The Life Recovery Bible: Overcome Addiction, Anxiety, & Depression
Medically reviewed byIsaac Alexis, M.D., AAMA, AMP-BC
January 30, 2019
The Life Recovery Bible was created as not only an accompaniment to treatment, but as a tool used with an individual’s pursuit of a sober and spiritually-centered life.
Digging Deeper: How To Use The Life Recovery Bible
Faith and recovery are both very personal experiences. Now that you have your Life Recovery Bible you’re probably eager to get started. However, now that you’re holding it in your hands, you might find that you’re a bit intimidated by its size and small print. This is understandable; after all, addiction often has some accompanying emotional problems, so you may be feeling overwhelmed to begin with.
For many people, even those outside of recovery, reading and interpreting the Bible can be a challenging task. It is these very concerns which have shaped The Live Recovery Bible. Within the pages of this user-friendly recovery-focused Bible, scripture perfectly complements important twelve-step principles.
How Do I Use A Bible?
The Life Recovery Bible is a New Living Translation of the Judeo-Christian sacred Biblical text. In the very beginning of this Bible, you will find all the books it contains organized both sequentially and alphabetically. These are followed with page numbers, making for quick reference. Before we proceed further, we will spend a little time explaining how the Bible is set up.
This Bible contains 66 books, each of which contain chapters. Every chapter is further broken down into verses. This is why when you see a certain Bible passage, you see three pieces of information represented. Together, these three things give you an exact location of a specific verse or passage within the Bible.
James 5: 13-14 represents James [the book within the Bible] 5 [the chapter in the Bible]: 13-15 [the verses, also termed “passage”]
Now to find this passage:
Again, if you’re uncertain where James is, you can access the book’s page number in the beginning of the Bible. Once you’re there, scan the text until you find the correct chapter, written out as “CHAPTER 5.” Now, to find the verse, you need to look for a small number to the upper left of each verse; this is called a superscript. In the following example, the first superscript is 13, which means it is verse 13. Look closely, the superscript verse number isn’t always located at the beginning of the column—sometimes a verse begins in the middle of a column.
We’ll use James 5:13-14 as an example:
The Power of Prayer
13 Are any of you suffering hardships? You
should pray. Are any of you happy? You
should sing praises. 14 Are any of you sick?…
15 Such a prayer offered in faith will heal the sick,
and the Lord will make you well. And if you have
committed any sins, you will be forgiven.
You will also see that each chapter is further broken down into what are referred to as subheadings or section headings, which is the area in bold in the example. These give you a basic idea of what that section of the chapter is about, making it easier to find a specific theme or Biblical event.
What’s The Best Way To Read The Life Recovery Bible?
This Bible is unique in the fact that it can be used in more way than one. First, you can read its individual books from beginning to end, starting with Genesis. In this instance, you would begin with the Old Testament and progress to the New Testament. In doing so, you will encounter all the tools it offers, however, not necessarily in the most intentional way.
If you have specific needs or struggles within your recovery, there is a second way you can use this book. Recovery and the Bible can both be complicated. The Life Recovery Bible is essentially a study guide. This means that you can use it to study a certain subject that is important or challenging to you.
This version of the book makes it easy to cross reference what you’re studying so that you can more easily see the big picture. What this means is that if you want to learn more about a certain topic, you will typically find multiple resources on it which link to related topics. This way you can broaden your search, should you choose. We’ll explain more about this later.
Why Is The Life Recovery Bible Good For Recovery?
What makes this Bible exceptional for recovery is that these concepts often link to another—just like the way feelings, thoughts, and behaviors in recovery are often linked to one another. Here’s an example: maybe you’re feeling anxious or depressed and blame yourself for the adverse affects your addiction created. You could look up “blame,” as a search term, then be directed to forgiveness, restoration, reconciliation, and then relationships. Think about this a minute.
One of the biggest goals of recovery is to overcome negative mindsets like blame and replace them with positive ones (like forgiveness) so that you can experience better health, wellness, and stability (three things that are restorative).
Now think of it this way—this Bible was created to follow the Twelve Steps. Let’s take this example further and frame it within the Steps. Again, you start with the negative (blame) and progress to learn about restoration (Step Two), reconciliation (Steps Eight and Nine), and areas pertaining to relationships (Steps Eight, Nine, and Twelve).
Now you can see how this process closely mirrors the progression of the Twelve Steps. In order to protect your sobriety and find emotional, mental, and spiritual freedom, you must work towards repairing the wrongs you made while using drugs or alcohol. Not only do these steps protect your sobriety, but they aid you in cultivating a more positive mental state. In doing so, you can better protect yourself from risk factors for depression, anxiety, and/or other mental health disorders.
Is This A Personal Or A Group Tool?
