People have said that the Bible can be boiled down to four words to describe its theme: creation, fall, Jesus, and restoration. That last word, restoration, is very similar in its meaning to the word recovery, so we can know that the concept of recovery is dealt with significantly in Scripture.
And it’s true. There are thousands of verses that we can learn directly from as people recovering from life-dominating issues. Likewise, there are dozens and dozens of characters whose stories can be applied to our own. But, specifically, what does the Bible say about recovery.
Today, however, let’s focus on a verse that very well could be titled “The Key Verse to Successful Recovery.” It can be found in the Psalms in chapter 16 and verses 8-9. The Amplified Bible reads as follows, “I will keep the LORD continually before me; because He is at my right hand, I will not be shaken. Therefore, my heart is glad, and my glory [my innermost self] rejoices; my body too will dwell [confidently] in safety.”
Keep the Lord Continually Before Us
This passage first instructs us to keep the LORD continually before us. In essence, this is speaking to our focus. To keep something before us is to ensure that it is squarely in our vision. It is an act of our will (I will keep), and it can be done in dozens of ways. We can wonder at God’s creation, listen to a worship song, talk about Jesus with others, read our Bibles, listen to a sermon, meditate and pray, and on and on and on. The first step to a successful recovery is keeping the LORD continually before us.
I Will Be Sober
The next phrase tells us that we are to have God at our right hand and because He is, we will not be shaken. Another way to say ‘I will not be shaken’ is to say I WILL BE SOBER! This is the resounding cry of the addict in recovery… I want to be sober! Well, this verse tells us that having God at our right hand will make that happen!
Surrender Control of Your Life to God
Having God at our right hand first means that we are surrendering control of our life to Him. We allow Him to fight our battles and we trust Him to be the Provider and Protector that He promises throughout the Scriptures that He will be. And think about it, when God is at our right hand, He is holding on to our left hand which leaves His right hand free to defend us. Isaiah 41:10 (AMP), “Do not fear [anything], for I am with you; do not be afraid, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, be assured I will help you; I will certainly take hold of you with My righteous right hand [a hand of justice, of power, of victory, of salvation].” We just need to hold our Father’s hand and walk in the same direction. Beautiful!
To speak to an addict, whether amid their struggles or on the backside as they fight for freedom, is to often hear of pain, fear, frustration, and hopelessness. But if we are to understand Psalm 16:8-9 correctly we read on to learn that when we keep God before us and walk hand in hand with Him that, ‘…my heart is glad, and my innermost-self rejoices and my body dwells in safety’!
Be At Peace
Here, I am at peace. I am content in my situation and struggle less with the triggers and difficulties of my past. I find joy in the day… in my labors… with the people I am in contact with. More deeply, as I walk with God there is a sense of joy that goes beyond my ability to understand it. It bubbles up from my soul and gives glory to God for His goodness to me.
You Are Safe In Christ
Finally, my body dwells in safety. Yes, that can mean that God keeps me from illness and calamity and praise His name because it sure does! But it also means, to the addict, that this prescription for recovery keeps his body safe from acing out. The heroin addict abstains. The alcoholic refuses the beer. The man addicted to pornography builds strong walls of protection around him and the gambler avoids the casino.
What a thrill my soul gets when I read these two verses! God cares about me and my specific addiction. There is hope with God! There is hope at HopeQuest! Contact us to learn more about what the Bible says about recovery.