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“I, I am the Lord, and besides me there is no savior.” Isaiah 43:11

This week, I start a series of messages on Addictions detailed in yesterday’s post. When the idea for this message series first came up, I felt scared and inadequate. If I look back over my life and family, I have little experience with drug or alcohol addictions. No one in my immediate family struggled with this. It rarely showed up in my extended family. I have always been part of suburban churches where we didn’t see the need to address drug and alcohol addiction much. The most we did was probably to preach that getting drunk and doing drugs was bad because it led to a loss of self-control. Therefore, we shouldn’t do it and pray more. So it is probably accurate to say I don’t have much personal experiential knowledge about addictions.

Yet over the years, I have met a few who have struggled. I have officiated funerals of people addicted to something. I have met many, some of you reading this, who have life experience with a family member or friend who struggles. Some of you grew up with an alcoholic father or mother. Some had brothers, sisters or close friends who struggled. Some of you know people who took their lives because of their struggles or died from years of poor choices. Some of you parent or foster kids born with these struggles because of the choices of their birth parent.

So I sensed the Lord saying that I don’t get a pass on this. This issue affects more and more of us especially with the widespread rejection of God in our culture. Without God, people have to turn somewhere to cope with the sorrows, struggles and losses in life.

So I approach this series acknowledging I don’t know what you’re going through if you struggle with some addiction or your family member does. But I do think we can offer the neglected treasure of resource found in God Himself and His Word. I am not saying that we should ditch rehab programs, professional counseling and support groups. But I am saying that God is the ultimate source of hope and renewal for anyone held captive by some addiction. I am not saying “all you have to do is pray and it will go away.” But I am saying that some deep heart issues contribute to addictive behavior. God and His Word are full of wisdom about our hearts.

So I pray that this series will be used by God to help many.

“Lord, I pray that you will use this series:

  • To give hope in the power of the Gospel to those struggling with addictions.
  • To show your deep love for the addicted and your desire to release them from their chains.
    To help family and friends of those struggling with addictions perspective and insight to assist in helpful prayers and support.
    To give our church family perspective and tools to encourage healthy engagement with those struggling with addictions.
    To reveal the parallel between sinful and addictive behavior so we can address our own heart issues.

Please hear our prayer, O Savior.

Photo by Mitchel Lensink on Unsplash

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