At the end of 2021, people were asked to sum up their feelings about life through the Covid pandemic.
The number one answer was “disappointed.”
Not far from that was the sense of being overwhelmed.
Those two feelings may be driving what HR managers and analysts are calling “The Great Resignation,” as thousands quit their jobs to find new ones or to stop working altogether. There are now more jobs available in America than there are people to fill them.
There is a lot to be disappointed and overwhelmed by.
Just as it looked like we might finally bid farewell to Covid as a major disruption, the Russians invaded Ukraine, setting off another global crisis. These and other more personal battles and burdens leave many of us beaten down.
Additionally, ministry is an ever-growing mountain of opportunities and needs. Every pastor and church leader lives with the knowledge that something major could show up on any given day.
Would you say your life is overflowing?
Is it overflowing with stress, with goodness, with something scary, with gratitude?
What is the life Jesus offers?
Jesus said, “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life and have it to the full” (John 10:10 NIV).
Many believers and pastors love this verse and pray for it to be true in their lives daily. Jesus is the only one who can make us truly and fully alive. Nothing else and no one else can do that. Several years ago as I pondered this verse, I tried to put its meaning into a sentence of my own. What is the life, his life, that Jesus is offering us?
I think Jesus is saying something like this: “Follow me and I will give you real life, a joyful, abundant, and supernatural life that is only available with me.”
He daily resurrects us to more of this life. Heaven will be its completion.
The apostle Paul called it an “overflowing” life. He uses this word seven times across four of his letters. He speaks of Christ’s overflowing grace that saves us: “But the gift is not like the trespass. For if the many died by the trespass of the one man, how much more did God’s grace and the gift that came by the grace of the one man, Jesus Christ, overflow to the many!” (Romans 5:15, emphasis added). He prays for overflowing hope in Romans 15:13. He talks of overflowing gratitude in 2 Corinthians 4:15, 9:12, and Colossians 2:7. Check out those passages to see what he is so thankful for!
I love how Paul describes the overflowing generosity of the Macedonian believers as he seeks to ignite similar generosity in the Corinthians. He says of their example, “In the midst of a very severe trial, their overflowing joy and their extreme poverty welled up in rich generosity” (2 Corinthians 8:2). Every pastor hopes for a congregation that overflows with that spirit of generosity no matter their circumstance.
An overflowing psalm
Psalm 103 is a poem that celebrates the overflowing life that comes from and with a consistent faith in the one true God. The psalm is soul-training.
In the opening verses, David instructs, commands, and reminds his own soul of God’s overflowing greatness and goodness to him. Hear his words: “My soul, bless the Lord, and all that is within me, bless his holy name. My soul, bless the Lord, and do not forget all his benefits” (Psalm 103:1–2 CSB).
We need to intentionally instruct our souls in a similar fashion. Our sinfulness causes us to remember the worst things and to forget the best things. God, redeem our memory. God, cleanse our memory of all evil and fill it only with reminders of you, of goodness, of true beauty and your hope.
This twenty-two-verse song gushes with things we receive and celebrate in overflowing measure. Our Father knows us and all we need. As the perfect Father, he forgives, heals, redeems, crowns, satisfies, and renews (see Psalm 103:3–5).
In these days of overwhelming chaos and uncertainty, David declared, “The Lord executes acts of righteousness and justice for the oppressed” (Psalm 103:6).
Our God is not just fully capable; he is also perfectly compassionate, adopting us and then parenting us from his perfect character. Everywhere and in all time and circumstances, our Father fathers us well.
Why do you need this assurance today?
What about your life or ministry situation is too big, too daunting, too dark, or too disappointing?
Our Father wants to overflow what you need today.