Thriving or Just Surviving

Do you ever have weeks where things get so heavy, painful, or discouraging that you find yourself saying, “If I can just make it till ———— everything will be alright”? It’s a kind of survival mentality. I must admit—there are times when I run that script through my head. It may be a stretch of serious work travel, or an upcoming meeting that I am dreading. I may think, “I’ll be able to thrive, have joy, or enjoy life more after . . . .”
 
The tragedy of surviving? It’s not God’s intent for us as His children. As followers of Jesus, we are supernaturally fitted with a new set of resources.
 
Recently, these two passages have reminded me that I’m meant to thrive, not just survive:
 
“I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile” (Romans 1:16 NIV 1984).
 
“I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is like the working of his mighty strength, which he exerted in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms…” (Ephesians 1:18-20 NIV 1984).
 
In these passages Paul uses the word “power,” which is the translation of the Greek word, δύναμις, which is where we get the name for something very powerful—dynamite!
 
Paul is praying and stating that, in the gospel, our lives are meant to reflect the power of God Himself, which is available to us as new creations (2 Corinthians 5:17).
 
It’s as if we have a 25-foot, Malibu Wakesetter LSV water skiing boat, with a 410 horsepower Indmar engine sitting in our driveway. And on a beautiful sunny day, we and our four friends take a 40-year-old wooden canoe with some major leaks out to the lake for a day of fun.
 
When we have the δύναμις of God available to us, there’s something horribly wrong when we choose mere survival over thriving. When we chose to just function, versus the flourishing God desires for His children.
 
What makes the power for thriving seem so far away for us?
What are the situations that tend to move you to “survival mode”?
What keeps you from thriving and experiencing hope and joy in Christ during those times?
 
In the next few blog posts, we’ll look at how the gospel opens a door to a thriving life.

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