Just like a faith-guided recovery, a healthy balance between an individual focus and fellowship can be vastly beneficial. This is not to say that you can’t use this Bible only by yourself; however, we encourage you to share what you’re learning with others who read and study The Life Recovery Bible.
Not only will this offer you positive and faith-based companionship and accountability, but a time to pray and lift each other up in the name of the Lord. This Christ-centered approach can be immensely useful within a relapse prevention plan. Peer-support is critical within a solid recovery.
Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 is a great passage that tells you why:
“9 Two people are better off than one, for they can help each other succeed. 10 If one person falls, the other can reach out and help. But someone who falls alone is in real trouble….12 A person standing alone can be attacked and defeated, but two can stand back-to-back and conquer….”
There is power and hope in these words.
You can do this two ways—find a recovery group that studies this Bible. Or, if you prefer something a little more informal, get together with some close friends or peers from church or your twelve-step group. If you haven’t taken part in a twelve-step program, it might be a good time to consider one. These groups will help you put these life-changing principles to practice.
Recovery Bible Study Guide Tips
Here are some beneficial practices you can do individually or in a group study:
Set Aside A Specific Time Of Day For Your Study
Structure is important in recovery. If you’re studying the Bible alone, reach out and ask someone close to you to help you adhere to this time. If you’re studying with others, help each other keep this commitment.
Hebrews 10:24-25 instructs us of this importance: “Let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works. And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another….”
This verse echoes the importance of Step Twelve. Also, don’t forget—on top of this, you can pray or read your Bible anytime you need a boost or desire to feel closer to God.
God’s Word Is Sustenance
By definition, sustenance can mean food and/or something “that gives support, endurance, or strength.” Just as our physical bodies need nourishment, so do our spiritual selves. The Word of God can sustain us by this nourishment. Within the Bible, it is common to hear references to God’s word being eaten. While this may sound strange, look to the definition and consider the importance of those characteristics within your recovery and spiritual life.
In 1 Timothy 4:9, Timothy is told “you will be a worthy servant of Christ Jesus, one who is nourished by the message of faith and the good teachings you have followed.”
Not only does this message positively challenge the feelings of unworthiness that many individuals in recovery feel, but it shows us if we adhere to God’s message and the teachings within the Bible, we can obtain that worthiness. For a person in recovery, this can be very empowering.
But sometimes, like food, it takes a little time to digest. Don’t rush things. Read something and give it time to settle in. Memorizing a verse or passage is an excellent tool to help these processes. Additionally, if you memorize Scripture, you can draw upon it when things are tough—for instance, should you face a relapse trigger.
Don’t Just Read It—Speak It
The Word of God is a powerful tool. Open up and share these words to those within your life who support you in this way, especially those who are also in recovery. If you don’t have anyone like this in your life, consider looking into a church or a support group to meet people who you can share these words with.
Consider these verses:
- Proverbs 10:11: “The words of the godly are a life-giving fountain….”
- 1 Thessalonians 4:18: “So encourage each other with these words.”
Together these verses become very powerful, and from them we can infer that sharing God’s word with other believers can invigorate your life and recovery.
Don’t Forget The Importance Of Fellowship
Here’s another word you hear a lot—fellowship. Fellowship by definition refers to the relationship between friendly individuals who share the same interests, goals, feelings, or experiences.
Within church, or Christ-centered activities such as a recovery-based bible study, it would refer to a group of people who support each other’s faith-based recovery goals. These don’t have to be other people in your peer group; other individuals within your church can also fill this important role.
Romans 1:12 shows us how important it is to support each other: “When we get together, I want to encourage you in your faith, but I also want to be encouraged by yours.”
Don’t forget—your peers are not just helping you—you can help them too. Fellowship can offer you purpose and fulfillment within God’s love.
Edify Each Other
You often hear the word edify in Church, but what does it mean? In short, to edify is to build up or strengthen each other. An addiction may have made you feel weak, helpless, or broken down. Spending time with people who support and understand your struggles and goals can fortify your recovery to rebuild a better life.
Colossians 2:2-4 is a powerful passage which speaks of this:
2 I want them to be encouraged and knit together by ties of strong love. I want them to have complete confidence that they understand God’s mysterious plan, which is Christ himself. 3 In him lie hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. 4 I am telling you this so on one will deceive you will well-crafted arguments.
In short, this passage speaks to a person in recovery by telling them that fellowship can build them up, give them confidence, and help them to better understand God’s purpose for their life. The last verse is especially fitting to a person in recovery.
Sometimes a person from your past might try to tempt you back into substance abuse. Or, it could even be your own inner battle. Many in recovery often contend with negative thoughts and try to justify why using their drug of abuse “just one time” isn’t such a bad idea. It is. Being surrounded by individuals who can remind you of this and direct you to God’s Word is a powerful tool for relapse prevention. Take note of the following section, on “The Twelve Missteps Of Life Recovery;” these “missteps” provide some great examples of the inner battles we speak of.
