Greetings in the name of Jesus!
Today’s message ~ We’re on the Road”
John 10:10 “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly”.
Sometimes on the road of life, we come across unexpected bumps that derail our plans and shatter our hopes. Or maybe we simply wake up and realize the life we are living is not the one we expected, much less the one we wanted. As a result, we feel unhappy, joyless and discontent.
The day came a few years ago when I found myself feeling exactly that way due to enduring the reality of my husband working out of state and we were apart more than we had been together in our 33 years. My life had been certainly very different looking than I thought it should be, as well as my heart didn’t feel that overjoyed feeling that it should have, and I was having a hard time finding the strength to feel encouraged daily — or even believe life could ever be good again as a married woman.
Maybe you, too, have experienced a painful situation relationally. Your marriage on the rocks (and not Jesus our ROCK); or you thought you would be married by now; or maybe you had a dream crushed after years of pursuing it. So many different scenarios can fit right here!
Or possibly nothing life-changing has happened at all. And that’s the problem. Same old circumstances, different day, new year. In any case, we may find ourselves thinking, surely there has to be more to life than this. Well, my friend, there is. And in our scripture reference, we find out what that “more” is.
In the first part of today’s verse, Jesus explains there is a thief who “comes only to steal and kill and destroy” (John 10:10a). Not necessarily physically but also mentally, emotionally and spiritually. This enemy wants us to feel discouraged with the way life has turned out. He wants us to feel so beaten down by circumstances that we succumb to the false belief that we can’t be happy if our life isn’t exactly as we think it should be. Of course, this enemy is the father of lies, the devil.
Yet in the second part of John 10:10, Jesus declares exactly the opposite to be true of Himself. He came to earth so we could not only have life but be empowered to choose to live life abundantly despite the thief’s intentions. Jesus said, “I came that they may have life and have it abundantly,” or as another translation says, “I have come in order that you might have life—life in all its fullness” Here we see the stark contrast between the destroyer of happiness and the Giver of joy!
A new year is underway, and maybe you are feeling disgruntled, discouraged or joyless due to how life isn’t living up to your expectations. Maybe you’ve lost hope that loving and enjoying your life is possible, and you feel blinded to the opportunities a new year may hold.
Trust me, I understand. Several times, I’ve turned the calendar over to a new year while I felt filled with disappointment and fear. Believing in my mind that I would never be able to truly feel what a happily married woman should feel.
Yet over time, and a lot of prayers, tears and faith, God helped me see and accept that, although I couldn’t change my circumstances, I could change my attitude and how I lived each day. I finally realized I have been given one life to live — this life — and I can either continue to allow adversities and the actions of other people to have power over my happiness or I can embrace God’s promise for abundant life and make it a reality in my own.
Although my life wasn’t the one, I imagined, choosing to learn to love my life was the best choice I’ve ever made! It wasn’t always easy, but as I intentionally asked Jesus to be the source of my joy — even in the midst of less-than-joyful circumstances — my outlook and attitude changed for the better!
Overcomer, no matter what you’re going through, loving life is a choice, not a byproduct of everything going your way. The life you are living today is the life God has given you, and in Christ, your life has abundant potential. Our peace, joy, contentment and fulfillment depend on the choices we make. You see, your happiness is up to you, and this could be your best year yet!
Jesus, fill us with joy and a refreshed perspective. We want this to be our best year yet, no matter our circumstances. In Jesus Name, Amen.
Be Optimistic; Be Open Minded; Be an Over comer!!