Saturday, October 25, 2008

The Sweet Message of Hope

When I learned about the church's Addiction Recovery Program, I dove in with both feet.  I was desperate for anything that could help me overcome an addiction I had been fighting for 20+ years.  Step 1 came easy to me.  After trying and failing to overcome my addiction by myself so many times, it was easy to admit that I was powerless against it.  Then I got to step 2.  

"Come to believe that the power of God can restore you to complete spiritual health."

My initial reaction was, "Yes, I believe God can restore people to complete spiritual health."  Then I thought about what I was saying more deeply.  I believed God could save others.  I had seen it on my mission.  I had witnessed it with good people in my life.  Our Savior had literally changed them.  So yeah, I was sure God could restore others to spiritual health.

But then it hit me, did I believe God could restore ME to righteousness.  Not my neighbor, not the other people in my ARP group, not the guy in the blog,  but ME personally.  Could God look at my 20 years of sins and actually change my soul?  That may have been the most soul searching step for me.  It took much fasting and prayer, and many trials.  But once I gained a firm witness that God could and would actually save ME, my life and approach to addiction recovery changed.

While addiction may be one of the most hopeless situations to find yourself in.  I wonder if other changes we try to make don't suffer from the same problem.  

It's easy to believe that others are blessed when they pay tithing, but harder to believe that those blessings will happen to us when our finances are already tight.

It's easy to believe that others have been blessed when they prayer for someone to boldly share the gospel with, but harder to put ourselves out there and believe God will bless our undertaking.

It's easy to believe others have gained a firm witness of the truthfulness of the gospel, but maybe harder to believe we can receive that some witness.

My testimony is, no matter how big or small a persons spiritual wounds or needed changes are, God can and will restore YOU to complete spiritual health.  

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