Help Each Other Learn
Even with the help of a great tool like The Life Recovery Bible, certain parts of the Bible may still seem confusing or even overwhelming. This is why it’s important to seek fellowship with people who can edify you.
Colossians 3:16 is a powerful reminder of this: “Let the message about Christ, in all its richness, fill your lives. Teach and counsel each other with all the wisdom he gives.”
To do this, you can share things you’ve learned, discuss concepts or passages you don’t understand, and pray together for better understanding and the Lord’s continued guidance.
As simple as this might seem, prayer should be the axis of both your recovery and your Bible study. You can pray alone and alongside those with whom you study. In fact, this is not only a great way to begin and end your day, but the best way to start your Bible study. Here’s a prayer you can ground your study on:
“Lord, I welcome you into my heart. I pray the Holy Spirit lead me as I study Your Word and take it with me into my day. Grant me humbleness and the ability to accept your Truth and the courage to change. Give me strength to persevere and hope to guide me. Thank you for your many gifts. Amen.”
When you pray at day’s end, try to integrate what you learned into your bible study that day. Express your thanks to God and ask for his continued enlightenment and strength as you strive to utilize what you learned in His Word.
Now that we’ve established how to read the Bible, the importance of doing so, and how to integrate this study into your life, we’re going to expand on exactly how to use The Life Recovery Bible.
Get treatment when
and how you need it.
What Are The Life Recovery Bible’s Twelve Steps?
The Life Recovery Bible lists both The Twelve Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous and a version adapted for this Bible. Here are the Life Recovery Bible’s Twelve Steps:
- We admitted that were were powerless over our problems—that our lives had become unmanageable.
- We came to believe that a power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.
- We made a decision to turn our wills and our lives over to the care of God.
- We made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.
- We admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.
- We were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.
- We humbly asked God to remove our shortcomings.
- We made a list of all persons we had harmed and became willing to make amends to them all.
- We made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.
- We continued to take personal inventory, and when we were wrong, promptly admitted it.
- We sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out.
- Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to others and to practice these principles in all our affairs.
If you’re not familiar with Alcoholics Anonymous Twelve Steps, these are very similar, embodying all the same critical components.
How Do The Twelve Steps Relate To The Life Recovery Bible?
The following four sections provide a bridge between The Twelve Steps and the Bible. In each of these, unless otherwise noted, all Bible passages are followed by the corresponding verse and page number, so that you can learn more, should you choose.
The Twelve Steps And Scripture
While many individuals realize The Twelve Steps are Biblically-based, not everyone may know exactly how they connect to specific Scriptures. This tool helps you to better understand this.
Each step is written out and linked with two to four passages of Scripture. These passages validate the important concepts within each step. One of the passages is supported by an excerpt. This is a great starting place for you if you’re just starting out within The Steps, or if you’d simply like to refresh your understanding of them.
To do this, you simply access this section, choose a step, read the excerpt, and pick a passage to study further. These passages do not include page numbers, so if you do want to read them, simply look up the page number of the book and proceed from there by finding the correct chapter and verse(s).
Here’s an example:
STEP 2: “We came to believe that a power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.”
“God is working in you giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases him” (Philippians 2:13; see also Romans 4:6-8; Ephesians 1: 6-8; Colossians 1:121-22: Hebrews 11:1-10).
The Twelve Laws Of Life Recovery
Sometimes it can be very difficult and even scary to give up control and relinquish it to God. This tool focuses on the “irrefutable truths that you will discover in yourself as you experience recovery while following the Twelve Steps… the laws of life recovery often give back what they initially seemed to take away.”
Each step has a clear, concise law written in bold, with the positive outcome in capital letters. This is followed by a brief explanation of the law’s role within recovery. A bible passage follows, cementing these life-changing affirmations with God’s Word.
- Powerlessness will result in STRENGTH.
- Humility will result in HONOR.
- Connection will result in LOVE.
- Willingness will result in GROWTH.
- Sacrifice will result in FULFILLMENT.
- Faith will result in HOPE.
- Surrender will result in VICTORY.
- Service will result in REWARD.
- Forgiveness results in FREEDOM.
- Confession will result in HEALING.
- Restitution will result in CLOSURE.
- Responsibility will result in SECURITY.
These laws illustrate how in giving up control, you are ultimately investing in your recovery. In doing so, you grant yourself the opportunity to receive a life-changing return.
The Twelve Missteps Of Life Recovery
Within recovery, many individuals—even those who are striving to follow God’s will—often fall prey to negative mindsets or perceptions which damage their recovery. This section outlines some of the more common trains of thought which could become damaging to your sobriety if left unchecked. Each “misstep” is followed by a powerful and positive counterpoint, supported by a pertinent passage.
