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The Power of Prayer in Recovery

February 17th, 2017

The power of Praying while in recovery

The Power of Prayer in Recovery

Drug addiction is a devastating reality that affects over 25 million Americans. Everyday, more individuals try drugs, whether for the rush of the high or to cope with the challenges of life, and everyday, more addictions begin.

As a Christian, facing an addiction to drugs and the subsequent recovery process is a true challenge. Substance abuse in itself goes against the word of God, leading to a consistent cycle of guilt that can be hard to overcome. Recovery programs, like Road to Freedom, can help you achieve sobriety once more with the help of Christian ideals and guidance, but finding your connection to God post-addiction can take time, effort, and commitment.

If you are a Christian going through recovery, you may feel lost, frightened, or deeply saddened as you struggle to come to terms with the changing nature of your relationship to God. You may feel as though you will never be able to walk His path again, and that you have shut the door on finding your way to the gates of heaven.

However, God understands the failings of humanity. As Daniel 9:9 says, “The Lord our God is merciful and forgiving, even though we have rebelled against him.” With prayer and dedication, you can confess your sins and seek forgiveness, helping you to overcome your addiction and reinforce your dedication to Jesus Christ. Through the power of prayer, true recovery is possible.

Prayer Heals

“If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.” – 2 Chronicles 7:14

Prayer is deeply healing, helping to reinvigorate your mind and spirit through a direct connection to the Lord. By asking for help and opening your heart to God’s guidance, you can accelerate the process of reinvigorating your spiritual health.

Recovery is, in essence, a long healing process, working through the physical and psychological attachment to drug use one day at a time. Through prayer, you can further your healing, calling to the Lord to see your pain and help you through it.

Prayer Deepens Your Connection to God

“Whatever you ask in my name, this I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask me anything in my name, I will do it.” – John 14:13-14

In the midst of addiction, most Christians begin to lose faith. For some, this may be a brief waver, but for others, the entirety of a relationship may be eroded in time.

Throughout recovery, in addition to abstinence from substances, reclaiming this relationship becomes an important step. In order to dedicate yourself to sobriety, you need the support of your faith. Prayer can help you, opening up communication channels with God once more and helping you to request guidance and clarity.

Prayer Provides Strength

“My soul is weary with sorrow; strengthen me according to your word.” – Psalm 119:28

For many, addiction feels distinctly like weakness. Despite best intentions, overcoming addiction alone is virtually impossible, but many who try still feel defeated and powerless. Recovery in an inpatient facility can help break the bonds of addiction, but help outside of God doesn’t necessarily rebuild inner strength. Prayer, however, can.

In order to define your own inner power while rebuilding strength in the Lord, prayer is the best weapon in your arsenal. With prayer, you can unearth the person you were before addiction.

Prayer Shows You a Path

“He leads me beside still waters. He restores my soul. He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.” – Psalm 23:2-3

While in the midst of addiction, it’s easy to feel lost and alone. The path you were following as a Christian – a path paved by God – may seem obscured and buried. Throughout recovery, this path may become a little clearer, but you still may feel as though there’s no good way to get ahead.

Through prayer, you can put yourself back on the path to righteousness once more, walking with God by your side as you put addiction behind you.

Prayer Keeps You Committed

“God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; courage to change the things I can; and wisdom to know the difference.”

The Serenity Prayer is at the heart of recovery programs around the world, keeping Christian addicts focused on finding the strength to overcome addiction. This prayer is very powerful, reinforcing the realities addicts must accept before truly embracing sobriety.

Despite the power of God, humans are often powerless to the sins of the world. By accepting that there is no way to gain control over substance abuse and praying for the Lord’s guidance, you can find a way to commit yourself to abstinence once more.

Prayer Helps You Forgive

“And whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone, so that your Father also who is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses.” – Mark 11:25

Forgiveness is a big part of accepting your shortcomings and bolstering your faith in God. Without forgiveness, you cannot truly be free of the chains of addiction. Prayer can ensure you achieve this, helping you to find forgiveness from God for your sins and, in turn, find forgiveness in yourself. The more you pray, the better your perspective can be, offering a way to truly come to terms with the wrongs of addiction.

If you or someone you love is facing addiction, Road to Freedom can help you heal in a Christ-centered environment. Call (877) 443-7342 today to speak to trained, compassionate Christian counselors about what we have to offer.

Addiction and Forgiving Yourself

February 13th, 2017

Christians in recovery learning to forgive themselves

Forgiveness and Addiction

Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.

