There is a universal longing, a desire transcending tribe, tongue, and nation that sits at the core of every human heart.
It’s a desire for thriving. For blessedness. For fullness of life. For flourishing.
Creation as God intended it was in a state of flourishing. Adam and Eve walked in right relationship with God. Everything was as it was supposed to be.
Then humanity fell into sin, and God has been calling Christians to work towards reweaving flourishing ever since.
Flourishing begins with the work of redemption God undertakes in our souls. He restores us to right relationship with him. We’re all in need of a little restoration. When we figure out what God made us for and how we fit into his big picture of restoration, that’s when we truly flourish.
It doesn’t end there, though.
Flourishing is about more than our personal redemption or finding our calling. Knowing God is glorified when his creation flourishes, we work for the flourishing of others out of gratitude and a desire to spread his glory throughout the earth.
When we serve other people with our God-given gifts, talents, time and resources, we help them flourish.
What does flourishing look like, then?
It’s when the wilderness becomes fruitful. It’s when justice dwells. It’s when righteousness abides. It’s when people live peacefully.
Flourishing is happiness. It’s joy. It’s a fullness of life. It’s wholeness. It’s abundance. Flourishing seeks the welfare of the city. It promotes the common good. It radiates God’s Kingdom on earth.
Flourishing is a thriving farm. It’s a booming city. It’s a cure for disease. It’s a new technology. It’s a beautiful song. It’s a vibrant street mural. It’s a loving family. It’s a fun friendship. It’s a deep relationship with God. It’s living as an image bearer of our Creator.
Flourishing means becoming everything we were created to be.
Finally, although we are called to bring about ever higher levels of flourishing, we know in the end we’re merely giving a glimpse of the restoration that is to come when God ushers in the New Heavens and the New Earth. Flourishing in this life is inevitably incomplete because of God’s ongoing mission in the world.
Full flourishing will only be realized with the second coming of Christ and the consummation of his kingdom. It’s what we hope for, what each of us longs for deep in our hearts.
In the meantime, we’ve got work to do. Until he returns, God keeps calling us to do our part in bringing about flourishing for the world.