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Part 1 was about peace with God, which is the result of being reconciled to God through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. Part 2 was about the peace of God that comes in response to making requests to Him with thankfulness and giving our cares over to Him.
This post is about a peace that rules in our hearts, a ruling peace. It turns out that this has been the most difficult aspect of peace to write about. I pictured an armored sentinel at the door of my heart keeping everything out except peace. She would be peace personified. I was actually daydreaming about this as an analogy—until I got cut off in traffic and she disappeared. But I persisted in this line of thinking until I found myself standing in a FedEx location frustrated with the clerk about a lost package. I know, just little things, but how quickly my peace went missing!
After taking another look at the passage, I realized that my analogy wasn’t very good.
“And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to...
A vital part of renewing our minds comes from large doses of the Bible. While it is good to actively read and study the word of God, we can benefit from “passive” consumption as well. One way I do this is by listening to the Bible as I fall asleep at night.
I use my smartphone, but if you are at a stage in your recovery where you are not using a smartphone, you can listen to the Bible on CD or on an MP3 player. Here are the steps you can use to do it on your phone.
I use YouVersion, which is available for iPhone and Android.
Here it is on the Apple app store:
After you download it, open it and click the Read icon, which is the second one from the left at the bottom of the screen.
Click the default Bible version at the top of the screen and navigate to the King James Version. Make sure you click the Download button so that you can use the Bible without internet access. NOTE: You may have to log...
I recently asked my 12-step home group: What do you do when you are stuck? I asked the question because I felt stuck. As always, I got some great wisdom from the group. Here some thoughts on the topic:
Two things that have been vital in my recovery: I have to bring things into the light and to be honest about my weaknesses. When you go to the hospital to get a wound fixed they don’t examine you in a dark room. When I had open heart surgery, my open chest was flooded with powerful lights so that the surgery staff could do their work. The darkness was not a good place to be in our addiction; healing began when things were exposed to the light, whether the exposure was on purpose or not.
One of our 12-step meeting guidelines is to lead with our weakness. I don’t find that very pleasant because I want everyone to think I have it all together. But I don’t have it all together and if I can’t admit that among my fellow recovering addicts, where...
“My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into divers temptations” (James 1:2, emphasis added).
I admit that this verse doesn’t make much sense to me, especially in the midst of temptation. I have experienced a ton of temptation in my life and I don’t think joy has ever entered my mind as part of the experience.
This verse has always been a marvel to me, so much so that I have a big, bold exclamation point drawn next to it in the margin of my Bible. Joy? All joy? In the second verse in the whole epistle? But maybe the joy part is the result of what is said in the following verses:
“Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing” (James 1:3, 4).
Temptation is a means of trying my faith and Peter says, “That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be...
“There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that you are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it” (1 Corinthians 10:13).
There are three things to note here: temptation is common, God is faithful to provide an escape, and you can bear temptation. As with the passage we saw in James, temptation here is presented in a remarkably positive way. I can almost picture it as a challenge or game: Here comes a temptation; let me see how fast I can find the escape.
For me, finding the escape is not the hard part; actually using the escape is where I have the most trouble. It can only take a split second for me to choose the wrong door. I have to act quickly and make the phone call to my sponsor, pray, leave the premises, delete the email, etc.
There is one type of escape that is usually more beneficial for us as addicts: ...
Temptation is an overwhelming force that we addicts have to deal with in sobriety and recovery. It can be next to impossible for us to see it as positive, but surprisingly, temptation is often shown in a positive light in the Bible. There are three particular things I want to look at regarding temptation. In this post, we will look at enduring temptation.
First, though, it is important to understand that temptation itself is not sin. The Lord Jesus Christ was tempted but sinless throughout His entire life.
“For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin” (Hebrews 4:15, emphasis added).
“Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him” (James 1:12).
Already we see that temptation is associated with blessing, which is...
In Part 1, we talked about peace with God, two enemies being reconciled to each other. “Therefore, being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ” (Romans 5:1). If you don't have this peace, then be reconciled to God through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. How can you have peace when you are not sure of what happens to you after death?
The second aspect of peace is the peace of God. The peace of God is the comforting tranquility that God gives in the midst of life’s storms, trials, and heartaches.
These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world (John 16:33).
Notice the assumption that we shall have tribulation in this world; it is a given. It is unrealistic to think that we will not have problems, trials, and sorrows in this life. So much of our life expectations are geared toward comfort, ease, and...
Being at peace in my heart is something that I am more aware of as I continue in recovery, growth, and healing. Having a clear conscience and inner peace is foundational in my relationships with others. There are three aspects of peace to consider:
Think of two enemies at war with each other and they decide to reconcile; they make peace with each other. This is what happened to me over 36 years ago.
Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ (Romans 5:1, emphasis added).
It's hard for many people to believe that they are enemies with God, but that is exactly what the Bible says. "And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works...."
For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life (Romans 5:10, emphasis added).
Peace with God comes from reconciliation to Him. He did His part through the death,...
If you are an addict, you need help. If you are an addict, you think you can do it all on your own without help. That is a big part of the problem. You may recognize that you need God's help and earnestly ask Him for it. But then you want Him to answer on your terms and with your preferred method. "Please heal me directly, in private, and without any human intervention." That is a prayer or wish that is not likely to be answered.
If you break your arm, you can pray for healing and God can certainly heal you directly. In the meantime, head to the hospital and let a doctor set the bone and put a cast on.
The truth is that God uses means, especially people, to heal us and provide for our needs. I can remember praying for rent money as a young believer and receiving a belated birthday card from my grandmother. It took me awhile to see the correlation between my prayer and the check from grandma that covered my need. I guess I expected a more "divine" answer like an angel showing up with...
"God, I am sorry for falling again. Please take this away from me! Please heal me!" I prayed prayers like this so many times when I was up to my neck in my addiction. And I really meant it! But those prayers were never directly answered and I often wondered why. Didn't God want me healed? Didn't He want me to stop the behaviors that were surely displeasing to Him and destructive to me and others?
Then I discovered a missing piece to the puzzle when I compared two Bible passages that speak of confession.
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness (1 John 1:9).
What are the results of a direct confession to God? Forgiveness and cleansing, which I definitely needed and wanted. But nothing here about healing. I was forgiven and cleansed because of the blood of Christ, but still not healed.
Let me make one thing clear: I believe that God can and does heal in direct, immediate answer to prayer. I had seen and heard...
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