Galatians 5:19-21

For Christians who are coping with the perils of addiction, forgiveness can often be the most arduous hurdle to overcome. Even if you accidentally fell into addiction through a legally prescribed substance like opioid painkillers or benzodiazepines, addiction is still considered a sin in the eyes of the Lord, and the weight of this can make it difficult accept or address if you have grown up in a Christian household or have lived your life close to God.

No matter the complex feelings you are working through in relation to your addiction, forgiveness is an important part of the process. It may be a challenge to admit your humanity and come to terms with the pain of substance abuse, but it’s the first step in renewing your relationship with Christ and being able to live the rest of your life addiction free.

The Struggle for Forgiveness

The Bible speaks clearly about the sins of addiction, outlining it as behavior not worthy of heaven. For those stuck in a cycle of dependency, this pressure of failure can be unbearable, driving even good, Christ-like people to make mistakes uncharacteristic of their faith. Feeling as though you have turned away from God and cannot return can be very scary, and drive you down a dark path.

However, the Bible preaches the power of forgiveness as well! 1 John 19 tells us that “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” Getting to the point where we accept this is not easy. Accepting that God has removed our transgressions as far as the east is from the west may be difficult, knowing and constantly being reminded of our past. With prayer, rehabilitation, and self-reflection, it is possible to forgive yourself because God already has.

Why Addicts Can’t Forgive

Forgiving yourself is one of the key steps in recovery, but most addicts, especially Christian addicts, find this the stage difficult to face.

For many people, addiction feels like a distinct failure. After using for a period of time, self-worth becomes intertwined with substance abuse, creating a pit of low self-esteem, despondence, and despair. Admitting a need for outside help can be overwhelmingly hard, and getting that help can be even harder; after all, under 20% of those who need rehab ever make the commitment to pursue recovery in a rehabilitation facility.

As a Christian, admitting a need for help outside of God’s guidance can feel like the epitome of weakness, leading to a crisis of faith that makes speaking up and seeking assistance difficult. This struggle – the inability to face mistakes out of fear – can make taking the path toward forgiveness long and arduous.

Harbored Resentments

Resentment is often at the root of an inability to forgive. For those who have struggled to seek help, cope with the recovery process, and overcome physical dependency, the pain and sadness inside can be hard to move beyond.

For Christians who feel as though they pushed God away with their sins, there may be many resentments standing in the way of love and forgiveness. Some of the most common reasons for frustration and resentment include:

  • Failure to live up to Christian standards
  • Inability to follow the word of God
  • Rejection from family, friends, and community for addictions and related behavior
  • Perceptions of injustice
  • Feelings of loss and fear

These emotions are complex and enduring, eating away at you inside. However, 2 Corinthians 5:17 says “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.

How to Forgive

You know the importance of forgiveness and why forgiveness can be so hard, but how do you get there? How do you cast aside your sins and begin to live the teachings of the Lord once more?

Rehabilitation

Quitting drugs is hard, but rehab can help and may even be necessary depending on the addiction. Road to Freedom is a Christian-oriented rehab program intended to help you break free of addiction while adhering to God’s message. By combining Christian resources with medical science, you can get clean in a safe, comfortable environment. Our program may be the right step for you.

Counseling

Recovery isn’t a journey you can take alone. 12-Step programs have a faith-based creed devoted to helping addicts overcome dependency and stay sober. With a support system of others taking their cues from God, you can stay strong together throughout your pursuit of abstinence.

Atonement

In many cases, the course addiction takes can hurt those around you, putting distance between you and the support system you need most. Atoning for your sins and hearing sincere expressions of forgiveness can help you find clarity and peace within your own life.

Prayer

Prayer is one of the most powerful strengths Christians possess. When you take time to read the Bible, attend church, and ask God for advice and guidance, you can see the path ahead of you clearly. Even if you feel distanced from the Lord, the more you pray, the closer you can be to his side once more.

Facing addiction isn’t easy, but that doesn’t mean you have to live in a world of resentment and hurt. Forgiveness is a big part of the process; as you admit your sins and allow forgiveness into your heart, you can find forgiveness in God, too. Psalm 86:5 says, “You, Lord, are forgiving and good, abounding in love to all who call to you.” With this knowledge, you can move forward with faith and confidence.

When you need help to overcome your addiction, find peace with God, and learn how to forgive yourself for your transgressions, Road to Freedom is here. Call today at (877) 443-7342 to get the faith-based guidance you deserve.

Powering Recovery with Prayer: Reflecting and Recharging

February 8th, 2017

Powering recovery with prayer

Can you pray your way out of an addiction cycle and into sobriety? While we certainly believe that nothing is impossible with God, we also know that prayer isn’t a spiritual vending machine. You can’t put in some time and words and expect the miracle of your choice to be spit out. Prayer is something else: it’s a powerful, mysterious, life-changing habit that can become a cornerstone in your overall recovery and your life.