- “I can quit tomorrow.”
- “I can handle it by just trying harder or having more willpower.”
- “Turning my life over to Christ is the only step I need.”
- “Twelve-step groups that don’t talk about Jesus aren’t worth my time.”
- “While recovery might be good for some, it just isn’t right for me.”
- “If I follow the Bible, I don’t really need to work the Twelve Steps.”
- “Since I’m accountable to God, I don’t need a sponsor.”
- “Since God has forgiven me, I don’t need to go back to rehash what I’ve done.”
- “Since Jesus would want me to help my old friends, I don’t need to change where I go or whom I hang out with.”
- “Though I can forgive most things, some things are just beyond forgiveness.”
- “Since I’m involved in recovery, I don’t need additional counseling or medication.”
- “After making good progress in my recovery, I can start using again in moderation.”
By being conscious of these thoughts, you can work towards better avoiding these missteps or coping with them should they arise.
The Twelve Gifts Of Life Recovery
A successful recovery can bring not only sobriety, but also a more positive and fulfilling life. Here you’ll find twelve potential “gifts” or positive outcomes. These could occur as you overcome the damaging behaviors of addiction and move into a new and sober life informed by the Word of God. Each gift is followed by one to two passages of Scripture.
These provide you with examples of positive goals or mindsets which you can integrate into your recovery plan.
Breaking It Down
As recovery is a journey, a person’s experiences and needs may change. If you take a minute and look at your recovery, chances are, what you’re facing now is in some way different from your life a year, a month, or even a week ago. On the other hand, in certain cases you might still be struggling with the same things. This is normal. Maybe you need a renewed approach. The Life Recovery Bible gives countless options of recovery-based biblical principles to address these needs in a new and spiritual light.
A newly recovered person faces different concerns than an individual in recovery for 20 years. However, at the same time, there are many facets of recovery which are consistent throughout. The following materials make it easier to understand each book in relation to these circumstances. This way, you can better ensure that the Scripture you study is relevant to your unique recovery needs.
Understanding The Basics
Each book of the bible is enhanced by several useful and easy-to-use features and is preceded by the following:
- Book Introductions—offer a basic explanation of the book’s content and themes with an emphasis on how these elements are integrated into recovery.
- The Big Picture—is located vertically down the lefthand side of the page and presents a simple and concise outline of the book’s subject matter.
- The Bottom Line—is located at the bottom of the page, beneath a horizontal line. This section presents a historical context for the book. To do this, it briefly outlines the following focal points: purpose, author, audience, date written, settings, key verse, and key people and relationships.
In addition, each book is introduced by Recovery Themes, which we will discuss in greater depth to come.
Recovery Reflections follow certain books. These sections offer you a collection of insights on certain critical themes, stories, or events within the book. Each is supported by a discussion of the topic, marked by the corresponding passage.
As not every book contains these, the easiest way to access this information is through the “Index to Recovery Reflections,” in the back of the book. The index lists each insight so that you may choose what is most relevant to you. We will discuss this in greater detail in a moment.
You will see each reflection in bold followed by the corresponding insights. Here’s an example so you know what you’re looking for.
Reflections on 2 CORINTHIANS……….1495
Insights about Prayer
Insights about Restoring Relationships
Insights for Survival During Tough Times
Insights about Sharing The Good News
Insights about Confrontation
While some insights may highlight a story or individual who portrays important recovery principles, others are more conceptual. These concise descriptions make it easy to decide which reflection might grant you insight within your life.
Putting The Word Of God Into Your Recovery
The Life Recovery Bible is an excellent resource for information, guidance, support, coping skills, and examples of Godly men and women. But without the proper understanding of how to access and implement these tools or lessons, you might feel removed from the Lord’s message. In order to better link your life with these components, this Bible integrates numerous features to help you connect to the Word.
To better help you understand these resources, we will connect and utilize each element within the study of several recovery concepts. This way you can see how The Life Recovery Bible works. Keep in mind, this is just an example. This Bible is a very dynamic recovery tool which can can be studied in a variety of approaches.
Topical Bible Verse Finder
The Topical Bible Verse Finder is a great tool for a person looking to connect their day-to-day life to the spiritual direction set forth by God’s Word. These topics vary, and include circumstances you may struggle with with internally or as you encounter loved ones and various situations within your life and even positive concepts you may aspire to. Examples include: abuse, courage, decisions, dishonesty, guilt, forgiveness, and responsibility. Each topic is then followed by brief summaries of relevant passages.
As an example:
Perhaps you’re finding it difficult to adjust to a sober life and feel very overwhelmed. If you look for “stress,” a common trigger for substance abuse and relapse, and a state of mind often linked to anxiety and depression, you will see several examples listed and summarized.
