Recovery Meditation #20

Hard times are part of life. Saint Paul knew something of hardships. He wrote:

We do not want you to be uninformed, brothers and sisters, about the troubles we experienced in the province of Asia. We were under great pressure, far beyond our ability to endure, so that we despaired of life itself. Indeed, we felt we had received the sentence of death. 2Corinthians 1:8-9

But he also tells us:

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God. For just as we share abundantly in the sufferings of Christ, so also our comfort abounds through Christ. 2Corinthians 1: 3-5

Note the order that Paul wrote these passages. The praise proceeded the report of the hardship he experienced. He felt it was more important to be able to comfort others than to complain about his troubles. In other words he wasn’t a whiner. He accepted hardships as sharing in the suffering of Christ. Being a Christian requires grit.

At some point in your recovery you should consider helping others. If there is one message that the Bible is clear about, it is that Christians are supposed to help those in need. Mutual support groups, such as Celebrate Recover, Narcotics Anonymous and Alcoholics Anonymous recognize the importance of helping yourself by helping others. Early in recovery you are in no condition to help others but as you progress, it is likely that sharing your story of redemption will help others persevere in their recovery. Just remember, you cannot save anyone. Only Jesus saves. You can support but not enable. You can comfort but not compel. You can witness but only the Holy Spirit can indwell the broken heart and make it whole.

Pray: Jesus help me know when it is time for me to speak up, to reach out, to be a support for someone else struggling with addiction. When the time comes for me to help someone else, guide me. Help me be your hands and feet. Give me the strength to do your will and not mine. Amen.

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