Why should Christians pray?

Prayer isn’t just for someone who is experiencing a crisis, difficulty or addiction. Prayer is a fundamental spiritual discipline that all Christians should engage in because it lets them commune with their Creator, learn more about God and themselves and seek the kind of peace that only God can provide.

Yes, we can ask God for help, guidance or wisdom during prayer, and Scripture models all of these types of requests. Abraham, David, the apostles Peter and Paul, and Jesus himself are just some of the people who are shown in Scripture praying and asking for God’s help.

At the same time, Scripture is clear that God doesn’t always answer immediately and he doesn’t always answer in the way we expect or believe we want. Consider Jesus’s prayer in the garden of Gethsame. Jesus knew he was about to be arrested and what he would go through before he is crucified; he knew he was about to be separated temporarily from God as he takes on the past, present and future sins of mankind. He prayed “let this cup pass from me.” God doesn’t remove that burden from his Son, and Jesus also prays that it all be done according to God’s will and not his own.

That is a major part of prayer in your life – helping you understand and seek God’s will in your life.

Some benefits of prayer during recovery

In addition to helping you know God and yourself better, prayer can help pave the way for healing during recovery. It’s easy to imagine that God is angry or disappointed with us, just as other people in our lives might be. While God certainly isn’t happy if you are mistreating yourself or others or if you are sinning because of the things you are willing to do to get more drugs, above all God loves you. He wants to forgive you, and all you have to do is ask.

Even if you aren’t ready to seek God’s forgiveness, prayer lets you “talk” things through with him and seek the guidance of Christ going forward. These are some of the reasons that prayer is a foundational element in many 12-step recovery programs; we recognize that a higher power is in control of our lives and prayer lets us start submitting parts of our life to God.

The five-point prayer template

If you are new to prayer or only have practice in saying the dinner-time grace, approaching prayer can seem a bit daunting. Luckily, there’s really no right or wrong way to pray as long as you are sincere about it. You can pray silently in your mind, talk out loud to God, sing your praise and requests or even just say “God, I’m here,” and sit silently with him. You can pray anywhere at any time.

If you want to start with a prayer outline as you get to know God and learn what type of prayer works for you, you might consider the 5-point prayer. It’s often called the Five-Finger Prayer, because you can use the fingers on one hand to count out the points.

  • Start with your thumb, which is nearest your body. Pray for those closest to you in life — Scripture says to include both loved ones and your closest enemies. You might pray that God protects them, gives them wisdom or works on their heart in some way. This prayer should be positive in nature, helping you to build on feelings of caring or love you have for people.
  • Next is your pointer finger, which reminds us to pray for people who are supposed to point us in the right direction. You might prayer for teachers or mentors, bosses or even the people treating you for addiction or medical conditions. Pray that God would guide them and provide them with wisdom.
  • The tallest, middle finger calls us to pray for authorities and leaders. This prayer might be more sweeping, as it could involve your state, country or world.
  • The ring finger is known as the weakest finger, and it reminds us to pray for the sick or weak. You might pray for those who are in the hospital, for your friends in recovery or for those struggling financially.
  • Finally, the pinky finger is a reminder to pray for yourself.

Praying for others is a great way to give back, to seek God and to boost your own spirits. Another prayer template you can follow is the Praise, Thank, Repent, Ask and Worship outline. Begin by praising God, thank him for good things in your life, ask forgiveness for your sins, ask God for help or healing, and end by simply worshiping him.

However you pray, making it a regular habit is important.

If you’re struggling with addiction or can’t stop using drugs, consider seeking outside help from a Christ-centered recovery facility. Our counselors are available now to take your call and answer any questions you might have about treatment. Call 877 443-7342 Today.

3 Bible Verses to Meditate on When You’re Anxious

February 2nd, 2017

3 Bible Verses to meditate on when you are anxious

Scripture is full of stories and messages that provide comfort for Christians during times of stress or anxiety. It’s clear from the Bible that God doesn’t want us to stand paralyzed in fear because of our circumstances. In fact, versions of the phrase “Don’t be afraid” are some of the most uttered words in Scripture, and they are regularly said by angels or messengers from the Lord. “Do not fear” appears more than 57 times in the New American Standard Bible in that exact form, and Bible scholars note 360 different times the message of fear not is included in Scripture regardless of version.

But what happens if you’re still anxious?

