Recovery is Nothing New

   

 
We all tend to think we are into something new.  That somehow the things we are going through nobody else has ever gone through.  We think our trials, suffering, and failures are unique, and no one else understands.  This is, very simply, not true.  “What has been is what will be, and what has been done is what will be done, and there is nothing new under the sun.” Ecclesiastes‬ ‭1:9‬ ‭ESV‬‬.  Everything we go through, has been gone through before by someone else.  No matter our fear, our pain, our addiction, we are not the first to go through it, and we certainly will not be the last.
I love the psalms for this reason.  When we read the psalms, we find every human emotion – fear, anger, shame, rejection, humiliation, whatever we feel today, was written in this book.
Look at King David.  David, in the words of God, was THE man of God.  Yet David himself went through any of the same struggles we do.  David, the man of God, was a sinner like the rest of us.  He struggled with fear, shame and humiliation.  With temptation.  But God did not reject David.  He blessed David.  Why?  Because David was honest with God about his sins.  He didn’t pretend he had it all together.  He acknowledged his brokenness while he was broken, and brought all of himself, sins included, to God.   A look at Psalm 32 is good for those of us in recovery.
  Blessed is the one whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered. Blessed is the man against whom the Lord counts no iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no deceit.   Once we’ve brought our sins to Jesus and received His forgiveness, we are blessed indeed!  Once we have received his forgiveness, our sin is not counted against us!  Forgiven is forgiven, right?   David was an adulterer who had the man whose wife HE was cheating with killed.  But he brought that sin to God, gave it to God, and became the man of God.  Why do we live in fear that we won’t be good enough for God?  
For when I kept silent, my bones wasted away through my groaning all day long. For day and night your hand was heavy upon me; my strength was dried up as by the heat of summer.   Just as we suffer through the time in our life when we are stuck in our hurts, habits, and hang ups, David suffered just the same.  When we keep silent in our sins, when we stay hidden from the world, we fall further and further into our own suffering.  God wants to forgive us, but we must first make the decision to confess our sins, to come into the light, to have our burdens removed from us.
I acknowledged my sin to you, and I did not cover my iniquity; I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the Lord,” and you forgave the iniquity of my sin.  When we admit our mistakes, confess our wrongs, God forgives us.  David confessed his transgressions, all of them.  God forgave David.  God forgives us, if we will just get out of his way.  
Therefore let everyone who is godly offer prayer to you at a time when you may be found; surely in the rush of great waters, they shall not reach him. You are a hiding place for me; you preserve me from trouble; you surround me with shouts of deliverance.   For those of us in recovery, we know this is true.   At Step 3, we turn our lives and our wills over to Christ’s care and control.  We begin to really pray to Him, to bring our souls to Him.  And He saves us from trouble.  He gives us a way out.  If we are sincere, and seek Him, he gives us a way out when we are tempted to relapse.  There is always an escape.  When we seek him in prayer, He IS our hiding place!!  
I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my eye upon you. Be not like a horse or a mule, without understanding, which must be curbed with bit and bridle, or it will not stay near you.   A promise and a warning from God Himself.  He will watch us.  He will teach us.  But if we are stubborn, if we won’t listen to Him, His teachings won’t stick.  More directly for us, we WILL relapse.  It is always right around the corner.  Relapse is what happens when we want to keep control of the steering wheel, when we want to do things our way.   God will cover us, but if we refuse his protection and try to do it on our own, we will fail.
Many are the sorrows of the wicked, but steadfast love surrounds the one who trusts in the Lord. Be glad in the Lord, and rejoice, O righteous, and shout for joy, all you upright in heart!  Rejoice!!  Not only do we have forgiveness of sins, but we have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ!!  We can pray to Him, and He is there for us!!  If we stay under His guidance, with other believers to support us, He is walking with us!   We already have the victory with Him!!

 

“Blessed is the one whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered. Blessed is the man against whom the Lord counts no iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no deceit. For when I kept silent, my bones wasted away through my groaning all day long. For day and night your hand was heavy upon me; my strength was dried up as by the heat of summer. Selah I acknowledged my sin to you, and I did not cover my iniquity; I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the Lord,” and you forgave the iniquity of my sin. Selah Therefore let everyone who is godly offer prayer to you at a time when you may be found; surely in the rush of great waters, they shall not reach him. You are a hiding place for me; you preserve me from trouble; you surround me with shouts of deliverance. Selah I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my eye upon you. Be not like a horse or a mule, without understanding, which must be curbed with bit and bridle, or it will not stay near you. Many are the sorrows of the wicked, but steadfast love surrounds the one who trusts in the Lord. Be glad in the Lord, and rejoice, O righteous, and shout for joy, all you upright in heart!”
‭‭Psalms‬ ‭32:1-11‬ ‭ESV‬‬
http://bible.com/59/psa.32.1-11.esv

John Lewis
 
 

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