Together we have looked at many people’s initial responses to the word THRIVE. I have shared why I am tired of overcoming. I even broke one of the cardinal rules of blogging. Before we go any further, let’s pull back for a different perspective. Truth is, only one Person knows what it really means to THRIVE. It’s time for a God’s-eye perspective on this topic.
But blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in Him. They will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit.
This passage identifies what we must do to THRIVE, the reality of life, and the results of THRIVING.
What We Must Do to THRIVE
It starts with trust, and for many of us this is the hardest part. After all, with all the crazy things that have happened in the past [month/year/lifetime – you choose the time frame], how can we possibly trust God?
Then the prophet further describes trust as having confidence in God. Confidence is an even stronger word than trust. It means we don’t even have to think about it, we just know God will come through.
And yet, many of us don’t breathe in trust and breathe out confidence in God. We struggle every day, some worse than others, but only rarely land in a place of quiet trust. Are we doomed to a less-than life, with THRIVING ever out of reach?
As one who breathes in more worry than trust, I often feel anxiety when I read promises like this. They seem more like curses because of my own issues with trusting God. This is the power of the mustard seed. God sees the best in us and enlarges it when He looks upon us.
Faith is like Brylcreem: “A little dab will do ya.”
The Reality of Life
The prophet Jeremiah does not ignore the harsh truth of living in a broken world. Heat will come and sap our energy. The pressure of work and children and spouses and expectations and church and cleaning the kitchen and fixing the car and remembering to brush your teeth can feel as stifling as an Ohio summer day.
We can feel so drained.We will experience droughts.
Long seasons in which there is little sense of God’s movement in our lives. And we believe there is something wrong with us when we don’t walk in the wonder of God’s goodness. Yet the promise here is not for no droughts. It is for thriving in the midst of drought and absence.
The Results of Thriving
The results of thriving from a God’s-eye perspective is nothing short of amazing. We are told that we can bear fruit all the time. In the midst of a drought. In the middle of a heat wave. No matter what. But that’s not the exciting part – it’s the ‘why’ that is truly exhilarating.
In the same way a tree next to a water source is built distinctly for the purpose of surviving various weather conditions, so we are built distinctly to thrive in the different seasons of our life when we place our trust in God.
In other words, life works best when we place our confidence in God. When this world conspires against our intended purposes we must remember this — We were built to trust.
Trust in our Pappa God is something people often talk about, write about, discuss or preach about, but that has never helped me one bit to trust Him. One day I just realized that I was making trust in Him another law (you know that thou shall kind of thingies) and trying to and grace never walk together. Trust in Jesus for me was something that has grown over the years as He has proved Himself trustworthy and I still learn every day how to trust Him more and more. Trust in any relationship is the fruit of mutual love and respect. I just give Him the bit I have and He honors that and multiply it.
Oh, I am a HUGE fan of recalling how God has specifically shown His faithfulness to us. Even memorializing it in some visual way. Otherwise we are far to quick to forget when things way awry
Absolutely. Built to trust. Not easy to hold on to, but it’s true. Trust is a huge, huge word. Great post.
I think this is so important because the way we view ourselves determines so much about the way we respond. For example, if we view ourselves as failures, then when we fail our internal response is something like, “Well of course I failed. That’s because I am a failure.”
So if we view ourselves as being built to trust, this has a dramatic impact on the way we will respond to the challenges that will come in our lives.
I say those exact words in speechmarks to myself a lot. A lot. And I need to learn not to say them – or at least, to ignore them and refuse them. Thanks Chris.
There is this almost manual process we must learn when it comes to taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ. I still have days where I beat myself up, or perhaps it is that I let the enemy beat me up. Either way, I accept lies about myself. The results are never good. I eventually shake out of it and return to those things I know are true about me.
One huge weapon for me in this mental battle is Romans 8:1. If you don’t already have that memorized, you might want to consider it. For a while, I had this verse posted in various places I knew I would see it throughout the day too. That way, any condemning thought that comes my way, I just know to reject it.
In the staying planted by the Source of Living water we are able to be refreshed in dry seasons of the soul. Our roots go down deep and find stability in storms. I love these verses from Jeremiah; they are so instructive and encouraging!
Chris, you have written a really helpful post that sees the struggles yet also senses the way through them. Faith and trust are the hallmarks of walking the walk as we journey with God. And the more we appreciate what He has already done for us, the more we learn to trust Him to continue to be there to lead, guide and support at every stage. Thank you! 🙂
I have spent a lot of time cursing the hot winds and the droughts. Now I am learning that staying rooted in God will allow me to weather the storms that life will certainly bring my direction.