- Psalm 62:1-8: “God is a refuge in times of stress.” This summary appears to be more general.
- Exodus 18:13-26: “Delegating work can alleviate stress.” This summary appears to relate to stress which could be related to job or vocational responsibilities.
Hypothetically, though they could both be potentially helpful, the first appears more applicable to your situation. You now search for the page number listed after the example and find the correct passage. Once there, you find that verses five through eight really speak to you:
5 Let all that I am wait quietly before God,
for my hope is in him.
6 He alone is my rock and my salvation,
my fortress where I will not be shaken.
7 My victory and honor come for God
He is my refuge, a rock where no enemy
can reach me.
8 O my people, trust in him at all times.
Pour out your heart to him,
for God is our refuge.
After you spend a little time contemplating these verses, one word really stands out to you: trust. Trust may be foundational within The Twelve Steps, but it can be intimidating to give up control. As you consider this struggle within your life, you realize you might understand what trust is, however, you’re not really sure how embrace it. This is a good time to utilize the index to find out more information on how trust can combat stress and other recovery struggles.
Life Recovery Topical Index
Perhaps you’d like to connect a variety of these tools to one subject or study, such as trust. This index helps you to navigate or cross-reference your way through this Bible. This index provides a starting point for locating recovery-related devotionals, notes, profiles, and recovery themes. It also makes it easier to return to a section you found particularly helpful.
Topics range greatly, including: emotional and mental states, both positive and negative; relationship- and family-related subjects; substance abuse, and many other scenarios within life. For instance, you could choose to look up: amends, anger, blame, depression, fellowship, joy, marriage, mentors, obstacles, or relapse, to name a small selection.
Here, we will continue to study the concept of trust. After searching for trust within the index, you find the word followed by a section of information directing you to recovery resources.
For example, trust is followed by:
- Notes—will be followed by numerous Bible passages (e.g. Isaiah 49: 8-12)
- Profiles—will list the name of the person (e.g. Mary Magdalene)
- Twelve Step Devotionals—will list which step and how the topic is addressed in connection to it (e.g. Step 2—Internal Bondage)
- Recovery Principle Devotionals—lists a principle to study (e.g faith or honesty)
- Recovery Themes—include the books of the Bible where this topic may be found (e.g. Job)
Not every word is linked to every resource, for instance, you will note that Serenity Prayer Devotional was not listed. We will discuss and explain these features in greater depth shortly.
Putting The Index To Practice
If you want to expand your search on a specific topic and study it in greater depth, each topic is followed by related concepts or issues. For instance, should you desire to further meditate on trust, you would see “see also Doubt, Faith” in parentheses. You now have a choice—you can continue to read about trust, or you can study either or both of these concepts.
Before we continue our study on trust, we’re going to discuss this a little further. If you look back to the words in the parentheses, note that the first is an antonym (a word with an opposite meaning) and the second is a synonym (a word with the same or similar meaning).
With trust, you started with a positive concept. In parentheses you see “faith,” a word that will allow you to continue studying positive topics and information similar to trust. But what if you want to begin with a negative state that you are struggling with?
Within substance abuse and addiction, and throughout recovery, an individual may frequently battle a host of negative mindsets, feelings, and actions. Sometimes, a person may wish to look for verses and resources connected to these things as a way to overcome them.
To understand this, let’s go back to our initial search for stress and take a momentary break from our study on trust. Stress can dominate a person’s life with negativity, oppressing them in such a way that they don’t feel independent from the effects of substance abuse. On this subject, if you look up “bondage,” you would be directed to an opposite and positive state—“freedom.”
Once you continue to this topic, you will have at your fingertips even more Bible verses and recovery resources to discover. These can help a person to transition more smoothly from the negative behaviors, emotions, and thoughts associated with a life of substance abusing, to those which are positive.
Making The Recovery Connection Within The Life Recovery Bible
Maybe you’re just starting out on the path towards sobriety and looking for a little inspiration and framework on which to build your recovery. Or, perhaps you’ve put in the time, having been through detox and treatment, and now you want to invest in your recovery to protect what you’ve fought so hard to gain. Either way, The Life Recovery Bible offers a wide spectrum of recovery-based perspectives on what you’re reading.
Again, these features are all easily found within the “Life Recovery Topical Index.” We will now return to our example and study on trust, beginning again at this index.
In its entirety, the Bible can seem overwhelming. Even as you’re reading a specific chapter or verse, you may still struggle to fully grasp recovery-related concepts. To improve this experience, The Life Recovery Bible contains countless notes interspersed throughout the text. Each note draws your attention to and better explains recovery-related concepts and passages. These notes are at the bottom of each page beneath a horizontal line, excluding only the pages which contain a devotional or recovery profile.
