LESSONS 14 – 15 PRINCIPLE 5: Voluntarily submit to every change God wants to make…
LESSON 3 – HOPE
PRINCIPLE 2: Earnestly believe that God exists, that I matter to Him, and that He has the power to help me recover. “Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted” (Matthew 5:4)
STEP 2: We came to believe that a power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity. “for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose” (Philippians 2:13).
Recap from Last Session
In the last session we learnt that through our Denial of our Hurts, Hang-ons and Habits (the 3Hs) we were rendered POWERLESS. We were powerless because of the Pride that undermined our faith in God and rationalized our situations with Only if’s. We Worry, making our trust in God questionable. Therefore, we Escape trying to hide from our woes, harbor Resentments and anger for others. We feel Lonely, Empty and become Selfish, caring more for ourselves and our habits. All this separates us from people and God, thereby hurting our relationships and spiritual growth. We also learned that we are not alone, so there’s nothing to be ashamed of on this path to recovery.
Because we invited God to take control of the situation, there’s hope at last to restore sanity and purpose in our lives. Bible says in Hebrews 11:6, “And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him. The loving power of God is there to restore peace, and oh yes, our soul will find rest in God; because our hope comes from him (Psalm 62:5)
What Is Hope?
Dictionary defines Hope, as “a feeling of expectation and desire for a certain thing to happen”. However, in the biblical terms, hope is the confident expectation of what God has promised in His words to be fulfilled. David captured that promise, as it affects us on this path to recovery when he wrote “the Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit” (Psalm 34:18). We believe that promise that our healing has begun, as we diligently follow these steps.
In this lesson, the word HOPE stands for – Higher Power, Openness to change, Power to change, Expect to change.
Higher Power: Before now you might have been attending church services and enjoyed the sermons but never really connected to Jesus Christ, as a higher power, “For from him and through him and for him are all things. To him be the glory forever! Amen” (Romans 11:36). Jesus said in 2 Corinthians 12:9 “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness”
Openness to change: Change means to replace (something) with something else. We are now open to go from hurting to healing, let go our hang-ons and to be free from the control of destructive habits. Hope is openness to change, “to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness” (Ephesians 4:23 -24). Are you open to that change now?
Power to change: In the past, we were in denial and powerless to make the desired changes to our lives, we were held down by our hurts, hang-ups, or habits. Now that we understand that God’s power can change us and our situation because bible says, “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.” (Philippians 4:13, KJV). We believe we can recover fully.
Expect to change: We are confident and expect that God will fulfill His words to heal and free us. There may still be those people who still judge our past and expect us to relapse. Don’t give up because after our healing, lines will start falling in places for us again. Bible says, “being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus” (Philippians 1:6).
LESSON 4 -SANITY
Sanity means, the ability to think and behave in a normal and rational manner; sound mental health. Earlier on, we admitted that denial of our situation made us powerless, therefore, we put our hope in God, as a higher power to fulfill His words to heal us, set us free, and now to restore our Sanity. On this path to recovery, SANITY means, Strength, Acceptance, New Life, Integrity, Trust, Your Higher Power.
Strength: We tried to solve the problems with our strength alone and that got us into deeper trouble. Relying on the higher power of God is what will get us out of it. “God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble” (Psalm 46).
Acceptance: Change is taking place inside and outside us. We must not relate to others in the same old way, expecting a different response. We must accept this change that old things are passing away. We cannot continue to hang-out at same old spots with same old people and indulge in same old habits. We must change the routine and accept the change to a new life.
New Life: We are becoming brand-new people with new lives, new friends, and new passions. People may show surprise at our new behaviors, but it’s ok. The bible says, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!” (2 Corinthians 5:17)
Integrity: Integrity is the quality of being honest and having strong moral principles; moral uprightness. I love the simple explanation that says, “integrity is what you do when no one is watching”. We must start living a life of integrity even when no one is watching. The Bible says, “I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth” (3 JOHN 4)
Trust: We should no longer be resentful, separated and trying to hide from others rather we must start trusting God, ourselves and others. We begin to make new friends who can help us grow spiritually and back on track.
Your Higher Power: We accept God is our higher power, so one with God is with majority. He is our shield and deliverer, in Him we put our trust. The bible says, “The LORD is good, a refuge in times of trouble. He cares for those who trust in him” (Nahum 1:7)
Hope is the confident expectation of what God has promised in His words to be fulfilled. He promised to walk with us on this path to recovery because we put our trust in Him, as a higher power with an open heart to accept the changes He is about to make in us. He is leading us to sanity and new life. So, we must begin to live a life of integrity and purpose. Don’t give up! We are not alone, so there’s nothing to be ashamed of on this path to recovery.