Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into his grace in which we now stand. And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us , because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us. Romans 5:1-5
David Harris gave a great talk on Hope over the weekend. He asked what would happen if God came to us all at once in all his glory, instead of coming to us as a meek baby born in a manger. His answer: The world would be scared; we would run in the opposite direction, we just couldn’t handle all his glory all at once.
This got me to thinking about some truths in recovery I have come to; and you probably have too. The first truth is that what brought me to recovery wasn’t the core issue or the real root of the problem.
I thought I had a drinking and drugging problem and all I had to do was put the cork in the jug and life would be grand. Not so fast. Little did I know that, while my addictions were destroying my life, family, relationships and career, I had a soul sickness that was at the root of my addictions.
If we have been in Celebrate Recovery (CR) for a while, most of us identify what our character defects are in Steps 4-7. As we continue to give these defects of character to God we grow in our faith and by his love and grace we move forward. We learn to persevere as we get caught up in character defects on a daily basis. It’s in the daily perseverance of working through our struggles that changes character defects into character assets.
Our faith sustains us and it is hope, born of God’s love, that moves us forward in a belief that life can and will get better. Jesus is the only one that can heal my soul sickness. He is the only one that could heal my deep lack of self worth and insecurity—for this is the root of my problems.
I didn’t know recovery would take a transformation of spirit and mind at my first meeting or in my first year, but what I did latch on to quickly was hope. If I had known what it really took to give myself to God and persevere through the hard times, in recovery and in life, I’m not sure I could have handled all that.
But that’s the beauty of CR and the 12-step recovery process; it really is one step at a time, one day at a time. We start with Denial in Step 1 and continue in Service to God in Step 12. The ongoing transformation continues as we grow in Christ, to be more like Christ.
Question: Do you have hope that Jesus can heal you? Are you willing to persevere?
Have a great God filled week,
Celebrate Recovery Crossroads Church Calendar
November 28-December 4, 2011
Friday—Large Group Meeting:
- Join us at 7pm for worship, followed by a lesson from Nan on Spiritual Inventory, Part 1.
- Share groups at 8pm.
- Solid Rock Café at 9pm.
New Leader Training: How to lead an open share group, 12-step and sponsorship training. Saturday, December 3, 9am-1pm. Lunch is included. Contact Perry to RSVP.
Canned or packaged food items are needed to prepare dinner for the homeless prior to the Tuesday night open-share group meeting at Homeless Connection. If you would like to help, just bring your food items to CR on Friday nights. Money donations are needed as well. Winter is coming up and any clothing you can donate would be much appreciated.