Looking for Life in All the Wrong Places - Encouragement for Today - June 6, 2024

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Meredith Houston CarrJune 6, 2024

Looking for Life in All the Wrong Places

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“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)

Do you ever experience the nagging feeling that there’s a disconnect in some area of your faith?

Perhaps you love God and do your best to follow and serve Him faithfully. Maybe you volunteer at church, pray consistently and read your Bible. Yet one day, you encounter a scripture that leaves you feeling like you’re missing something — like there’s a gap between what you know in your head and what you experience daily.

Several years ago, that's exactly how I felt when I read today’s key verse:

“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).

At that time, I had no doubt about the thief’s devious workings. I’d watched him try to steal and kill my marriage, my hope, my dreams — even my very faith itself.

Yet when I read about Jesus giving us life “to the full” (John 10:10)? I couldn’t confidently say I was walking in that fullness. But why not? What was I missing?

Maybe you’re asking the same question. Maybe you doubt that God’s promise of abundance is real and applies to you.

Let me assure you, dear one — God’s promise stands firm. The problem lies in our tendency to look for life in all the wrong places!

We scan our lives horizontally, squinting for signs of life in relationships, health, wealth or status all around us — but we’re left wanting. Even when life is chock-full of good things, our souls still feel scratchy and discontent, hungry for more.

This lack of contentment vexes us, but here’s the truth: If we could find abundance in the world’s offerings, we wouldn’t have needed the sacrifice of our Savior!

Jesus says, “I have come” (John 10:10), thereby signaling that our search for abundant life begins and ends in Him. It’s an abundance we find vertically through relationship with God above, not horizontally through the gifts He places beside and around us on earth.

Earthly blessings are meant to be embraced and enjoyed, but they are never intended to bring us ultimate satisfaction. Only Jesus can provide genuine fulfillment, the type that can’t be shaken by our surroundings!

So how can you and I start living in abundance today?

First, we can take inventory. Who or what is currently shouldering the pressure of bringing us abundance? Is it our job? Our spouse? Our children? Let’s ask God to open our eyes to any areas of misplaced reliance.

Second, we can pray this simple prayer. Lord, I’m sorry for looking to [fill in the blank] for contentment and joy. Redirect my heart, and help me find abundance vertically, not horizontally.

A full life is part of our inheritance as God’s children, no matter our circumstances — so let’s walk in that inheritance today!

Lord, thank You for giving us abundant life. Help us see where we’ve misplaced our trust, and settle our hearts as we seek You above all things! In Jesus’ Name, Amen.


Announcing the next Circle 31 Book Club pick … The Hidden Peace: Finding True Security, Strength, and Confidence Through Humility by Dr. Joel Muddamalle! We aren’t just going to read a book; together, we’re expecting our lives to be transformed. By joining Circle 31 Book Club, you’ll be surrounded by friends who want to support you, pray for you and help you grow. Don’t delay … Join Circle 31 today!



Join Meredith on Instagram for more community and a few laughs! Visit her website for a copy of her free devotional, Standing on the Rock.


Psalm 16:11, “You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore” (ESV).

In what area of your life do you tend to look for abundance and joy? What would it look like for you to begin finding fullness in Jesus instead of external relationships and things? We’d love to hear from you! Share your thoughts in the comments.

© 2024 by Meredith Houston Carr. All rights reserved.

Proverbs 31 Ministries
P.O. Box 3189
Matthews, NC 28106

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