Life Turns Around
Blessed is the one who keeps the words of the prophecy of this book. Revelation 22:7
Working in addiction medicine, every day I meet those whose lives I know would be vastly improved if they stopped using drugs. So, I make my recommendations: Go to treatment, take this medication, address your mental health, abandon your self-destructive nature, return to your faith. I truly believe my patient’s lives would be better if they followed my prescribed treatment. They do too. They believe that what I’m telling them is the right course of action to find a better life. And they desperately want life to be different. Addiction is miserable. So, if they want a better life, and if they’ve been shown the path to it, why don’t they all take it? The truth is, most of those in my office on any given day won’t go out and do the things I recommend. They’ll relapse. They’ll refuse to address their mental health. They won’t change their lives and they won’t turn to God.
By remaining in their addiction, they stay stuck in the same old life, doing the same old self-destructive behaviors, remaining miserable. So, we keep working at it. Few people find success the first attempt. I don’t promise my patients that they’ll get rich or that all their relationships will work out. I don’t promise they’ll never get sick or experience painful trials. I do promise this though – If they find recovery and if they stop making terrible decisions, their lives will turn around. When they stop burning everything down, life will vastly improve and they can find joy and peace, despite life’s trials.
This is the message of today’s passage, and it’s not just for the addicted. In it, Jesus promised a blessing on those who follow his will for their lives. Who wouldn’t want God’s blessing? If we believe in God, we want to live in his favor. Do we feel like we’re living the blessed life God wants for us? Are we experiencing his joy and peace today? If not, why not? Often, we miss out on the blessed life for the same reason the addict does. We want the blessing, but we don’t want to do what it takes to live in it. We want God’s favor, but we don’t want to be obedient to his will. Change is hard and obedience requires tremendous sacrifice. So, we follow ourselves, wondering why we’re so miserable.
Christ doesn’t promise riches or worldly success and he doesn’t promise that we’ll escape sickness or life trials. He does promise though, that we can experience joy and peace despite life’s trials – if we follow him and his will. When we abandon the self-destructive, life turns around.