Trust and Faith

Anyone who has had any dealings with Alcoholics Anonymous or any similar recovery program is likely to be familiar with the following sayings:

– Easy does it

– One day at a time

– One hour at a time

– One step at a time

While intended to encourage or motivate us on our recovery journey, these sayings do little to help us with the actual recovery process. I prefer to look at this process from the vantage point of Trust and Faith. As such, the ‘One step at a time’ saying is perfectly apropos. Scripture encourages us to seek God for our daily (hourly) needs (“Give us day by day our daily bread” – Luke 11:3). This level of Trust and Faith can be difficult for those who are working through their addiction recovery as well as having to struggle with underlying trust issues. Accentuating the issues with trust and/or faith are the difficulties of being in the dark and not being able to see, or fathom, the way forward from, or out of, our present situation. Yet we need trust to in God to guide our steps safely through to the end of our journey.

How? We must keep our eyes focused on the path we are on. If we are walking in the light of Jesus, He requires us to trust Him as He often gives us just enough light to see where to take our next step, but not enough to see too far ahead. Discouragement can come if we take our eyes off the lighted path and dwell on the darkness surrounding us, the reality of our current circumstances. This discouragement is quite common in recovery circles when we take our eyes off the Jesus and look at the chaos surrounding us as Peter did in Matthew 14:28-32. Here we see Peter getting out of the boat to walk on the water to Jesus. As long as he remained focused on Jesus alone, he was able to walk on the water towards his Saviour. However, as soon as he took his eyes of Jesus and paid attention to the storm that was blowing around him and the fact that he was doing the “impossible” (walking on water) he began to sink. Like Peter, we often stop looking at the progress we have made, or are currently making, and lose focus by fearing our present circumstances. We may also start focusing on our past failures or on how much further we have to go rather than the progress that we have made. Like Peter, however, we can usually recover from these setbacks rather quickly by getting our eyes back on Jesus, feeling His strong arms lift us up, and continuing to move forward in His light. How? We must keep our eyes focused on the path we are on. If we are walking in the light of Jesus, He requires us to trust Him as He often gives us just enough light to see where to take our next step, but not enough to see too far ahead. Discouragement can come if we take our eyes off the lighted path and dwell on the darkness surrounding us, the reality of our current circumstances.

This discouragement is quite common in recovery circles when we take our eyes off the Jesus and look at the chaos surrounding us as Peter did in Matthew 14:28-32. Here we see Peter getting out of the boat to walk on the water to Jesus. As long as he remained focused on Jesus alone, he was able to walk on the water towards his Saviour. However, as soon as he took his eyes of Jesus and paid attention to the storm that was blowing around him and the fact that he was doing the “impossible” (walking on water) he began to sink. Like Peter, we often stop looking at the progress we have made, or are currently making, and lose focus by fearing our present circumstances. We may also start focusing on our past failures or on how much further we have to go rather than the progress that we have made. Like Peter, however, we can usually recover from these setbacks rather quickly by getting our eyes back on Jesus, feeling His strong arms lift us up, and continuing to move forward in His light.  How? We must keep our eyes focused on the path we are on. If we are walking in the light of Jesus, He requires us to trust Him as He often gives us just enough light to see where to take our next step, but not enough to see too far ahead.

Discouragement can come if we take our eyes off the lighted path and dwell on the darkness surrounding us, the reality of our current circumstances. This discouragement is quite common in recovery circles when we take our eyes off the Jesus and look at the chaos surrounding us as Peter did in Matthew 14:28-32. Here we see Peter getting out of the boat to walk on the water to Jesus. As long as he remained focused on Jesus alone, he was able to walk on the water towards his Saviour. However, as soon as he took his eyes of Jesus and paid attention to the storm that was blowing around him and the fact that he was doing the “impossible” (walking on water) he began to sink. Like Peter, we often stop looking at the progress we have made, or are currently making, and lose focus by fearing our present circumstances. We may also start focusing on our past failures or on how much further we have to go rather than the progress that we have made. Like Peter, however, we can usually recover from these setbacks rather quickly by getting our eyes back on Jesus, feeling His strong arms lift us up, and continuing to move forward in His light.

An almost greater danger would come if Jesus’ light were to fully illuminate the entire path that lay ahead of us, rather than just the next step or steps. For many of us, we could easily loose heart and throw our hands up in despair if we were to see the entire path that lay ahead of us. This could easily be too daunting of a task if we were to take it in all at once; especially of we are just at the beginning of the process.

I encourage you today to remain focused on your immediate path, and the progress you have already made, and not become distracted or disheartened by your present circumstances or your perception of the length of the journeyHow? We must keep our eyes focused on the path we are on. If we are walking in the light of Jesus, He requires us to trust Him as He often gives us just enough light to see where to take our next step, but not enough to see too far ahead. Discouragement can come if we take our eyes off the lighted path and dwell on the darkness surrounding us, the reality of our current circumstances. This discouragement is quite common in recovery circles when we take our eyes off the Jesus and look at the chaos surrounding us as Peter did in Matthew 14:28-32. Here we see Peter getting out of the boat to walk on the water to Jesus. As long as he remained focused on Jesus alone, he was able to walk on the water towards his Saviour. However, as soon as he took his eyes of Jesus and paid attention to the storm that was blowing around him and the fact that he was doing the “impossible” (walking on water) he began to sink. Like Peter, we often stop looking at the progress we have made, or are currently making, and lose focus by fearing our present circumstances. We may also start focusing on our past failures or on how much further we have to go rather than the progress that we have made. Like Peter, however, we can usually recover from these setbacks rather quickly by getting our eyes back on Jesus, feeling His strong arms lift us up, and continuing to move forward in His light. An almost greater danger would come if Jesus’ light were to fully illuminate the entire path that lay ahead of us, rather than just the next step or steps. For many of us, we could easily loose heart and throw our hands up in despair if we were to see the entire path that lay ahead of us. This could easily be too daunting of a task if we were to take it in all at once; especially of we are just at the beginning of the process. I encourage you today to remain focused on your immediate path, and the progress you have already made, and not become distracted or disheartened by your present circumstances or your perception of the length of the journey.

Taking Every Thought Captive!

Scott Pipenhagen
Recovery / Transition Chaplain
Serve & Protect
2 Corinthians 1:3-4

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About Scott P.

Scott is a retired Military LEO and a Volunteer Chaplain with Serve & Protect (www.serveprotect.org) where he seeks to provide transition services for First Responders and Military personnel by mentoring and connecting them with local 12 Step or similar Faith-Based recovery programs, local Chaplains, and Trauma Therapists to continue their recovery journey following residential care treatment. Scott contributes these devotions to the Serve & Protect ministry Facebook page: Guns'n'Hoses (https://www.facebook.com/GunsHosesMinistry). Scott has been involved in Faith-Based recovery programs since 2006 and has a Bachelor of Science in Religion through Liberty University and a Master of Arts in Theological Studies through Liberty University Baptist Theological Seminary. He currently resides in Fredericksburg, VA, and can be contacted at spipenhagen@liberty.edu.
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