The following question was submitted to “Ask Pierre“. I am answering the question in three parts. This is part 1:
Q. How do you find your way back? I have strayed from my faith… I have been supporting My 16 year old son in his battled to stay in front of the evils of depression from drug and alcohol addiction… I do try to have the faith that this will pass and that there is a hope for the great healing that is long overdue. The faith is disappearing day by day. I try to show strength and stay positive but in the inside I’m screaming for someone to save us as I’m starting to feel we can’t save ourselves…
Just as your son is battling to find freedom from depression and addiction, so you too are in a battle for your faith. The Apostle Paul told Timothy, his son in the faith to “Fight the good fight of the faith.” (1 Timothy 6:12) Keeping your faith strong in the midst of trials is a real battle. So the question then becomes, how do you win the battle of faith? To win any battle, you need to know three things – your allies, your adversaries and your strategy.To #win any #battle you need to know 3 things your #allies #adversaries and #strategy. @PierreEade. Click To Tweet
In your battle for faith and also for your son’s sobriety and mental health, you have many spiritual allies. In this blog post, I will share three of your most important allies in winning your faith back. In future blogs I will address your adversaries and your strategy.
Here are three of your greatest allies:
Your greatest ally of all is God himself. The Bible teaches that faith is a gift from God. (Ephesians 2:8) Faith is something we receive, not something we earn. Jesus is called, the “pioneer and perfecter” of our faith, meaning He is the one who initiated faith in our lives. (Hebrews 12:2) Faith is also produced within us through the Holy Spirit as we stay connected to God. (Galatians 5:22)
Knowing faith is something that God wants to give us, we can live free of striving to have more faith and instead receive faith from God as a free gift! How do we do so? Just like the disciples, we cry out to God to increase our faith. “Increase my faith, Lord!” is a simple pray you can pray whenever you feel the need for more faith. (Luke 17:5)
Knowing God is your ally, you can be assured that He always wants what is best for you and your son. (Romans 8:28-29) You never have to question whether God wants your son free from depression or drugs. You can be confident that it is God’s will for your son to be completely free of those “evils” as you described them because Jesus came “to set the captives free”. (Luke 4:18) Put your full trust in God knowing that He is completely for you and not against you in your life’s struggles. (Romans 8:31)
God does allow our faith to be tested. The Bible says that the testing of our faith is what produced spiritual maturity within us. (James 1:2-4) It is like weight training. As you push against the weights, your muscles will become stronger over time. Every time you pass a test, your faith gets that much stronger. Please note that being tested is not the same as being tempted to sin. God does allow us to be tested, but He does not tempt us to sin. (James 1:13) Instead, God gives us a way of escape for every temptation we face. (1 Corinthians 10:13)
The next ally is God’s Word, the Bible. Another way that our faith is strengthened is by hearing the word of God. (Romans 10:17) When God’s Word is read, meditated on, taught or preached, it has the power to increase our faith.
“For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.” (Hebrews 4:12) The word of God also renews our mind and helps us to think in ways that align with God’s thinking. (Romans 12:1-2) When we think more like God, our faith will undoubtedly increase.
The Bible is God’s playbook for life. God’s Word not only contains guidelines for living, it also contains hundreds of promises that you can hold onto in the hard times of life. If you are not well versed in the Bible, it may help to use a Bible Promise book to make you aware of the many promise available to you from God. Here is small selection of the many promises you can rely upon:
- God will never leave you nor forsake you. (Hebrews 13:5)
- God is for you, not against you. (Romans 8:31)
- Jesus loves you and gave his life for your salvation. (John 3:16)
- The Holy Spirit is here to comfort and teach you. (John 14:26)
- If you draw near to God, He will draw near to you. (James 4:8)
In your fight to keep your faith, it is important to remember that you do not need to fight this battle alone. Our individualistic society has rubbed off on our understanding of faith in God. We tend to think in terms of “my faith” instead of “our common faith”. (Titus 1:4) We think individualistically instead of in community.
Since faith is a battle, we all need to depend on other soldiers in the faith to help us in our weakness. One of the most powerful ways to strengthening your faith is to get connected to other strong believers in Christ who will support you, encourage you, teach you and pray for you. The temptation to go in isolation when things are tough is not uncommon, but it is dangerous to our faith. Just as plants grow in good, fertile soil so does our faith grow when we are in Christian community. The Bible teaches that when we get around other faithful, loving and committed believers, it will have a positive effect on our faith. (Proverbs 27:17)
I highly encourage you to find and regularly attend a loving, Bible based church where you will hear God’s word preached and meet other believers. Additionally if you can join a small group of people who meet regularly for Bible study and prayer, your faith will grow dramatically. Considering your situation, you may want to think about attending groups like Nar-Anon or Al-Anon that focus on supporting family members of those who have addiction.
Here is a prayer you can pray: “Lord, I come to you now asking that you would increase my faith! Help me to learn more of Your Word and to completely trust your promises. Give me strength and wisdom to pass every test I face. Jesus, set my son free from his addictions and depression and strengthen his faith in you. Help me to find and get connected to other believers who will help me to grow in my Christian faith. In Jesus’ name, Amen.”
How about you, readers? What are some of the other allies you can think of that help develop our faith in God?
Stay tuned for Part 2 & 3!
Have a question about life and faith? Ask Pierre!