The Bible says not to worry, so good Christians should just drop their anxieties and carry on, right? That’s actually a very simplified approach that doesn’t take into account the fact that we live in a flawed world and that we are human. The Bible says for us to do and not do a lot of things, and historically, we all struggle to live up to God’s word. That’s the reason He sent Jesus to die and cover us in grace.

If you’re struggling with anxiety that you can’t control, then you’re human. It doesn’t mean you’re a bad Christian or that you don’t have enough faith. It might be that you need help to learn to deal with your anxiety and any factors that contribute to it. Anxiety is a common symptom or co-occurring issue when you’re facing substance abuse or mental health disorders.

Three verses to think about when you’re anxious

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to Him, and He will make your paths straight.” Proverbs 3:5-6

This Scripture from Proverbs is a traditional favorite for Christian signs and art, and it’s often brought out when someone is telling you to trust God with everything. It’s a great verse for times of anxiety, because it doesn’t devalue your worries or fear: it instead speaks to the overriding truth that God is in control and that you can trust Him and should seek His will.

Trusting God doesn’t mean everything will turn out perfect or that you won’t go through struggles. In fact, the writings of the New Testament almost seem to guarantee that you will face some struggles in this life. Trusting God does mean putting your faith in a higher power and leaning on God’s will and wisdom rather than your own. If you find yourself unable to get out of a cycle of anxiety or drug use, then putting God first and following Him rather than your own fears or physical needs can make a difference in your life.

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard you hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.Philippians 4:6-7

The “do not be anxious” verse from Philippians is one that has become slightly clichéd because Christians tend to bring it out whenever anyone is facing any type of struggle. While it’s not as easy as tossing your anxiety aside, this verse can be very powerful when you really take it all in. It says: Don’t simply sit there and be anxious or worried, but instead talk to God about what you’re dealing with. Lay it out for him, asking for His help and thanking Him for the good things that you have.

The verse also says that God can provide you with peace that transcends all understanding. It doesn’t mean your troubles will fall away; it means that by seeking God and following His will, you can have peace even amid the struggle.

“Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.” Colossians 3:15

Finally, this verse from Colossians reminds us that we are to let Jesus rule in our hearts above all else. We should put Christ before our worries and fears, before our need for physical pleasures or drugs, and before our own plans, which could be what got us in trouble in the first place. Not only should we put Jesus first, but we are called as a body of believers to work together in peace to accomplish these things.

Getting treatment for anxiety and related diagnoses

Looking at these verses about anxiety, it’s easy to see that God never meant for you to deal with such issues on your own. He built you to face both happy times and struggles in fellowship with Christ and with fellow believers.

Stop struggling with your anxiety and contributing factors on your own and reach out for help. You can call us today to speak with caring Christian counselors about your options. Call today (877) 443-7342.

How Can Christians Support Someone In Active Addiction

January 30th, 2017

Christians helping someone in active addiction

Turning to God is always the first step (and most important step) in recovering from dependency or other bad behavior. It is not easy to do and it can be especially difficult to convince someone else of this truth. As a Christian, watching a loved one suffer when you want nothing more than to help them is very frustrating. How do you, as a Christian, find a way to give your loved one the support they need without either enabling them, or compromising your own faith and beliefs?

The good news is that you can help. Jesus Christ taught us to turn the other cheek and to forgive those that hurt us. He also was well known for his many instances of turning to the blind, poor, and others tossed out by society to offer them a helping hand. And, as a Christian, you are a minister to His people. You are encouraged to provide support and forgiveness to those in need. Within Galatians 6:2, the Bible reads, “Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way, you will fulfill the law of Christ.

How Can You Help Your Loved One?

There is much you can do, as a friend, spouse, parent, or child to help your loved one to overcome their addiction. The first step is to reach out to them and either build a relationship or nurture the one you have.

Don’t Turn a Blind Eye

It’s easy to look the other way. It is easy to use your Christian faith to condemn the actions of another person. However, it is not Christian-like to judge or to turn away from those who need help. Instead of using harsh words, sit down and talk to your loved one about their experiences and their struggles. Ask them how you can help. Ask them to get help. Let them know you care about them. In John 15:12, the Bible says, “My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you.”

Are you showing love to others? Are you being judgmental and telling them they are failing? While you may feel need to point out sin, this kind of rebuke offers no opportunity for improvement. Showing them love, will.

Ask Yourself, What Would Jesus Do?

It may seem like a simple statement, but by reading the Bible, you’ll clearly see the examples set out for you. Consider this: addiction is a disease of the body and mind. Many people who suffer from addiction and drug abuse physically cannot control their addictive behaviors. Their body simply demands more of the substance overpowering their mind and spirit. Viewing their disease from this vantage point, ask yourself, what would Jesus do in this situation?

