JC’s Recovery Center Blog

How Has God Worked in Your Life?

Some people have a deep understanding of what God has done in their life. Maybe they have felt God has given them all they could possibly want, and more. Or, maybe they’ve experienced God answering their prayers very directly. Still others can point to miracles, medical or otherwise, to show how God has worked in their life.

Most people, however, can’t point to specific situations when God stepped in and worked in their own life. But that doesn’t mean God hasn’t been doing so behind the scenes. Sometimes we need to take a step back and look at the big picture of our lives in order to see God’s hand in it. Rest assured, God is in control, and He has guided your entire life so far, from the little everyday tasks to the life-changing events. Take a moment to reflect on your life, the different paths it has led you down, and try to see how God was with you the whole way.

God Works through Others

Sometimes we don’t give enough credit to God, who uses other people in our lives to accomplish His will. He often uses family and friends to guide us, strengthen us, and encourage us. If you’ve had a family member or friend offer to help you out financially when you really needed it, taken care of you when you needed it, or given you food or clothing when you needed it, God was using that person to reach you.

Furthermore, God uses others as voices of reason for us, even when we are too wasted on drugs or alcohol to make the right choices ourselves. If anyone has encouraged you to get clean, to seek treatment, or to turn your life around, you can be sure God had a part in that conversation and He is working through others in your life. Listen to those people and get professional help if you need it.

God Works through the Church

We can’t begin to understand the mind of God, but we can learn a lot about Him through His word. God uses His word, and those who share it with others, to work in your life. The church is there to provide access to God’s word and help you understand it, but also to give godly guidance and advice. Listen to the solid advice you get from fellow Christians and spiritual leaders. They are the voice of God speaking to you. In order to see God continuing to work in your life, go to church, study the Bible, and pray, and actively look for what God is saying to you, how He wants you to turn your life around, and how He promises to guide you the whole way.

God is with You during Challenges

No one likes to face challenges, but God uses even the tough times to work in our lives. The poem, Footprints in the Sand, is a picturesque example of this. In the story, a man is walking along the beach with the Lord, as scenes from his life flash by him, both good and bad times. At the end of his life, as the man looked back, he saw footprints in the sand along the path he walked. He saw that most of the time, there were two sets of footprints: one belonged to him and the other belonged to God. But he also noticed that at the darkest times of his life, the most challenging times, there was only one set of footprints. The man was troubled and asked God why, when he was going through the biggest struggles, God left him. God answered, “My son, I love you and I would never leave you. During your times of suffering, when you could see only one set of footprints, it was then that I carried you.”

We don’t often see it, but God does indeed work in our lives through trouble and hardship. Sometimes He uses these times to help us grow or to benefit those around us. He might use challenges to stop us from doing something harmful or to motivate us to do what is right. Sometimes He just allows trouble to enter our lives to bring us closer to Him. Remember this the next time you are facing a difficult day; God is with you and will see you through.

God works through You

Finally, God works in your life through the things you say and do. Part of being a Christian is sharing God’s love with others. If you have known God’s love and guidance through your life, you need to share that with others. If you have a loved one who is experiencing some difficulty or has made some bad decisions, talk to them and offer your godly advice. If you see someone in need and you can help, do something about it. Be that source of encouragement and love that the world so desperately needs. Know that as you work to put God first and live a sober life of renewal, God is using you to work in others’ lives as well.

A Thanksgiving Prayer

Do you have a loved one who is struggling with drug or alcohol abuse? Do you feel beaten down by the daily struggles of living with someone with addiction? You might not feel particularly thankful at this time of year, but there is hope. There are resources available to help get your loved one to turn away from their addiction and gain control of their life. Don’t go though another holiday season burdened down by your loved one’s addiction.

You might feel like a prayer is all you’ve got at this point, but actually, a prayer is really all you need. God hears our prayers and He answers them for our good, according to His will. Don’t be afraid to lift up your loved one and even yourself in prayer. Ask others to pray for you too, because God uses prayer to accomplish His will and bring you closer to Him.

Take Time for Prayer

This year, take a break from the busy holiday season to offer up a Thanksgiving prayer to your Lord and Savior. When you pray, let it be something like this:

“Dear Heavenly Father, you see all and you know all. You understand the struggles I’ve been facing lately, especially the challenge of my loved one’s substance abuse and addiction. While you hate sin and don’t want anyone to abuse their body in this way, you love your children, and you forgive our wrongs. Please place your protecting hand on all those who are caught up with addiction. Guard them, guide their actions, and change their hearts to want to serve and obey you. Please help my loved one see the danger of their situation, to acknowledge they can’t fix this on their own, and to accept help for their problem.

Lord, I know I struggle with the chaos my loved one’s addiction has caused. I am angry, hurt, scared, and frustrated. You know my deepest feelings, and you can heal all that is wrong in my life. Guide me to make good decisions, to have patience with my loved one, and to be a source of love and encouragement for them.

I know all good things come from you, Heavenly Father, and I thank you for all the blessings you have given me throughout my life. I especially thank you now for the resources you have placed in front of us to provide help for addiction.

