Commissioned Addictions Biblical Counselor, Shirley Crowder, teaches about an eternal focus by encouraging us with this thought:

“As Christ followers, we have the promise, and the hope, and the assurance that we will spend eternity in heaven with God the Father… and with the Son.”

-Shirley Crowder, The Addiction Connection Podcast #156.

Praise: A Purposeful Response to Our King

Our response to God’s sovereignty and the salvation He has given us in Christ Jesus should be to praise Him. We praise Him for the gift of eternal life and the power to live a transformed, non-addicted life in the here and now. A life that is unhindered, unshackled, not enslaved to anything.

We celebrate not needing substances to suppress feelings or shun our fears.

We rejoice without needing alcohol to relax or have fun while we enjoy the new life we have in Christ forever!

Christians get to celebrate newness of life together every day we are alive! Joining together in fellowship and praise to our Father in Heaven is one of this life’s precious joys.

Joy: His Fruit in the New Life

Newness of life is a wonderful blessing from God as the Holy Spirit provides the fruit of the Spirit (Gal. 5:22-23) not only for us to enjoy but to work through us and bless others, while pointing them to Christ.

As believers trusting in Christ, and looking forward to eternal life with Him, we have reason to be joyful creatures at all times in all circumstances. Happy or joyful: What’s the Difference? (Read this post from our archives for more on that!)

This sin-cursed, broken, and fallen world is not our permanent home. We are simply sojourners passing through. We have the honor to share the hope of eternal life with others praying to God to enliven their hearts by His Spirit that they might also share in life everlasting. Joy is contagious and God designed it to be that way!

The transforming, once-addicted person has a new identity, a new family, a new purpose, and so much more in the new found relationship with Jesus Christ. Yet it is an intentional act of worship to maintain a joyful mentality rather than a complaining, bitter, resentful, or what I call a perishing mentality. Consider Ephesians 5:18-21:

And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit, addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with your heart, giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, submitting to one another out of reverence for Christ. (ESV) [1]

The picture God gives a transforming once-addicted person who is filled with the Holy Spirit is that of music, gratitude, and joy!

Music: Praise and Joy Put into Action!

Praise and joy often connect and is expressed in worshipful music. The psalmists in the Bible, Moses after the crossing the Red Sea, and modern day hymn writers capture the joy of the Lord. The entirety of Psalm 150 is a song of praise:

Praise the Lord!
Praise God in his sanctuary;
    praise him in his mighty heavens!
Praise him for his mighty deeds;
    praise him according to his excellent greatness!

Praise him with trumpet sound;
praise him with lute and harp!
Praise him with tambourine and dance;
praise him with strings and pipe!
Praise him with sounding cymbals;
praise him with loud clashing cymbals!
Let everything that has breath praise the Lord!
Praise the Lord(ESV)

I love to see joyful Christians celebrating God’s goodness in a sin-cursed, broken, and fallen world because there is much to praise God about in this life and for the gift of eternal life to come. The Christ follower who is transforming from a once-addicted state knows this truth and is called to lead others to Jesus Christ also.

With the ever present threat of relapse and a drug overdose death, Christ followers must be urgent to share the hope of the Gospel with those enslaved to addiction. Today is the day of salvation! And the joy of the Lord is our strength! We have a “good news” message that can save souls from hell.

Let’s praise God, reflect the joy that comes from the Holy Spirit, and celebrate His goodness!

 

[1] All scripture quotations are from the ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved. May not copy or download more than 500 consecutive verses of the ESV Bible or more than one half of any book of the ESV Bible.

 

 

 

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