“…but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; and perseverance, character; and character, hope. Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.” (Romans 5:3-5 NKJV)
“Never lose hope.” I hear these words of encouragement and commitment from parents all the time. As parents struggle to find the endpoint in their child’s addiction journey, hope often becomes all that is left to hang on to.
This scripture reminds each of us that Hope comes from God. Ironically, so does a component of the struggle. For it is in our tribulations we find perseverance and character, as well as Hope. We are also encouraged to find glory in these struggles. It is in these struggles that the gifts of our spiritual, relational development with Him are found.
Hope is of God. It is a gift from God. Because of this, our Hope needs to be in God. Where is your Hope focused? Is it focused on the outcome you desire for someone else, or is it focused on God’s manifestation of his plan for your life?
This can be a challenging concept to wrap your head around. For we are called to focus our hope in Him and on Him. When we focus our Hope in him to deliver the outcome we desire or expect, we are actually focusing our Hope away from Him and on our desired outcome. Instead, we need our Hope to be focused on Him to deliver us, not our child, from our tribulation. When we we trust that God will deliver us through our present struggle, our Hope will not be disappointed.
This is a scriptural reminder that our child’s addiction is not our struggle, it is theirs. While we may experience the pain and frustration of their journey on their particular path, addiction is ultimately their journey and not yours. Recovery is their victory, not yours; and, their recovery is between God and them, and not between you and God.
This does not mean that we are not involved or impacted by their addiction. We are. This is a pointed reminder that their addiction is not our journey, or our story; it is theirs.
Each of us is on our own unique journey. While the addiction of a loved one is our tribulation, our Hope is He will deliver us from our experience in this struggle. Our Hope cannot be focused on our expectation for how God guides someone else through their own tribulation. Our Hope needs to be focused on God, that he will guide us through our tribulation according to his plan. In that, he will not disappoint.
Remember, Hope comes from God. When you are looking for guidance and strength in your difficulties, focus your Hope on God to guide you through the difficulty. When you put your Hope in God, he will not disappoint.