Within the “Life Recovery Topical Index,” there are 57 passages containing trust-related notes. Select a passage from the list and proceed to finding it within the Bible. Sometimes it may take a few tries to find one that really speaks to you, but don’t get discouraged. Remember, even then, you are still learning important Biblical principles.
We search for Isaiah 48: 12-17, a passage which could be perplexing. We will use it to illustrate how the The Life Recovery Bible can clarify more complex passages. It reads:
12 “Listen to me, O family of Jacob,
Israel my chosen one!
I alone am God,
the First and the Last.
13 It was my hand that laid the foundations
of the earth,
my right hand that spread out the
When I call out the stars,
they all appear in order.”
14 Have any of your idols ever told you this?
Come, all of you, and listen:
The LORD has chosen Cyrus as his ally.
He will use him to put an end to the
empire of Babylon
and destroy the Babylonian armies.
15 “I have said it: I am calling Cyrus!
I will send him on this errand and will
help him succeed.
16 Come closer, and listen to this.
From the beginning I have told you
plainly what would happen.”
And now the Sovereign LORD and his
have sent me with this message.
17 This is what the LORD says—
your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel:
“I am the LORD your God,
who teaches you what is good for you
and leads you along the paths you
In reading this, it could be easy to become confused. While it is fairly clear that the Lord teaches and leads you, the remainder of the passages may not be so easy to interpret. This is where the Recovery Notes come in. Within the note at the foot of the page, you will find further clarification of this passage as follows:
Amidst the uncertainties and turmoils of life, we can derive comfort from knowing who God is. He is the God of the past, who knows all of the troubles and pain we have experienced. He is the God of the future, who knows what lies ahead of us, and he can be trusted to guide us along the right path. He is the Creator, who has power over all his creation and sovereignty over all history. We can surely trust a God this powerful to see us through to complete recovery.
Now you can better see how the Recovery Notes shape the passage’s meaning into an easily understandable explanation by linking the content to recovery concepts, in this case trust.
Recovery Profiles illustrate the lives of sixty pivotal Biblical persons and relationships. Within this in-depth portrayal, important recovery lessons surface, enhancing your understanding of a faith-based life. Each profile includes several paragraphs which discuss the individual(s), accompanied by four categories of crucial points. These are designed to help you draw comparisons from the text to your experiences within recovery.
You may utilize the recovery profiles standing alone, or for a more enhanced perspective, you can read them along with the pertinent passages. You can use the general index, or this resource has its own. The “Index to Recovery Profiles” is also located at the back of the book. If you desire to use the latter, you simply look up the name of the person(s).
In keeping with our study of trust, we again look to the “Life Recovery Topical Index” under trust and see four profiles listed. We select “Thomas” and proceed to the appropriate page and read the profile.
Thomas’ profile opens with the words “Although distrust or wavering faith is a reality for most of us….” Right off the bat we know that this profile is going to be about faith. After you read the profile, look over the key concepts located vertically along the right side of the page. Each of these is followed by bulleted, important points. Take pause with each one to consider not only the role they had within Thomas’ story, but within your own.
These key concepts include (followed in the Bible by an example of a bulleted point):
- Strengths And Accomplishments: “He was willing to admit his mistake.” This is a main tenant of The Twelve Steps, specifically Step Five. This simple statement about Thomas’ life affirms the importance of it, further grounding you within The Steps.
- Weaknesses And Mistakes: “He wanted unquestionable evidence before he was willing to believe.” Throughout a person’s quest for sobriety, and even within their recovery, an individual may struggle to commit to positive goals without a guarantee (e.g. the hope for a better life within sobriety).
- Lessons From His Life: “People from difficult family backgrounds can recover by following Jesus.” This lesson may be pertinent to many individuals in recovery. Many aspects of difficult upbringings are heavily linked to concerns of substance abuse later in life.
- Key Verse: “Then Jesus told [Thomas], ‘You believe because you have seen me. Blessed are those who believe without seeing me’” (John 20:29). This verse appears to speak of trust, and more importantly, faith. Faith seems to be a prevalent element within this profile.
If you recall, faith was one of the two words which followed trust when we first looked it up within the “Life Recovery Topical Index.” At this point, we can broaden our study by looking up faith in this index.
As previously noted, each book of the Bible is preceded by this feature. Now, to find one on faith, we turn the “Life Recovery Topical Index,” where you are met with seven choices. Selecting Hebrews, we turn to the noted page, taking us to the beginning of this book. Here we find the following themes with a brief excerpt from each:
- The Primacy of Jesus Christ: “Christ is the center of our hope and trust, and for that reason he is our only real hope for recovery.”
- God Delivers the Powerless: “…every sin can be forgiven completely—past, present, and future.”