  • Jesus would encourage you to be forgiving and honest with your loved one. Tell them the truth about their behavior and addiction. What is it doing to you? Why do you believe they are worth more than what they are?
  • Jesus would tell you to support your loved one in his or her recovery. Be faithful to their belief that Jesus will heal their bodies and mind.
  • Jesus would also tell you to step in and help the person that everyone else has cast aside. Even if that individual has hurt you, offer a helping hand to put them on the right track.

In Luke 6: 38 we read, “Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.” Ask yourself, what would you hope others would do for you?

How to help loved ones with addiction

Be Realistic and Love Unconditionally

How do you love someone that is abusive, lies to you and hurts you? Is it that person causing this pain to you or their addiction? While it is important to use Jesus Christ as an example and to love others unconditionally, it is also important to be realistic when it comes to drug abuse. That is, you need to establish rules and you need to encourage loved ones not to come to you for money or support of their habit. It’s tough love, but it means you truly do care.

Road to Freedom Offers a Solution

Simply, you cannot battle this war on your own. You need God and Jesus Christ by your side. Even with your own clarity of mind, if your loved one is struggling and slipping away, it becomes important for you to reach out to that person with support and care. The right drug abuse treatment can help.

At Road to Freedom, we offer a Christian-based recovery program. It begins with a medically monitored detox program and intense Christian-focused counseling. It can include family counseling as well. As an inpatient program, we aim to help individuals through a Bible study and Bible-focused counseling program. We use individual and group therapy. And, we teach your loved one how to restore their life, their belief in God, and their relationships.

As someone who loves another person with drug addiction, it is up to you to offer the support they need. You don’t have to do this alone. That can begin with a simple phone call to Road to Freedom. To get more advice and guidance on how to support your loved one, call our confidential, free admissions line today: 877-443-7342.

Depression, Anxiety, Addiction, & Christians

January 25th, 2017

Depression, Anxiety, Addiction and Christians

Christians wholeheartedly believe in turning to medical care when it comes to a disease or injury of the physical body. In some cases, though, there’s question about how God-loving people should treat and view mental illness. All people sin. All people struggle with psychological concerns from time to time. For those with depression, it can seem as though you are disobeying God and Jesus Christ because of your thoughts. When suffering from depression, you may feel you are disappointing God. Anxiety, you may perceive as a distrust in God’s plan for you. However mental health illnesses, disorders and addiction (which we explored in our last blog post) are not as black-and-white. But God knows your heart.

What Did Jesus Tell Us?

The Bible does not specifically state that depression, anxiety or other forms of mental illness are a sin. However, Jesus provided us with a good deal of understanding not only about the need to turn away from addiction but also to seek out help for such instances. In other words, Jesus told us to turn to God for help in quelling the mind’s worry.

Remember, God gave humans free will. We are free to think and act the way we choose to do so, good or bad. The Bible does not say that mental illness is a choice, though. It says that we can, however, choose to recover from addictive behaviors and mental anguish if we turn and ask for help. We know, from the Bible, that anxiety and depression is a crisis of faith. That does not mean that praying will solve your mental health concerns, but it does mean there is hope and turning to God will help you.

In the Bible, Psalms 50:15 says, “And call upon me in the day of trouble: I will deliver thee, and thou shalt glorify me.” Use this as a starting point for your journey towards recovery.

Like any type of disease, God does not want us to suffer. Jesus Christ, Himself is proof that God aims to cure us, heal us, and restore us. No matter what type of fault we have, whether it is in a lack of trust in God or in a chemical dependency, hormone imbalance, or other addictive behavior, God still wants us to heal and recover so we can turn back to Him and join Him in his Home. For more encouragement regarding verses on depression, see our recent blog post “5 Verses on Depression“.

How Does a Spiritual Christian Overcome Addiction and Mental Health Crisis?

In 1 Corinthians 6:12, we read, “Everything is permissible for me – but not everything is beneficial. Everything is permissible for me – but I will not be mastered by anything.” Overcoming anxiety, depression, addiction, and other mental health struggles is possible if and only when you turn to God for the restorative peace only He can provide.

Let’s be specific here.

In order to truly heal and overcome your mental health struggles, you need to first turn to God for the support and guidance you need. Many people must first go through a medical detox program to rid their bodies of toxins from alcohol or drug abuse. This process is a physical one, and one that can often hamper your ability to accept God into your life and into your healing and recovery process. Once you are medically detoxed in a safe manner, clarity returns and you can begin to move forward with treatment.

And, your care goes further as well. You’ll need a supportive environment to heal. Addiction recovery is possible when you turn to God as a guide.

