Memorial United Methodist Church
Friday, October 30, 2020
God's Love Grows Here!

  H.O.P.E

 
Are these your thoughts?

 Ok, so yes, call me Cleopatra, the Queen of Denial.  I have hurts, hang-ups, and harmful habits that I won’t admit to and I have stuffed them for a long time.  Now you tell me that I am powerless to heal myself from my hurts, hang-ups, and harmful habits.  

So where is the hope?

Funny you should ask.  Hope, that is the third topic we talk about in Celebrate Recovery.

Principle 2 tells me that I should earnestly believe that God exists, that I matter to Him, and that He has the power to help me recover.  This principle is based on Matthew 5: “Happy are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.”  And, Step 2 states we come to believe that a power greater than ourselves can restore us to sanity.  Step 2 is supported by Philippians 2:13, for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose.

Here is your English teacher question:  what word is the same in both the Principle and the Step?  The answer … POWER.  We don’t have the power to change on our own; now, there is a depressing thought.  However, God has the Power; we are not stuck in our human condition!  This is our HOPE! 

H  -- CR celebrates the fact we have a Higher Power.  What is a Higher Power?  It is not crystals, the universe, the force, and certainly not ourselves.  It is Jesus.  If we let him, Jesus will help us.  Jesus makes a standing offer.  If we come to him, he will help us.

God is holding us in his existence.  You don’t have to worry about telling God anything He does not already know.   He knows our hurts, hang-ups, and habits.

OThe next part of our Hope is based on us.  How open to change are you?  Is your favorite phrase, “But I have always done it that way!”    Ephesians 4:23-24 reminds us, “Now your attitudes and thoughts must all be constantly changing for the better. Yes, you must be a new and different person.”

Remember the story of the Prodigal Son?  Son decides he wants to do his own thing, takes his inheritance, moves to another county and parties all of his money away.  Finding himself eating with the pigs, Son decides he wants to change.  Where does Son turn for help?  To his Father, who is waiting and watching for Son to return. The Father welcomes his Son back, gives him new clothes, and celebrates his Son’s return.

 What had to happen first?  The Son had to be open to change

P  --  We are lucky; God gives us the power to change.  We don’t have to worry about the power going out or having a backup generator.  God provides what we need.   For I can do everything God asks me to with the help of Christ who gives me the strength and the power. Philippians 4:13.  At CR, we follow Paul’s formula.  I can do everything IF God ASKS me to do it, with Christ.   This is asking God for power to do what He asks us to do.  The same approach works for overcoming all of our hurts, hang-ups, and habits.  God will show us what to do and will give us the power to do it.

 E  --  Now we are back to what we have to do – expect to change.  Paul presents this idea when writing to the Philippians by saying, “And I am sure that God who began the good work within you will keep right on helping you grow in his grace until his task within you is finally finished on that day when Jesus Christ returns.”  (Philippians 1:6)

So where is our HOPE?  It is in God our higher power, who gives us the power to change, if we are open to change and expecting to change.  Our hope is that God is helping us to change.

This is not an instant zap; it is a journey.  Celebrate Recovery is here to help you on this journey.

Join us on Tuesday nights at 6:30 and meet others who are making this same journey.

Call us if you'd like more information

Cheryl Gowin 434-808-2637

Dennis Gowin 434-808-2426