- The Necessity of Faith: “Recovery is based on faith—our confident trust that God will help us do what we are powerless to do.”
- The Importance of Perseverance: “We need to pray for the strength to endure, because perseverance is essential to any successful recovery.”
After reading these, you’re granted a better perspective on what you’ll be reading within the book of Hebrews. Furthermore, you’ll have several new recovery-related concepts you could choose to examine in the future—forgiveness, strength, endurance, powerlessness, and perseverance. Any of these could open up a wealth of information; however, one word stands out in connection to The Twelve Steps—powerlessness. We will carry this concept into our next section on devotionals.
What Is A Life Recovery Bible Devotional?
As you continue to dig deeper into the text—and in turn your life and recovery—it’s important to take this information and ground it within your relationship and understanding of God. Devotionals are one powerful way to do this. A devotion is a dedicated time of fellowship with God and a period in which a person reflects and meditates on His Word. Accompanied by prayer and specific readings, these periods help individuals who are struggling to live faithfully within their lives.
Typically, devotions occur on a daily basis. Most commonly a person begins or ends their day with these. For an individual within recovery, these times might be optimal as they provide you with an opportunity to positively frame your day. When your recovery gets tough, or if you just need to refresh your spirit, you can even do one at each time.
In the morning, a devotional can set a spiritual and God-based tone to your day. This can ground you as you encounter thoughts and make choices which could either positively or negatively impact your sobriety. By ending your day with a devotional, you are granting yourself with an opportunity to reflect on your day. At any point, a devotional can reframe your daily pursuits within your faith. A devotional can happen at whatever point throughout the day that serves you and your lifestyle best.
The Life Recovery Bible has three distinct devotionals geared towards developing your faith in these ways. All of these are listed for quick reference within both the “Life Recovery Topical Index” and an index specific to each type of devotional (also located in the back of the Bible).
Twelve Step Devotionals
Twelve Step Devotionals consist of 84 sequential devotionals centered around The Twelve Steps. These aid you in understanding not only how The Steps connect to Scripture, but to your life.
For example, to refresh:
Step One writes that “We admitted that we were powerless over our problems—that our lives had become unmanageable.”
If you remembered that powerlessness was a component of Step One, you could go directly to the “Index to Twelve Step Devotionals,” and search under this step. If you did not recall this, you could instead search for powerless within the “Life Recovery Topical Index.” In either case, you will find the same seven devotionals relating to powerlessness and Step One.
While you can pick and choose the order by which you want to read these, each of the Twelve Step Devotionals connect to each other sequentially. If you begin reading the first devotional of Step One, you will notice that it will direct you to the next Step One devotional (e.g. Turn to page 325, Judges 16.) This continues through each of the seven. Upon finishing the seventh, you will be directed to the first Step Two devotional. If you continue in this way, you will make your way through every devotional regarding all of The Twelve Steps.
Recovery Principle Devotionals
Recovery Principle Devotionals consist of 56 devotionals which integrate and reaffirm principles which are foundational to recovery. In each you will find a different principle to meditate on. These include:
- Delayed Gratification
- Peer Pressure
As with the Twelve Step Devotionals, the Recovery Principle Devotionals are created to move in a sequential way, however you may read them in the order you please. If you choose to proceed sequentially, each devotional ends with the page number and verse of the next (e.g. Turn to page 751, Psalm 103).
For example, continuing with our study:
To refresh, when we searched powerless within the “Index to Twelve Step Devotionals,” we saw in parentheses the word “hopelessness,” a potentially debilitating state often linked to anxiety and depression. Perhaps you’d like to learn how to counter this negative state by cultivating a positive sense of hopefulness. Again, you can proceed one of two ways, through either index, but here we’ll continue focusing on this resource’s specific index to familiarize you with the process.
In the back of the Bible, locate the “Index to Recovery Principle Devotionals.” Each principle is followed by a Bible passage and page number (e.g. Hope, Psalm 42:1-11……709). A principle may appear several times within the index. After scanning through the principles, you’ll see that there are five focused on hope, including the example above. First read this passage, spending whatever time is necessary to let the message sink in. Here is an excerpt from it:
4 My heart is breaking
as I remember how it used to be…
5 Why am I discouraged?
Why is my heart so sad?
I will put my hope in God!
I will praise him again—
my Savior and 6my God!
Now I am deeply discouraged,
but I will remember you—…
8 But each day the LORD pours his unfailing
love upon me,
and through each night I sing his songs,
praying to God who gives me life.
If you’re struggling to understand portions of it, don’t forget to look for the recovery notes. Now you move to the devotional, which is located on the right hand side of the page, separated from the verse by a vertical line. Here you’ll find an excerpt of the passage you just read explained by easy-to-understand recovery-based comments.
