By Nicki Koziarz, Cross Cards
“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)
If I’ve learned anything about hard seasons, it’s that they can make you feel like life has been completely drained out of you.
There’s a pace in hard seasons that feels unfamiliar. There’s a process that feels like it’s filled with problems. And hard seasons can make us crave hurried endings.
Often, these seasons leave us questioning the goodness of God.
But God’s goodness cannot be defined by our good or bad seasons.
John 10 is a passage filled with a picture and promise of who God is to us in the good and the bad. The picture is one of a Shepherd watching over His sheep; the promise is that He is a protector and promoter of abundant life.
Our key verse, John 10:10, reminds us there’s an enemy also fighting to take life from us. And he wants to destroy the abundance God offers us in the midst of hard seasons.
In the King James translation of this verse, the word “abundant” is used instead of the last word “full.” The Greek word for “abundance” is perissos,which means “surplus.”
In other words, in hard times or good times, we always have access to an extra dose of the abundant life Jesus offers us through His death and resurrection. It’s not the ability to snap our fingers and make life better. But it’s power from the cross which brings a space and place of peace and contentment to our souls through the hard seasons.
There are a few practical things we can do in the midst of a hard season to cultivate the life Jesus gives us as promised in John 10:10.
Ask God to show you how to live well in your hard season.
Sometimes we feel like things we needed have been taken away in a season, but maybe we didn’t need them anymore. Whenever we experience loss, it’s a good time to evaluate what could, or should, fill that void. There is life to be lived well in the hard seasons; as we seek God’s wisdom, He will show us how to walk through these seasons well.
Seek relationships that speak life to you during your hard season.
Who are the people who speak words of life into you? And, who makes you feel drained when you walk away from the conversation? These are good questions to ask to help find the right people in hard seasons. Just as God is your protector during a hard season, we have to protect our souls from extra negativity or doubt.
Be careful not to speak words of death over yourself.
Hard seasons are hard because of where our thoughts tend to go. If all we think is doom and gloom, it will be all we speak. But, as the psalmist prayed in Psalm 19:14, may we also pray, “May these words of my mouth and this meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, LORD, my Rock and my Redeemer” (NIV).
In every season, there’s a fulfilling life waiting for you through the presence and promise of God, the Good Shepherd. Hard seasons sometimes make it difficult to take firm steps toward God. And we won’t get every step right — we will fall and fail. Our thoughts might lead us away from living the promise. But may we always believe that the promise of John 10:10 is pulling us back into abundant life. It’s always waiting for us.
Dear God, thank You that You offer abundance in every season. Thank You for the reminder today that our hard seasons don’t have to leave us feeling drained and defeated. We can have abundance because of Your promise. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.