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Be Still: Can Scripture Help Christians Overcome Substance Abuse?

Anxiety Relief for Those in Addiction

Psalm 46:10 says, “Be still and know that I am God.” But if you are a person recovering from drug or alcohol addiction, being still is a challenge. It’s hard to rely on God in the midst of chaos but that’s what King David and Jehoshaphat did. Can you really win your battle toward sobriety based on scripture?

Meditate on Psalm 46

“Psalms” means songs or hymns. The entire Book of Psalms is about various authors seeking God during difficult times and finding Him as an ever-present Savior. The psalms remind you to praise God with song and dance regardless of the circumstances.

Chapter 46 was probably written regarding David’s victories over the nations. David had just defeated the Philistines. So it was time to be merry. Another scripture attests of God’s goodness and power. Psalm 46:1 – God is our strength, a very present help in trouble.

Stand Firm and Face Fear

Psalm 46 is based on Chronicles 20:2 – Some people came and told Jehoshaphat, “A vast army is coming against you from Edom.” Verse 5 – “Lord, the God of our ancestors, are you not the God who is in heaven?” Verse 12 – “Our God…we have no power to face this vast army attacking us…”

However, verse 17 says, “Take up your positions. Stand firm and see the deliverance the Lord will give you, Judah and Jerusalem…” Chronicles 20:22 – As they began to sing and praise, the Lord set ambushes against the men of Ammon and Moab and Mount Seir who were invading Judah, and they were defeated. Additionally, the Bible says that no one (enemies) had escaped. As the men went to carry off the plunder, there was a large amount of equipment, clothing, and other valuable articles (Chronicles 20:25).

Overcoming Habits of Alcohol and Drug Dependency

Does the previous scenario about battling a war sound familiar? As you struggle with your addiction, you may feel like you are under attack because you are under attack. In the natural, your body is in the detox process but it’s also spiritual warfare.

Suddenly, you wish for your old life. You want to regain a feeling of control and freedom. Back then, you could make your own choices. But let’s be honest. Your decisions led to bad consequences such as unemployment, homelessness, family problems, and legal issues. Do you really want to go back to that?

It’s common for patients in substance abuse treatment to long for the “good old days” or times of using drugs or alcohol. In an article entitled, “Relapse Prevention and the Five Rules of Recovery” published by The Yale Journal of Biology and Medicine, researchers said, “When individuals exhibit poor self-care and live in emotional relapses long enough, eventually they start to feel uncomfortable in their own skin. They begin to feel restless, irritable, and discontent.” This mindset can lead to relapse.

Be Still and Rely on God

So how should Christians recovering from alcohol and drug abuse handle anxiety? What should you do when a million thoughts about problems with your spouse, job, finances, etc. race through your mind? Here are five tips:

  1. Pray for Recovery
    You aren’t strong enough to handle your flesh alone. So stop and pray immediately! Notice in 2 Chronicles 2:12, they admitted their weaknesses and said, “We have no power to face this vast army…”
  2. Acknowledge Your Triggers
    Do images of alcohol stir a desire to grab a beer? The American Psychiatric Association said, “These substances can cause harmful changes in how the brain functions.” Also, “Brain imaging studies show changes in the areas of …judgment, decision making, learning…” Pay attention to your triggers so you can prepare to handle them.
  3. Occupy Time with Healthy Habits
    While you wait on the Lord patiently, use your time wisely. The Bible says that Jehoshaphat ordered his men to sing and praise God before they engaged in battle. They did not sulk. During times of trouble, expect a miracle. Surround yourself with people of faith. Eat healthy food and drink water. Get plenty of rest.
  4. Embrace Your New Situation
    You are not the same person you were 30 days ago. You are no longer obsessed with alcohol or drug abuse. You are not dependent on people who supported your habit. Don’t let a momentary temptation interfere with your sobriety.
  5. Cultivate Endurance
    Recovery from substance abuse is tough. Another scripture that relates to this topic is Corinthians 15:31 – I die every day. Paul was referring to his carnal desires versus his faith in Jesus. Ephesians 6:11 – Put on the complete suit of armor to fight the Devil.

Psalms encourages us to praise God for what He has done and what He will do. Being still takes practice. Overcome anxiety with faith.

If you are struggling with alcohol or drug abuse, contact the Home of Grace at 228-826-5283.

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1 Comment

  1. Thank you for this. While I am not battling alcohol or drug addiction I am battling food addiction and binge eating and this is what I needed to read tonight. So thank you.

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