Ever since I was a lil girl...
...the saying was drilled into my head, "God has an abundant life for you to live!" This meant lots of material things, money, resources, exciting times, wonderful bountiful relationships, never a hard moment, etc. If I did have something hard come into my life...it meant I wasn't "trusting" God.
This verse, "The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly." John 10:10, had been taken out of context.
I believed this lie until I was about 24 years old, when God allowed my world to crumble. Praise the Lord He opened my eyes to His truth as I cried out to Him, whining, "but you said You'd give me ABUNDANT life!"
When studying A VERSE in the Bible...you must read a few verses before and a few verses after to see the context.
"7 Then Jesus said to them again, “Most assuredly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep. 8 All whoever came before Me[a] are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not hear them. 9 I am the door. If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture. 10 The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.
11 “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd gives His life for the sheep. 12 But a hireling, he who is not the shepherd, one who does not own the sheep, sees the wolf coming and leaves the sheep and flees; and the wolf catches the sheep and scatters them. 13 The hireling flees because he is a hireling and does not care about the sheep. 14 I am the good shepherd; and I know My sheep, and am known by My own. "
Jesus is speaking of eternal life and salvation in Him alone. He is not speaking of material possessions and a problem-free life on earth.
The Bible references "trials", "tests", and "troubling times" MANY times throughout the Scriptures.
Jesus, Himself told us, "Because[a] narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it." Matthew 7:14 NKJV ; "In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world." John 16:33; and in 2 Corinthians it says: " 8 We are hard-pressed on every side, yet not crushed; we are perplexed, but not in despair;9 persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed— 10 always carrying about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body. 11 For we who live are always delivered to death for Jesus’ sake, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh."
John Piper reminds us, "
The eternal (John 3:16), abundant (John 10:10), exceedingly joyful (Psalm 43:4) and forever pleasurable (Psalm 16:11) life is so worth the fight that we will someday look back at the very worst, darkest, horrible battles and see them as “light and momentary” (2 Corinthians 4:17)."
Jesus has an amazing, more than we can fathom, abundant (in the sense of beyond; superabundant in quantity or superior in quality...) life waiting for us in Heaven, for those of us who choose Him and His Way while on this earth. And through His grace and mercy He does bless us in many ways while we wait to live with Him in eternity.
Until we see Him face to face:
"be of good cheer; I have overcome the world." John 16:33b