Have a Little Faith
If you’re struggling with substance abuse or supporting someone who is, you may experience addiction testing your faith. When relationships are strained, job performance is poor and finances are a mess, it’s hard to imagine a future life of freedom, peace and fulfillment. Biblical faith isn’t blind, unreasonable belief in something or someone without any evidence to back it up.
“Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.” — Hebrews 11:1
Someone with rock solid faith like that has done his homework. He has thoroughly investigated the object of his faith, Jesus Christ, and found him to be completely trustworthy and believable. When this writer referred to hope, he wasn’t tossing the word around as we usually do. “I hope I get a raise this year.” “I hope our team goes to the Super Bowl.”
In this sense, hope is a sure thing. It’s confidence that Christ is who he says he is and will make good on his promises.
“And Abraham believed the Lord, and the Lord counted him as righteous because of his faith.” — Genesis 15:6
Abraham is one of the greatest examples of the faithful. In Hebrew, this word for “believed” was a metaphor for leaning against a solid stay, such as a marble pillar or giant rock, with your full weight.
Here’s what the Apostle Paul had to say: “Against all hope, Abraham in hope believed and so became the father of many nations … he did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God, but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God, being fully persuaded that God had power to do what he had promised.” — Romans 4:18-21
Abraham didn’t put his trust in the promise itself but in the God who made it.
Faith, then, is not confidence that you’ll be clean and sober a month from now; it’s trusting that a powerful advocate who can do anything has your addiction in hand. When God says something like this, you can believe it:
“I will answer them before they even call to me. While they are still talking about their needs, I will go ahead and answer their prayers!” — Isaiah 65:24
God answers prayer in one of three ways: yes, no, or wait. He has your bests interests at heart. If you earnestly pray and are disappointed with the answer, you can still rest assured that Christ does only what’s best for you. There’s an unknown timetable and a bigger picture that we can’t yet see. That’s sometimes hard to accept, especially when addiction comes into play, but it’s the truth.
Testing your faith is not for God’s benefit. He already knows exactly where you stand. When God tests your faith, the results are for you. How you respond when life seems to be falling apart will give you an idea of how fully you’re leaning on that pillar or solid rock. Do you trust it to hold you up? Do you turn to Him or do you turn to something, or someone else? Faith in addiction calls for patience with God and yourself. It calls for fixing your eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of your faith (Hebrews 12:2), rather than on your setbacks.
One way to exercise your faith is to trust the professionals that God put in place to care for you. Another is to rest in the supportive arms of friends and family members who are walking the path with you. Chapter 5 in the Gospel of Luke recounts the story of Jesus’ physical and spiritual healing of a paralyzed man. His friends couldn’t maneuver his mat through the crowds, so they lowered him through the ceiling to rest at Jesus’ feet. Interestingly, Luke tells us, it was the friends’ faith that Jesus responded to rather than the patient’s.
When you’re at your weakest, don’t hesitate to borrow from the stronger faith of those who long to see you well.
Faith the Size of a Mustard Seed
Don’t beat yourself up if faith is hard to come by these days. Even the disciples, who witnessed Christ’s miracles every day, sometimes struggled to stand strong. Addiction is marked by relapse. That’s especially trying for someone who sincerely wants to trust God for healing.
Ask God for greater faith. Watch and wait. Make note of blessings, answered prayers and positive changes. Soon enough, you’ll see that God is busy in your life.
Addiction and faith are not mutually exclusive. Finding a reputable rehab facility that also encourages faith in addiction recovery can be immensely beneficial and ultimately very freeing. Call St. Gregory Retreat Centers today, and get on the path to recovery.