Jesus said in John 10:10, “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy.  I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.”

Most of us who have been touched by addiction know the thief.  Satan has ravaged our lives with doubt, loss, betrayal, theft, and brokenness.  Both the addict and their families know all too well the works of the enemy.  The loss of life, death.

Long before Moses, Abraham, and David, there was a man named Job.  The story of Job begins with horrific and sudden loss.  Job has back to back to back messengers report the theft of much of his business, another reported that lightning struck and killed his flock and servants, and another came to tell him another group came and stole what property he had left, and lastly and most personally, a microburst hit his oldest son’s house where all his children were – killing them all.  The thief had hit hard and complete.  There was nothing left except his wife and his health.  But that doesn’t last long.  His health is struck with sores from the bottom of his feet to the top of his head.  And his wife…well, she encourages him with such taunts as, “Do you still hold fast your integrity?  Curse God and die.”

This launches Job into a quest to understand why suffering happens.  His friends come to “comfort him” while merely chastising and accusing him of wrong doing as an explanation for his terrible turn of events.

After a lengthy dialogue with Job’s three friends, plus God Himself, Job concludes that he will remain faithful to God, even though he does not understand.  For his loyalty, God restores Job’s health and wealth.  He even gives him seven more children!

But even though the story of Job ends well, that doesn’t mean that there is no loss.  Job will always have the scars from his sores, the memory of his wife’s taunts, and the children he is blessed with will never replace the ones he lost.

Our hope is not in getting back what we lost, but being changed into what God wants us to be.  He will bless us, but the blessing will be new…not a replacement for the old.

Our hope in Christ is not getting back the old, but receiving the new.  This is the “abundant life”.

Tom Reynolds