:6), but take a look at this verse from the book of Romans:
The Spirit of God, who raised Jesus from the dead, lives in you. And just as God raised Christ Jesus from the dead, he will give life to your mortal bodies by this same Spirit living within you.
Romans 8:11 NLT
We are called to a life of contentment with what God has provided us (while still pressing forward to grow in spiritual maturity, and working hard to do our part in the Kingdom of God). However, God doesn’t just call us to “get by”, or to resign ourselves to a sub-standard fate. Instead, He give us real life through the same power that raised Jesus from the tomb where He was placed after His sacrificial death.
Jesus promised us an “abundant life” (or some other synonym, depending on your translation of John 10:10). We may ponder that as a promise of Jesus, but I believe that it has an even greater impact when we understand the incredible amount of holy power that is brought to bear for our benefit, in order for us to become truly alive.
This passage also confirms that this renewed living doesn’t have to wait until we receive new, immortal bodies for our souls. The Holy Spirit gives live to our mortal selves, indicating that even our lives here on earth are transformed by this renewal.
For the follower of Jesus, our walk on earth is one of hope and power (see below), anticipating something even better than the blessings that we receive here.
I pray that God, the source of hope, will fill you completely with joy and peace because you trust in him. Then you will overflow with confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit.
Romans 15:13 NLT
So, let us not feel less important than those with more resources than us. May we remember the awesome power that is behind us, when we are following the path to which God calls us. As the verse above says, we’re not just filled up with hope, it will actually overflow from us. Maybe when it does, others will benefit from the extra that spills over!