The abundant life in Christ is an ever-changing and developing life. That’s because it’s based on a relationship and not on a list of do’s and don'ts. For instance, in a marriage you feel as though you love your mate to the full at first, but then you realize years later that you love her more now than you did then. Why is that? It’s because the relationship grew and matured as you spent more time with each other getting to know one another more intimately. This is what will happen as we have a growing relationship with Jesus. Now, even though life with Jesus is not about a list of do’s and don’ts, like any relationship, there are some guardrails that must be present to enhance the relationship. For instance, a husband should only flirt with his wife (a do) and not with another woman (a don’t). His job is to do things to pursue her, and likewise, for her to pursue him. Jesus has already shown that He has and does pursue us, so it’s our job to pursue Him as well. As we are consistent in our pursuit of Him, we will experience love, joy, peace, and contentment in a way that could never happen without Jesus. Jesus will bring and reveal purposes to our lives that go beyond the norm. True blessings, ones that last, will be experienced in a way that material wealth and worldly success cannot bring. Does that mean this life will be easy and free from pain or difficulties? No. We live in a fallen world, so until we are in Heaven we will have to deal with the results of a fallen and sin-filled world. However, the difference is in the hope and assurance we have in Jesus. Jesus will see us through those times, and He will teach us and use us in and through those times to make us more like Him and point others to Him. Jesus said in John 16:33, “These things have I spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” Also, three times in Scripture we are told that the Lord will never leave us or forsake us. (See Deuteronomy 31:15, Joshua 1:5, and Hebrews 13:5.) These are comforting words and words of divine hope when things are hard, but only for those who have the abundant life in Jesus.