“Thrive: Student Edition by Mark Hall of Casting Crowns”
“Thrive” is a new devotional inspired by Casting Crowns’ latest album and its title song. This book was published on August 5, 2014 by Zondervan. This devotional explores the idea of what life could be like if Christians did not just “survive” until the next ________ (fill in the blank). “Oh, I can’t wait until finals are over.” “I hope this hardship passes quickly.” “I can’t wait until my kids stop waking me up at night.” And so on and so forth. Mark Hall instead poses the question, how would we live life differently if we look at how God can be glorified through a situation instead of how long we will be stuck in it? He relates life to a tree in the town he grew up in that flourishes every year. He takes us back to that tree, asking what makes it thrive. Why does it live so well? Its roots are the answer. The trees roots dig deeply into the soil to soak up nutrients there, and spread out underground to stabilize itself. Relating this to Christians, he says that when we “dig deeply” into God’s Word, we soak up essential spiritual food to help us grow in Him. Likewise, when we “reach out” to fellow believers and encourage one another as Paul says, we have more tangible stability. This was an excellent word picture for me, and I like how he gives examples of ways to thrive, like keeping in connection with God and not losing our focus when things in life get tough. Jesus did say that he came to give us life, and life to the full, and Mark Hall helps explain how to live to the fullest in this book.
This was an excellent read, and I really liked that the “Student Edition” was so relatable for me. It encourages me to keep my eyes on God, and know that thriving in His plans is very different from thriving (being successful) in the world’s eyes. I would recommend this book for high schoolers and college students; I also think it would make a great gift, especially if the recipient is overwhelmed with “just surviving”.
Thank you so much to Zondervan publishers and the Book Look bloggers program for providing me with a copy of this book to read and review. All opinions are my own; I was not required to write a positive review.