"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 KJV
This verse is one of the most famous in all of the Bible, and rightly so. People read this and trust in God's promise and we know that He is for us and not against us. We have full trust in God and in His plan for our lives... Except when we don't because we forget about the first part.
The thief, our enemy, the devil comes to steal, kill, and destroy and he does a good job of it. We allow him to come in and he steals our happiness and our promise of abundant life because we believe the lies that he tells us. He will tell you that Jesus would never love someone like you. He will throw roadblocks in your path and make your life difficult, and then whisper that God's promise for an abundant life isn't true; and we so easily believe the lie. We fall into traps and patterns of sin and self destruction, and he tells us that we can't live an abundant life because we are unworthy. We let him steal our promise. This isn't a new tactic for the devil either. He has, since the garden, sold us a lie.
I am reminded of a story in the book of Joshua. The Israelite people had been wandering for years and Moses who has led the out of Egypt, has died. They now have a new leader who they didn't believe was fit to lace up the boots of Moses(or sandals or whatever). Joshua has stepped into a role where no one believed that he could possibly be successful. The Israelite people had a tendency to whine and complain, not unlike the modern church. But Joshua knew that God had given them a promise and believed that God will keep His promise. They were getting ready to cross over into Jericho but they encountered a roadblock. They came to the Jordan River and it was flooded. They could have tried to swim across but, you know, gators. And walking across water hadn't been a thing yet. Or they could have tried waiting for the river to recede but the dry season was months away. It was an impenetrable barrier and there was nothing they could do about it. I wonder if the devil began to whisper in Joshua's ear. I wonder if he told Joshua that God's promise was not true because there is an impassible river between here and the promised land. How could they enter the promised land if they can't even cross the river.
But God keeps His promises. He told Joshua to send the priests, who were carrying the ark of the covenant, ahead into the Jordan. Joshua told his people to get ready to see God do something amazing. The priests went into the water and then the waters parted and the Israelites were able to cross over on dry ground. They went on to conquer Jericho and fulfill God's promise. And that was another miracle in of itself.
Sometimes in life we face roadblocks. We see what God has promised us in the distance. We see happiness in the distance. We see that job in the distance. We see our family in the distance. We see abundant life in the distance but there is a river in our way. Between here and the promised land there is a river that is impossible to cross and we whine and we complain and we lack faith in God, but He gave us a promise of abundant life. He has a pretty good record when it comes to His promises as well. If we have enough faith to trust God and follow His word and step into the water, just wait and see what God will do to that river.