God is with me through the struggle
I appreciate the honesty conveyed in the Bible. I'm not looking for superficial religious sayings to sugarcoat life's challenges. I seek a faith that doesn't ask me to deny reality for inner peace. The Bible, in all its rawness, reflects the imperfections of our world. It's a collection of brutally honest stories about flawed individuals and a piercing examination of a broken world, demanding honesty from us too.
Navigating the clutches of addiction and compulsive behaviors is an uphill battle. The struggle to break free from these powerful chains can often feel insurmountable, leaving us feeling defeated and powerless. It's a battle where hope and faith become crucial, mirroring the struggles and triumphs depicted in the Bible.
In the poignant narrative of John 13-17, we bear witness to Jesus' final moments with his disciples before his crucifixion. Here, he not only prepares them for a life without his physical presence but also forewarns them of the trials they will endure in this broken world. It's not a mere farewell; it's an unvarnished and heartfelt account of what lies ahead. Jesus candidly states, "If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you" (John 15:20). He adds, "The hour is coming when whoever kills you will think he is offering service to God" (John 16:2). He even acknowledges, "Behold, the hour is coming... when you will be scattered" (John 16:31). It's a stark reality that could have easily struck fear into their hearts. However, amidst the darkness, Jesus provides reassurance that grace will be with them, tailored to address everything they and we will face.
The journey to recovery from addiction often mirrors this struggle. It's a battle against overwhelming forces that can make us feel helpless and scattered. However, just as Jesus reassures his disciples of his unwavering presence and power, there is hope for those grappling with addiction. This hope can be likened to the promise of the Holy Spirit's ongoing ministry (John 14:25ff.), offering support and strength throughout the recovery journey.
The profound words of Romans 8:31-39 resonate deeply with this struggle and hope. "If God is for us, who can be against us?" (Romans 8:31). Even in the face of addiction, we are not alone. "Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword?" (Romans 8:35). These trials, including the all-consuming struggle of addiction, do not define us or separate us from the love and grace that God offers.
The assurance comes in Romans 8:37-39, "No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord." Even in the throes of addiction, we are conquerors through the love and strength found in Christ, transcending the depths of struggle. With this unwavering assurance, the journey of recovery, no matter how challenging, becomes a path illuminated by hope and a steadfast connection to the One who has already triumphed over everything that could trouble our hearts.