As a book of holy scripture, reading the Bible will give you the kind of enduring peace and comfort you can only get from one place – God in Heaven. The book, however, by no means falls under the category of ‘light reading,’ so sometimes it can be a bit intimidating. After all, it totals more than 1500 pages and spans roughly 4,000 years.
Studying the Bible will take time and focus, so it’s a good idea to create a moment or two in your schedule to steal away to a quiet place and read. A regular Bible study class works, too, but you can’t always target the specific selections you’re looking for when you’re in a group.
Where to start? As a Christian-based rehabilitation center, Renaissance Ranch counselors often lean on the Bible for guidance and direction when working with our patients. Over the years, we have compiled a list of some of our favorite verses that deal with addiction and the healing process of recovery, and we’d like to share them with you:
1. Jeremiah 17:14 (Old Testament)
“Heal me, O Lord, and I shall be healed; save me, and I shall be saved; for thou art my praise.”
The Lord called the prophet Jeremiah to remind the people in Jerusalem and the areas around the city that they weren’t keeping God’s laws. The people mocked and threatened Jeremiah, so he poured his heart out to God, asking for healing and protection. His faith was so strong that he could declare that all God had to do say he was saved, and it would be done.
This verse helps us to see that we can be triumphant in our battle against substance abuse with God on our side. He can heal us and save us from the crippling effects of drugs and alcohol. All we have to do is ask.
2. 2 Timothy 1:7 (New Testament)
“God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.”
This is the apostle Paul’s last letter in the New Testament and is addressed to Timothy, a fellow apostle, and trusted assistant. Paul wrote these words while he was in a Roman prison for the second time, abandoned by some who were supposed to be his friends and facing imminent death. And yet the message he gives to Timothy, and through him, to the rest of the persecuted Christians, is one of hope and strength. Paul motivates Timothy to continue preaching in faith and not to give up in the face of adversity.
Likewise, reading the hopeful and encouraging words of a man who had every reason to be in despair inspires us never to give up our fight against addiction. God will stand with us through all of our trials.
3. Matthew 11:28-29 (New Testament)
“Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.”
Here Jesus Christ is teaching the people in Capernaum that He is God’s son and that if they follow Him, they are also following God. Christ further explained that He would help them carry the burdens and trials of life. His point – loads are always lighter when two people work together, especially if one of them is the Son of God.
For people with substance abuse, feeling alone and isolated in the struggle is easy. This passage reminds us that God and His son are always in our corner and will help carry us safely through rough times.
4. James 5:15-16 (New Testament)
“And the prayer of the faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he has committed sins, they shall be forgiven him. Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.”
According to Christian tradition, this scripture was a letter written by James, the half-brother of Jesus and an apostle in the early Christian church. He was writing these words to the people of Israel and Judah, who had been scattered abroad because of different conquering armies. James was saying to them that even though they did not keep the commandments and did many awful and wicked things, the Lord was still ready to welcome them back into the Kingdom of God if they repented.
God loves all of His children. That deep attachment to us doesn’t stop when we fall away from Him and go off in other paths. What better consolation can we ask for than to know that no matter how deep and dark our descent, He’s always ready to forgive and help us back into the light? According to God, no one is irredeemable.
5. 1 Peter 5:8 (New Testament)
“Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary, the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour.”
Peter, the chief apostle, and leader of Christ’s church after the resurrection of the Savior, was writing to devout Christians living in the five Roman provinces of Asia Minor. The times were dangerous, and they faced tremendous temptation and persecution. The word ‘sober’ here refers to keeping away from harmful substances and staying alert to surrounding dangers.
As a person in recovery, this scripture reminds us that our disease is chronic, and we must always be vigilant for relapse triggers. Also, Peter is urging the people, and us, to have a ‘sober mindset,’ in that we don’t see sobriety as a chore but rather as a special gift that needs to be protected.
6. 1 Corinthians 15:33 (New Testament)
“Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners.”
The Christians in Corinth had difficulty believing in the resurrection and were falling in with the traditions of the local religious leaders and unbelievers in committing sin. The general idea of society was to live your best life and not worry about consequences because there is no afterlife and no judgment. Paul wrote this letter to them, urging them not to be deceived by those beliefs. In verse 33, the word ‘communications’ in Greek refers to conversations and associations. In essence, Paul says that if they continue to draw their knowledge from incorrect sources, they’ll eventually lose sight of the truth.
There are two lessons we can learn from this scripture. One, this represents a clarion call for us not to return to our old associations when we were active in substance abuse. The danger of slipping back into old habits grows exponentially when we hang around those people and places that remind us of that lifestyle. Two, while in recovery, we recognize that our actions always have consequences, and we can’t avoid dealing with them. At the same time, we also can move on from them.
7. Isaiah 49:15-16 (Old Testament)
“Can a woman forget her sucking child, that she should not have compassion on the son of her womb? Yea, they may forget, yet will I not forget thee. Behold, I have graven thee upon the palms of my hands; thy walls are continually before me.”
The prophet Isaiah, who lived more than 700 years before Christ, is speaking the words of Jesus to the people of Israel. He says even though they may feel abandoned and forgotten, the Lord will never forget them. The words ‘graven … upon the palms of my hands’ refers to Christ’s future atonement and crucifixion.
We often define motherly devotion as the highest form of love. It’s no accident that Christ compares His love for the world to that of a mother. He then goes one step further by saying that even if your mother were to abandon you, He won’t. This scripture is a beautiful reminder of what our Savior has done for all of us in sacrificing himself to pay for our sins, mistakes, and afflictions.
If you feel that a recovery program in a faith-based treatment center could be the right path for you, don’t hesitate to contact us at 855-736-7262.