Call us today to learn more about how we can help you do that: 877-443-7342.

What Can You Do Now?

The first step towards recovering from addiction or mental health struggles is to take the situation seriously. Know that God cares about you and wants to help. He has and is the solution.

Your anxiety, depression, mental anguish, addiction, or other feelings are not an incurable disease. They are a sin in the eyes of God and you can come forward and ask for forgiveness.

You do not have to do this alone. In fact, when you turn to Jesus Christ and you commit to restoring your life to honor Him, you will see that recovery is possible. Remember, Jesus came to Earth as a way to provide people like us with a way to overcome our sin.

This process generally will involve a great deal of time and healing. It requires patience and a willingness to change. However, you can achieve your goals.

Road to Freedom Provides the Avenue to Healing

Fear, anxiety, overwhelming depression, and addiction changes a person from the inside out, but you do not have to live with this type of evil. When you call on and work with Road to Freedom, a Christian-based recovery program, you gain the supportive environment and resources you need to achieve your goal.

We offer both inpatient and outpatient rehab services that provide a faith-based approach to overcoming addiction. Our programs help individuals who want to change but have not been able to do so just yet. We do this through:

You’ll find our comprehensive plan is designed to give you everything you need to understand God’s calling for you and your recovery path. Call us today for a confidential consultation: 877-443-7342. We’re here to help you.

What Does God Say About Illegal Drug Use?

January 19th, 2017

What do God and the Bible have to say about illegal drug use?

Does the Bible say that using illegal drugs is a sin? The answer isn’t as easy as pointing to a single verse or repeating a parable told by Jesus. Jesus didn’t directly address illegal drugs, as they weren’t a primary issue that he was dealing with at the time. We can read the Bible, though, to come up with some information about how God might view the use of illegal drugs.

Submitting to the law and authorities

In Romans 13, Paul writes about how Christians are supposed to submit to the law and authorities of the land. Jesus addressed a similar theme when he told his disciples to give to Caesar what was Caesar’s and to God what was God’s. In modern times, these themes play out when we obey traffic laws, pay legally required taxes or avoid using drugs that are classified as illegal.

Yes, there are some situations where an illegal action or substance might bring about good — and you might even feel led by God to take that action because of the good it will bring. However, you must consider whether getting caught up in something like heroin or cocaine addiction meets the criteria given to us. It seems unlikely God would call you to be involved with something that has such potentially devastating consequences on your health and life.

Being a good steward of God’s gifts

Scripture repeatedly calls us to be good stewards of the gifts God has provided. 1 Peter 4:10 says, “As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace.” Often, Christians use verses like this when talking about money and tithes, but God’s gifts come in many forms. Your life, your time and your talents are all gifts from God, and he asks you to use them to serve others.

Being a good steward doesn’t just mean using your gifts to serve others — it also means taking care of those gifts. Financially speaking, that looks like smart money management, but you can also show good stewardship by taking care of your mind and body and redeeming your time in ways that best reflect Christ.

Using illegal drugs — or any drugs not under the guidance of a medical professional — is usually bad for your mind and body. Common side effects of illegal substances include confusion and memory problems, changes in your appetite or sleep and even problems with blood pressure or cardiovascular health. When you’re caught deep in the cycle of addiction, you might spend most of your time seeking drugs or trying to hide drug use, which means you can’t spend any time using the gifts God gave you in ways that he would approve of.

Making God your only god

Finally, when you submit fully to drugs, letting them control your life, then you are putting those substances before God. In short, you’re making drugs an idol — a god in your life. That is something the Bible is clear on: “You shave have no other gods before me.” (Exodus 20:3)

It’s one of the 10 Commandments, and it’s a sentiment Jesus repeats in parables and teachings. It’s not necessarily the drug itself that’s evil — heroin, for example, comes from the same plant that many prescription medications do. Uncontrolled use of that substance, however, results in a lot of negative consequences and issues. Drugs become sin when you make them an idol and let them control your life.

What can you do if drugs have become your idol?

Just as God eventually made a path out of the wilderness for the Israelites, he makes paths for you out of drug addiction. One such path could be the Road to Freedom, an inpatient Christian treatment program. For more information about our facility and how you can get off drugs and make God first in your life, contact us today.

5 Bible Verses for Christians with Depression

January 6th, 2017

5 Bible Verses for Depression

Christians With Depression

Depression weighs down the soul, and it is easy to be caught in an endless circle of self-doubt and negativity, but God has provided us with hope through many verses in the Bible that address depression. Faith and hope can help fill the empty hole in your heart if you allow it to. God is always by our side as we journey through life. Often, by looking outwards, and counting our blessings, we can begin the journey out of the darkness and into the light as promised in the Lord’s Bible verses for depression.

