05/05/2020 - By Pastor Todd Nathan
Are you thriving or surviving? That seems like a loaded question. For many of you, you may be in survival mode, just trying to get through each day with perseverance and hope, doing whatever it takes while trying to keep a positive attitude. Your rhythm of life has been altered significantly by the need for social distancing and the restrictions placed on us by the Federal and State governments. Your spiritual life may be lacking drive and motivation. "Hungering and thirsting for righteousness" would not be descriptive of where you are right now in your relationship with the Lord. Does this all sound depressing? It's not. It's a genuine and honest response to the way we deal with hardships that don't seem to have an end point. After preaching the message, "We have need of endurance", I have been thinking a lot about what it looks like to thrive rather than survive. How to jump start my spiritual life and have motivation and energy, and actually thrive!. It's not only possible, but simply requires nothing more than a DAILY renewed perspective about God, His character, His sovereignty and His ultimate plan and purpose for my life, and a DAILY surrender of our lives to Him. Thriving is experiencing the fullness of what it means to be in a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. Thriving means to be "fully alive in Christ" with energy, passion, joy and hope. Thriving means "thinking eternally" each day and putting everything that you are doing and facing in eternal perspective...
Here are a few simple Scriptures to meditate on and energize you in the morning, and carry you through each day so you can move from "surviving" to "thriving".
"If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. 2 Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. 3 For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God." (Colossians 3:1-3)
"11 For the Lord God is a sun and shield; the Lord bestows favor and honor. No good thing does he withhold from those who walk uprightly. 12 O Lord of hosts, blessed is the one who trusts in you!" (Psalm 84:11-12)
"Let me hear in the morning of your steadfast love, for in you I trust. Make me know the way I should go, for to you I lift up my soul." (Psalm 143:8)
"May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope." (Romans 15:13)
"O God, you are my God; earnestly I seek you; my soul thirsts for you; my flesh faints for you, as in a dry and weary land where there is no water." (Psalm 63:1)
We don't know how much longer all of this will go on or what lies ahead of us down the road. It's normal and human to simply go into "survival mode" as the best way to get through trying circumstances and the monotonous routine of life. But God has given us the ability to "thrive" in Him and experience "life abundant" (John 10:10) even in the toughest times. Are you thriving or surviving? Be honest. It's ok not to be ok. Take some small steps today to change your routine a bit, to shift your daily focus, and re-energize your faith in Christ.
With much love and compassion for you all, as we strive together as a church family,