Most importantly, thank you for sending your Son, Jesus, to pay the price for our sins. The forgiveness He secured for us means we don’t have to worry about things in this life anymore because we have the assurance of eternal life with you in heaven. Help me to remember that heaven is our ultimate goal, no matter what happens on this earth. Bring my loved one close to you so they may enjoy a heavenly reward as well.

I know you have a plan for my life and for my family member. Please help me trust you, Lord, and leave all my worries in your control. Bless those who work with addicts and treat them, that through them you would provide hope and healing to my family.

All these things I pray confidently in Jesus’ name, knowing that you love me and will do what is best for my family. Amen.”

Christian Rehab for Recovery

Too many times we forget to pray about things that worry us. As you help your loved one work through their addiction, remember to ask God to be a part of the recovery. God has given you access to Christian rehab programs, which means your loved one’s recovery can take place under the guidance of Christians who will encourage renewal through God’s word. This is the best means for a full recovery for your family member. Thank God for that, and thank God for the other Christians He puts in our lives and the opportunities He gives us to study His word. Don’t underestimate the power of God to help your loved one heal.

You can be thankful, even if your loved one is struggling with addiction this season. Christian rehab can help you and your loved one maintain a focus on spiritual wellness. Take all your cares to God in prayer, and don’t forget to thank Him for all the blessings He continues to provide you with, for the hope of a renewed life for your loved one, and most importantly, for the hope of eternal life through Jesus.

Gratitude Doesn’t Always Come Naturally

During the month of November, many people’s focus tends to turn to thankfulness. Thanksgiving is a good time to take a moment to thank God for the things we have and the people around us. But gratitude is not easy for many people to embrace, especially those who have recently experienced struggles and difficulties. This year, be deliberate about your gratitude, especially if it does not come naturally for you.

One of the first lessons young children learn when dealing with other people is to say “thank you.” Even at a young age, children know they are supposed to thank someone for doing something nice or giving them something. As we get older and experience the challenges of life, it might be difficult to be truly thankful. But just as we needed to learn it as a child, we sometimes need to relearn thankfulness. If you have become worn-out by this life and aren’t feeling grateful, stop what you are doing and take a few minutes to think about what you can be thankful for.

Be Thankful for the Little Things

Some people think they should only be thankful for the big things in life. A nice job, big house, or new car are symbols of a successful life, but these are not the most important things in life. A loving family, a supportive church, compassionate rehab staff, or the completion of a treatment program are some of the things that really matter. The same is true about the little successes in life, such as being sober for one more day, having a positive conversation with an estranged family member, or submitting a resume for a new job. When you are in recovery, it is necessary to focus on the little things so that you don’t become overwhelmed by big challenges. Think of the things you have accomplished this week, no matter how small, and think of the positive interactions you have had with others, no matter how seemingly insignificant, and remember that each of these is a small part of the overall goal toward complete healing.

Be Thankful for the Challenges

Some people think they should only be thankful for the positive things in life. Stable finances, good health, and solid relationships are definitely things to be grateful for, but God uses the challenges and struggles of life to bring blessings as well. If you have had trouble with loss of job, health issues, or strained relationships, don’t think of these things as ruining your life, but try to see the direction God is nudging you toward by allowing these negative things to happen. Maybe God is allowing you to have financial difficulties because He wants you to rely on Him more. Maybe God allowed sickness to come into your life because He wants you to pray to Him for healing. Every challenge brings the potential for growth, either in your maturity, relationships with others, or your walk with God. Don’t let these opportunities for gratitude pass you by.

Look for the Kindness of Others

We often overlook the kindness of those who go out of their way to help us. Make a conscious effort to first of all notice the kindness of others, and secondly to thank them. Has anyone taken the time to call you to see how you are doing? Have you had an uplifting conversation with someone recently? Have loved ones told you they are praying for you? Even something as small as a stranger holding the door for you or a store employee helping you locate something should not be taken for granted.

Our interactions with other human beings are meant to be a blessing to us, and God uses others to guide us, encourage us, and pray for us as we travel through life. It’s not always easy dealing with others, especially when something like addiction complicates relationships, so try to see the good intentions of others and work on showing an attitude of compassion yourself.

Find Ways to Show Gratitude

For some people, it is difficult to actually show gratitude because they don’t know how to thank someone or are afraid they won’t seem sincere. Most of the time, a simple thank you is sufficient. Sometimes a heartfelt note or letter will show someone how you feel. You can also “pass it on” and serve others in need. Help at a homeless shelter, serve food to the hungry, help rake a neighbor’s leaves, or make a donation to charity. All these things will facilitate gratitude in your life and will make other people’s lives better at the same time.

Thank God!

Our gratitude should not just be reserved for the people in our lives, but for God as well. God is the one who cares for us, provides what we need, loves us with an unconditional love, and forgives our sins. He ultimately deserves all thanks and praise. There are plenty of ways you can show gratitude to God in your everyday life. You can pray to Him and give Him thanks. You can praise Him in song in or in a worship service. You can share God’s love and message of forgiveness with others. You can live a renewed life that is in line with God’s will to show Him you are thankful for all He has done for you.

Thank God for bringing you to where you are today. Thank Him for keeping you safe and for connecting you with a place where you can receive treatment for addiction and help for a sober life.