What Did Jesus Mean When He Promised Abundant Life?

The Bible promises us abundant life, so how does this translate into everyday life? Does this promise mean that God will shower us with whatever we pray for and desire? Clearly, that’s not the case for quite a few, if not all, of us. In this episode of the Gary Wilkerson podcast, Gary talks about how our culture’s definition of abundance is crooked and sets us up for unhealthy expectations. God plans for much more in our lives with his definition of abundance. There may be struggles and hard times, but we are promised strength and the divine might of our heavenly Father going before us.

Key Questions from the Podcast

  • When we don’t find fulfillment in the good things that God provides can it lead to depression and addiction?

  • What do you do when you don’t seem to have the abundant life that Jesus promises? How do we find abundant life?

  • Does abundant life mean a life free of trouble, pain, and difficulty?

Notable Quotes from the Podcast

The multiplication of what God gives us is supernatural. All he's asking us is to come to him. – Gary Wilkerson

Grace and grit are married together in the power of the Holy Spirit. It's not self-will, but it's an energized will. It's a Holy Spirit-empowered will. It's a grace-driven effort. – Gary Wilkerson

Jesus seems to over-promise, but then He always over-delivers. – Bob Ditmer

If you think abundant life means trouble-free or pain-free, you're setting yourself up for failure. You're setting yourself up for disappointment. You're going to think God has let you down, or God's against you. – Gary Wilkerson

A lot of us, number one, we're not expecting trouble. When it comes, we get discouraged or withdraw from the battle. Number two, we're not engaging in the fight. We think abundant life means no fight. Abundant life means get in the ring. There's going to be a fight. – Gary Wilkerson

Abundant life isn't a pain-free life. It is a powerful life. It is the ability to navigate life with strength, and vigor, and vitality. – Gary Wilkerson

If all your abundance is primarily for yourself, then Jesus could have said, "Drink of me, and I'll fill you." But he said, "Drink of me, and rivers will flow out of you." What he's saying is, "The abundance I'm giving you is not just for yourself." – Gary Wilkerson

Bible Verses Referenced in the Podcast

The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly. – John 10:10

Now may the God of peace himself sanctify you completely, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. – 1 Thessalonians 5:23

Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us… - Ephesians 3:20

On the last day of the feast, the great day, Jesus stood up and cried out, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, ‘Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.’” – John 7:37–38

Now these are the nations that the Lord left, to test Israel by them, that is, all in Israel who had not experienced all the wars in Canaan. It was only in order that the generations of the people of Israel might know war, to teach war to those who had not known it before. – Judges 3:1–2

Resources Mentioned in the Podcast


About Gary Wilkerson

Gary Wilkerson is the President of World Challenge, an international mission organization that was founded by his father, David Wilkerson. He is also the Founding Pastor of The Springs Church, which he launched in 2009 with a handful of people. He has traveled nationally and internationally at conferences and conducted mission ventures such as church planting, starting orphanages, clinics, feeding programs among the poorest of the poor and the most unreached people of the earth. Gary and his wife Kelly have four children and live in Colorado Springs, CO.

Facebook | Twitter | Instagram