Depression, Addiction, and Free Will

Through the Bible, God has provided us with a template that if followed closely, will help us foster a relationship with God and lead a fulfilling life. Our own free will, however, is typically our downfall when it comes to addiction and other torments. God loves us regardless, but our souls long for reconciliation. Studying God’s word is always good advice for Christians, however, entering treatment may be a necessary step for some. Professional treatment and counseling can deal with the chemical imbalances causing depression or get to the root causes of addiction so that you may continue your relationship with God.

In Matthew 4:6-7, Satan attempts to make Jesus prove himself as the Son of God by jumping off the temple to see if the angels will catch him. Jesus replies, “It is written again, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God.” Addiction can often be likened to a slow a suicide, as the body and mind are systematically destroyed by drugs and alcohol. The addiction may be fueled by depression, which is worsened by the drugs and alcohol, and you may find yourself in precarious, or dangerous circumstances which threaten your very health and safety. Free will gives you the opportunity to either cast out temptation and reconcile your path, or follow it down a road that tempts the Lord.

It’s Never Too Late to Respond to God’s Word

Depression is caused by despair and a lack of hope. The accompanying addictions cause both mental and physical affects to create a downward spiral that seems impossible to escape. Although alcohol and drugs may lure you with promises of belonging with friends, they create an isolation from your soul, family, and friends.

The following Bible verses encourage us to replace depression with hope. God is real and he is there for you, but you must exercise your own free will, and look outward. Practicing gratitude and helping others are just two simple things that can help you ascend from the darkness and begin rebuilding your life.

5 Bible Verses to Fight Depression

Depression and addiction can tear our minds and souls down to the most base level, where we begin to hate ourselves, what we have done to ourselves, and our families, and where we can wallow in self-pity. These feelings do no good, unless positive action is taken. Only admitting that our own free will has destroyed our lives, and surrendering them to Christ, can healing begin.

  1. Job 42:5-6 ” I have heard of Thee by the hearing of the ear: but now mine eye seeth Thee. ” 6 “Wherefore I abhor myself, and repent in dust and ashes.

By admitting our frailties and lying ourselves bare before the Lord, asking for his help, we can begin to rebuild our lives. Job had suffered deeply, losing all that mattered to him, yet he never lost his faith. Despite his faith, Job needed to admit that not only did not use his tireless faith as a guide to others, but the he himself, needed God. We all need to admit our need for God in our lives and invite him into our lives to help shape and guide us.

2. Matthew 11:28 “Come unto me, all ye that labour, and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.”

By putting our trust in God, we have rest from our burdens, knowing that he will guide us to what is best for our needs.

3. Deuteronomy 31:8And the Lord, He it is that doth go before thee; He will be with thee, he will not fail thee, neither forsake thee: fear not, neither be dismayed.

God is with you every step of the way, his love is unfailing, and he wants you to succeed.

4. Psalms 9:9-10The Lord will also be a refuge for the oppressed, a refuge in times of trouble. And they that know They name will put their trust in Thee: for Thou Lord hath not forsaken them that put their trust in Thee. “

God will continue to stand by those of us who put our trust and faith in him, through times of trouble as well as in times of joy. Addiction and depression can steal away friends and even family, but God remains.

5. Ecclesiastes 9:4 “For to him that is joined to the living, there is hope: for a living dog is better than a dead lion.”

Is part of your depression linked to fear that you have gone so far that there is no hope? This verse from the Bible proves that as long as you are alive and put your faith in God, that you deserve hope.

Ministry in a Less Than Amicable Environment

August 30th, 2016
Ministry in a Less than Amicable Environment

By Pastor John

Working in the addictions ministry presents its challenges. As a pastor, I face an array of different emotional, mental, and spiritual problems. One of the most difficult things I run into as a pastor in a drug rehab environment is people with resentments against Christianity and the church. People have left my groups when I started to talk about religion (even warning them beforehand that I would). I’ve had patients curse at me, be combative with me, not want to talk to me, avoid me, and overall want nothing to do with me just because I have the word “Pastor” on my name badge. It makes me wonder what must have happened to them in the past to make them feel the way they do. Who betrayed them? Who hurt them? What happened to make them so angry with anything associated with the church?

This started to make more sense to me after meeting with patients who opened up to me and experienced healing from some of their resentments. I’ve heard many stories about people being hurt by the church since I started in ministry. This made me realize that we are evangelizing to a pre-churched society. We are not having encounters with people that have never been to church, but rather, with people who grew up in church, and for whatever reason fell or ran away. How do we show Christ to people who don’t like him because of the Church’s mistakes?

