By Tommy Rush

Every Monday Night there is a ministry that takes place at First Baptist called Celebrate Recovery. For almost seven years this biblical and balanced recovery program has helped hundreds of people find hope and healing from numerous life issues and/or addictions.

What makes Celebrate Recovery different from most recovery programs is the fact that it’s based on the words of Jesus and biblical principles rather than just psychological principles. When our church began participating in the CR Ministry, I was excited because I knew the program would meet the needs of hundreds if not thousands of people. Little did I realize how much my own life would be impacted by this ministry

As I’ve participated each week, I’ve realized more and more that everyone has struggles. We’ve all been hurt by other people, we’ve hurt ourselves and we’ve hurt others. We all have some form of addiction that we struggle with. I can say that because sin is addicting and the Bible teaches that, “All have sinned.” The reality is that an unforgiving heart or a controlling spirit can be just as addictive and destructive as a drug or alcohol addiction.

The first principles taught in Celebrate Recovery is… “Realize I’m not God. I admit that I am powerless to control my tendency to do the wrong thing and that my life is unmanageable.”

It is really amazing how much time and energy we spend trying to control and manage what we cannot control or manage. I’ve been learning this principle up close and personal for the past several months. My wife and I have been in the process of renovating a house. Do I have to say anything else? When we started the renovation I think it rained for two solid months. Now that the rain is gone, we’re learning how little we can control the schedule of roofers and plumbers.

Life is a gentle reminder, (sometimes a screaming reminder) that I’m not in control. Maybe the Lord is reminding us through all the difficulties and struggles of the past two years that we need to surrender control to Him. He is definitely far better at being in control than I am! Maybe you’ve been through just enough pain, just enough humbling that you’re finally ready to trust Him with what you have been trying so hard to control. I remind myself daily that Jesus gave us the answer to that controlling approach to life with these simple words found in Matthew 6:8 “Your Heavenly Father knows what you need even before you ask him.”

Every week we end our Celebrate Recovery Worship with the Serenity Prayer. I’ve prayed it often in recent months…

God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference. Living one day at a time, enjoying one moment at a time; accepting hardship as a pathway to peace; taking, as Jesus did, this sinful world as it is; not as I would have it; trusting that You will make all things right if I surrender to your will; so that I may be reasonably happy in this life and supremely happy with You forever in the next. Amen

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