Summary: How to thrive at living & not just survive
35Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword?
36 As it is written: "For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.
"37No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Picture with me if you will. You are stranded on an uncharted island in the south Pacific. Your four passenger, Cessna plane crashed with you as the sole survivor. You are all alone with no supplies, with the exception of the native fruit. The days are long and hot and you have as of yet no shelter from the elements. Days turn into weeks. With each passing day thought of giving up and dying beginning to come more often than when you first where stranded. You’ve managed to survive this long on sheer will power but now you don’t know if you have what it takes anymore. Doubts of you ever being rescued fade away as you sit on the beach emancipated and dehydrated, and what a beautiful tropical sunset. But the sunset doesn’t bring you any joy or pleasure because all you can think about is just making it through the night and maybe one more day. All you can do now is simply survive. As weeks have turned into months you have given up on the dreams of your future. You have quit dreaming of marriage and raising a family. You quite dreaming of a great career or buying a beautiful home and raising a family. All you can do it dream of living one more day. You are just surviving with no hope for a better day. Survive or Thrive. Which do you want?
Here are three things that can help thrive in life and not just survive in life………..
I. ENDURE HARDSHIPS
2 Timothy 2:3 (NIV)
3Endure hardship with us like a good soldier of Christ Jesus.
A. PROBLEMS WILL COME
2My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, 3knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. 4But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing. 5If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him. 6But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind. 7For let not that man suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; 8he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.
B. A WAY OUT IS PROVIDED
1 Corinthians 10:13 (NIV)
13No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.
II. WALK IN FAITH
A. TRUST IS NEVER EASY
5 Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; 6 in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight. 7 Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the LORD and shun evil.
B. FAITH MEANS ACTION
Illustration: "Charles Blondin and Niagara Falls"
2 Corinthians 5:7 (NIV)
7We live by faith, not by sight.
III. BE CONFIDENT IN JESUS
A. KNOW IN WHOM YOU HAVE BELIEVED
2 Timothy 1:12 (NIV)
12That is why I am suffering as I am. Yet I am not ashamed, because I know whom I have believed, and am convinced that he is able to guard what I have entrusted to him for that day.
B. GOD ONLY WANTS THE BEST FOR US
Romans 8:28 (NIV)
28And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him,£ who£ have been called according to his purpose.
There was once a great pianist who was giving a concert in a large concert hall. When he finished the concert, everyone in the place stood up and gave him a standing ovation. Well, almost everyone. There was one old man in the front row who didn’t stand, but everyone else was on their feet cheering wildly.