First, we need to show them the love of Jesus—exceed their expectations in loving them. Forgive them if they have lashed out at you because of who you are. Respect their beliefs even when they insult yours. Show them the same grace that Jesus himself extended to you. This is the only way that you will gain the relationship equity required to share your beliefs and actually be heard.

Second, find common ground with them. Show them that you are a real person with real struggles. Don’t elevate yourself above them. The “holier than thou” complex is a lie anyway. You and I were saved by God’s grace alone and we have nothing to boast about. Show people that even the good things that you do are all because of God’s grace. Show them your relationship with God by giving him all the credit for your success.

And lastly, realize where they are in their journey now. Don’t compromise the truth but at the same time don’t shove your beliefs down their throat. Having these encounters are not apologetic arguments, but rather they are opportunities to show people Jesus, to promote relationship over religion, and to give people the hope of the gospel.

 

John Hall-c

Pastor John Hall – Associate Pastor

Pastor John serves as an assistant pastor and worship leader for church services at The Treatment Center and Recovery Church in Lake Worth, Florida.

Selfishness and Addiction: It’s an “I” Problem

May 25th, 2016

Selfishness and Addiction

Selfishness and Addiction

By Pastor James

That’s a nice way of saying, “You’re the problem.” That may come across as harsh, but sometimes, we need to hear things we don’t want to hear—things that may even make us angry.

It’s nothing I haven’t said about myself. In the midst of my addiction and insanity, somehow, some way, a small bit of sanity worked its way into the midst of my insanity. I had been “advancing” my “career” in addiction for almost 30 years; I was a faithful employee. Never called off sick, was never late, never missed a day, and was as loyal an “employee” as you can get.

Along the way, I blamed God, family, my ex-wife, and anyone or anything else that would further my cause and career. While this is typical behavior for someone caught up in addiction, at the heart of it, is that I problem mentioned earlier. It was all about me: my way, my will, what I wanted, how I felt—me, me, me.

Believe it or not, this behavior began way, way back—clear back to when Lucifer (Satan) was still in heaven, leading worship there.

In Isaiah 14.13-14, Lucifer said, “I will ascend to heaven and set my throne above God’s stars. I will preside on the mountain of the gods far away in the north. I will climb to the highest heavens and be like the Most High.”

Lucifer, now Satan, had an I problem; he made it all about him, and exalted himself over God and God’s ways of doing things. Instead of putting God in his rightful place of being in control, Lucifer tried to be in control himself.

We see this same thing again in the Garden of Eden. Adam and Eve decide to exalt themselves over God and God’s ways of doing things. (Sound familiar?)

Satan (formerly Lucifer) shows up in the garden, still hating God and wanting to upset and change God’s plan (same agenda as in heaven), and tempts Eve to eat the fruit from the tree God had told them to leave alone. We see the results of that temptation in Genesis 3. It says, “She (Eve) saw that the tree was beautiful and its fruit looked delicious, and she wanted the wisdom it would give her. So she took some of the fruit and ate it. Then she gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it, too.”

Despite having been told by God not to eat it, Adam and Eve disobeyed, thereby exalting themselves over God’s ways. They did what they wanted, what they felt was good—their will, their way (remember my example of myself—me, me, me?). They decided their way was better, what they wanted was more important, and that their agenda would trump God’s.

In both cases, we see an I problem; Lucifer in heaven, and Adam and Eve in the garden. And both came with consequences: Lucifer was kicked out of heaven, and Adam and Eve were kicked out of the garden, and through that act of disobedience, sin entered and affected the entire world, as well as all of mankind.

While I was the center of my universe—while I was doing things my way, according to what I wanted, I had consequences, as well. My life, my world, was falling apart. I began to lose things that, at one time, had meant so much to me—my job, my family house, my wife of 20 years, my health, and my sanity. Doing things my way (the I problem) took its toll, and my life became unmanageable.
Once the unmanageability became unbearable, the solution to my I problem began. Instead of saying, “I want, I need,” I came to realize that I was the problem. I went from saying “I want…” to “I’m the problem,” which led to the following prayer:

“God, I’ve been doing it my way, and my way isn’t working. I don’t care what it takes. I’ll do whatever you want me to do. Please help me; I’ll do whatever it takes.”

My “I want” kept my addiction alive; my “I’m the problem” led me to the solution for my addiction.

Where are you? Are you still stuck in “I want,” or have you gotten to “I am the problem,” where your solution to your addiction is birthed?

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