During bad times we may get lost in our memories of the “good old days.” We may struggle with conflicting emotions, teetering between the extremes of depression and hope. The psalmist reflected on these emotions…Look how the psalmist improved his conscious contact with God. He talked to himself, commanding his emotions to “hope in God!”…In the dark times he sang songs, thought about God’s steadfast love, and prayed. We can do these things, too.
After reading this devotional, the ways in which these verses tie to recovery and the common struggles an individual faces during this period become evident. For a newly sober person, and even at times, those well into their recovery, it can be tempting to look back to the days of drug abuse. At this time a person’s emotions can be a rollercoaster and an individual may struggle to keep faith. This devotional makes clear that these things do happen; however, importance is placed on how we cope with them. It also reminds us that constantly reaffirming our faith and reminding ourselves of God’s love is crucial to making it through these bleak periods.
Serenity Prayer Devotionals
Serenity Prayer Devotionals consist of 29 devotionals based off of and developed to enhance the Serenity Prayer. Each of these open with the beginning of the prayer, as follows, to constantly refresh and center you within its focus.
“God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference…. Amen.”
Like the other two, Serenity Prayer Devotionals can also be accessed by both indexes; however, if you choose to use the “Index to Serenity Prayer Devotionals,” there is no explanation of the subject or topic covered within the devotional.
As an example, the index simply lists each in the following format: Reading 5…….Judges 7:8-25……….313
These devotionals, like the others, can be read one after another with each one containing a passage and page number which links you sequentially to the next one.
But let’s say you’d like to look up a specific concept. Imagine that after reading the last devotional the phrase “teetering between the extremes of depression and hope” really stuck in your mind. At this point we can proceed again to the “Life Recovery Topical Index.”
When we look up depression, we find there are no entries, however, in parentheses it notes to “see Discouragement.” Once there, we find a Serenity Prayer Devotional, Judges 7:8-25, which is geared towards discouragement and other negative mindsets that you may struggle with. This devotional aids you in overcoming them.
In bold to the left, you see the following:
“For those of us who have lived in bondage to addictive/compulsive behaviors, loss of self-respect is a familiar feeling. It is easy to begin to see ourselves as chronically weak, small, even hopeless.”
As you continue reading, the devotional elaborates on these feelings, putting them into context with an anecdote and verse about Gideon, an individual within this passage. It then concludes with an uplifting and positive affirmation of God’s role within our lives:
“We, too, must begin by finding the courage to see ourselves in a new light and to summon up hope for a better life. Then as God gives us the strength, we can set about pursuing freedom from the bondage that surrounds us and our family.”
After reading this devotional, you can see how you could continue this study by looking up courage, bondage, addictive behaviors (addiction), or family—all of which are listed within the index.
You can see how these numerous tools, when used together, can move you through an in-depth study of God’s Word. Not only this, but as you proceed, the Scriptures enhance and explain powerful recovery concepts which are pertinent within both your life and The Twelve Steps. These concepts can be transformative by granting you:
- Coping skills
These, and many others, can help you to overcome the emotional, mental, physical, and spiritual hurdles recovery may present, including depression and anxiety.
How Do I Stay Positive And On Track?
Addiction, and at times, recovery, can seem like a battle between the negative and positive. It can weigh heavy on your heart. Even those who practice the Lord’s Word will struggle with these things. But don’t fear—the Bible gives us instruction on this too.
It’s important not just to read His Word, but to put it into practice within our daily lives. In closing, we’ll leave you with an impactful and positive directive from Philippians 4: 6-9. This passage is a great testament to the power that lies within persistence and positive thinking, in it Paul (an apostle from the Bible) writes:
And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise. Keep putting into practice all you learned and received from me—everything you heard from me and saw me doing. Then the God of peace will be with you.
Let these words settle in and encourage you as you move forward in your treatment or recovery, nearer to alleviating your anxiety or depression, and closer to God.
The Bible isn’t for one-time use. It is an anchor and an axis—something we should always return to both in times of struggle and moments of joy. Recovery is surely a journey with many challenges, challenges which may be made easier by the power of God’s Word as witnessed in The Life Recovery Bible.
We Can Help You Find Faith-Based Treatment
While in recovery or treatment, protecting your sobriety should be your top priority, however, this isn’t always easy. For those interested in The Twelve Steps or a faith-based recovery, applying God’s Word to your individual situation can make this journey easier to bear. Additionally, if you need dual diagnosis care for anxiety or depression, we can support you in these choices. The Life Recovery Bible is a comprehensive tool to aid you in this process.
If you have any questions about inpatient drug rehab treatment or how The Life Recovery Bible could help you, let us help you. RehabCenter.net offers compassionate and expert support to help you or your loved one design and maintain a treatment or recovery plan unique to your needs. Contact us today.Article Sources
Medium-Webster - Dictionary and Thesaurus