Fully Alive

In John 10:10, Jesus said, “The thief has come to steal, kill and destroy, but I have come that you might have life and have it to the full.” What I would like you to see is that this is a pendulum. The enemy of our souls attempts to break our hearts, destroy our trust, crush our hopes and get us to build walls around our lives that will protect us from feeling this kind of pain again, ever again. So we do whatever we can to avoid feeling grief. But I don’t think we are aware that this limits our capacity for joy. The pendulum does not swing far enough. Limited grief means limited joy. God invites us to feel more deeply that which he feels; how else could Jesus say, “Blessed are those who mourn” in Matt.5:4? It comes across as an oxymoron unless he is telling us something that we refuse to believe.
No one has escaped without damage from this thief who aims to break your heart and leave you for dead, but as the Lord and His Word make quite clear, this is where God does his best work with us. Genesis 50:20 says, “You meant it for evil, but God meant it for good.” So the enemy is actually playing into the Father’s hand by attempting to crush us.
The secret? Let your heart be broken. Grieve over what sin has done in your life and in the lives of those you love. Pray something like this, “Father, this is more than I can bear. Please show me the path to victory in the midst of such apparent defeat.” Rather than avoid the pain, or pretend it didn’t happen or allow yourself to become cynical, you accept the cup that has come your way as having come from the Father with perfect love, perfect wisdom, perfect power and perfect sovereignty. Then watch what he does inside of you. The willingness to feel more deeply the pain will also allow you to feel more fully the joy. Deeper grief allows for fuller joy. This is the path to abundant life and a life of abandonment to Him.
Peter, before and after his denial, is a great example of the enemy’s efforts to bring him down and how this played right into the Lord’s plan to break Peter of his large view of himself and his limited view of life. What we see of him in the Book of Acts is someone who is full of confidence and life. This is where the Father wants to take you as well.
Pastor Doug