Last Word – Thrive

What Does Psalm 1:3 Mean?

My ”Word” for this past year (2021) has been Thrive, the aim was not just to survive the year, but thrive in and throughout the year.

So in order to do that I set myself monthly reflections and goals to achieve that, things which would help thrive that month, things like books to read, bible studies to complete, relationships to work on, things to pray through, etc.

So as I reflect back, have I thrived? Have I done more than survive?

I think so, to a certain extent anyway! I don’t in anyway want that to sound smug or prideful, but rather it is thanks to God for His sustaining, life-flowing power that the praise is given.

In a year that would have been difficult anyway, it was even more important to keep my conscious contact with God going and to draw up from His life giving source so that I could still flourish and bear fruit. I have survived those difficulties of Lockdowns and restrictions on social life and contacts and in many ways I have thrived and my knowledge and trust in God have increased by His grace and faithful hand on my life.

As I have seen the Sovereignty of God over those world events which have impacted us all, to a greater or lesser extent whether directly or indirectly, I have come to a greater awe of God and realised in a deeper way that really we are mere mortals and have no control over those things. And as I have come to that understanding and have again and again had to hand over those ‘out of my control’ situations over to God, that has deepened my trust and strengthened my faith.

Sometimes God places us in hard circumstance in order to put our roots down deep, so that we will not just survive, but flourish in the year of drought. For many of us that is what this year has been for us, but with our roots down deep we can keep on flourishing, keep on thriving.

They are like trees planted along the riverbank, bearing fruit each season.

Their leaves never wither, and they prosper in all they do.

Psalm 1:3

What about you? How well have you survived the year? Have you thrived? Where are you giving thanks for God’s sustaining power?

Not just Survive, but made to Thrive

Family Thrive training - The Mill

I have heard/read many people say how glad they are that 2020 is now past, good riddance to it, ‘we survived it”. Many of course haven’t and for many of us we have been holding on with our finger-tips. But what if we were made for more?

So often our days/weeks are just about surviving, getting by, coping, but surely we were made for more than this? Made to thrive and not just survive?

I did it myself, at the start of the week I’d look ahead to all the tasks, work, meetings etc and my goal was actually just to survive, just to get through the week and I look forward to that space , that gap at the end of the week when I could draw breath, breathe a sigh of relief, phew I’ve survived! Then 2020 happened! However, the past year brought for me more time, more space, more breathing space.

Survive means to continue to live or exist, especially after coming close to dying or being destroyed or after being in a difficult or threatening situation.

The verb thrive means to flourish or grow vigorously

So the difference is to barely come out of a situation unscathed or to flourish within that situation.

So how do you thrive in a global pandemic?

How do you thrive the pressures of Lockdown?

How do I thrive when there are nagging doubts plaguing me?

How do I thrive when assailed and buffeted by the storms of life?

How do I thrive when my to-do list seems longer than the available hours of the day or my days stretch endlessly by with no focus or purpose?

This song from Casting Crowns echo’s what is in my own heart at this time:

Thrive , Casting Crowns

Here in this worn and weary land
Where many a dream has died Like a tree planted by the water
We never will run dry So living water flowing through
God we thirst for more of You
Fill our hearts and flood our souls
With one desire Just to know You and to make You known
We lift Your name on High
Shine like the sun made darkness run and hide
We know we were made for so much more
Than ordinary lives
It’s time for us to more than just survive
We were made to thrive

Into Your word we’re digging deep
To know our Father’s heart Into the world we’re reaching out
To show them who You are So living water flowing through
God we thirst for more of You
Fill our hearts and flood our souls
With one desire Just to know You and to make You known


So how do we achieve this? How do we thrive in the midst of a Pandemic? How to we thrive when pressed in on every side? How do we thrive when we are faced with adversities and the daily grind and toil? How do we more than just survive, but actively thrive and flourish?

The secret is found here in Psalm 92:

12 The righteous will flourish like a palm tree,

they will grow like a cedar of Lebanon;

13 planted in the house of the Lord,

they will flourish in the courts of our God.

14 They will still bear fruit in old age,

they will stay fresh and green,

15 proclaiming, “The Lord is upright;

he is my Rock, and there is no wickedness in him.”

So to flourish like a palm tree and grow we have to be planted in the house of the Lord, planted with a firm grounding, our roots going down deep into the Word of God. Saturated in God’s Word, AND surrounded by God’s people in fellowship. Then we will still be bearing fruit in old age, still staying fresh and green! In other words flourishing, thriving, more than just surviving!

So my dear friend, let us drink deeply, let us drink daily of the fountain of grace so that we are fed and watered and fruitful and reaching the end of the week thriving, reaching the end of the year stronger, reaching the end of a pandemic with deeper roots in God, reaching old age still fresh and green! Let’s dig deep into the Word, let’s put our faith into practice and proclaim that ‘The Lord is upright, that He is my Rock and that there is no wickedness in Him’.

We know we were made for so much more than ordinary lives
It’s time for us to more than just survive, We were made to thrive.