Substance use/dependence/addiction

Jesus came to set the captive free!

In our society today there are many people enslaved by habitual use of narcotics, stimulants or other mind influencing substances including alcohol. Some already have symptoms of physical, emotional or mental addiction.

Drug addiction is a life dominating problem and so radical changes must be made regarding associates, social atmosphere and places frequented among others. Replacement, not abstention, is the key. Find a substance free joint, a bible study, prayer group and a warm church fellowship. One good and faithful Christian friend can help in a big way. You need to keep busy and occupy your mind with new things. Learn to yield to Christ rather than substances, old friends, self-pity, guilt or fear.

How can we help the countless among us who battle with the demons of addiction?

Jesus heals drug addicts. God never gives up. Dare to believe and hope that healing is possible. We cannot afford to give up on God’s healing power. Addiction stems from the need to medicate unhealed wounds. An addict is on daily basis struggling to restore lost relationships. It is one of the most damaging conditions in families and among the youth, making life unstable and unsafe.  This causes anger among those in the life of the addict, perpetuating the cycle of substance use.

Needless to say, a lot of young people are struggling with a parent in addiction. In many homes, sons and daughters are looking for someone who can help a parent who is addicted. As Christians we need to know that God loves us for who we are and for who He wants us to become. God loves us despite our mistake because God is more concerned with our future than with our past. The love and presence of God will change our lives.

The church does not heal God does. However, the church community provides a restorative environment. The church also provides supportive ministries for people with specific needs and that is what we endeavor to do here at the All saints’ Cathedral.

What Government can do to reduce/eliminate drug addiction

  1. Invest in anti-drug/prevention education

Start early and target all across ages, class and gender, in schools, in the streets, in hospitals, in matatus, buses and trains. This will go long way in curbing the demand.

  1. Rehabilitate those addicted

With proper programs, education and support we redeem a good number. This will curb demand too.

  1. Be vigilant in border control

Illegal drugs need to be barred from crossing into our country by use of technology and well trained well paid officers. Corruption must be checked.

  1. Create jobs and reduce poverty

This can be done by promoting both internal and foreign investment and giving incentives for local manufacturing and value addition to our agricultural produce. To support this we require a better educated workforce with relevant knowledge, skills and attitudes. This will instill pride and self-worth among our people.

As a Church, All saints’ Cathedral is committed to initiate programs and interventions that:

  1. Enhance positive growth and development in our children, teens and youth by enhancing competencies such as self-awareness, self-management, social- awareness, relationship skills and responsible decision making among other life skills to help them fulfill their potential in life.
  2. Enhance parenting skills for greater parent-child bonds and increase community support for children, teens and youths as they go through developmental and other life challenges.
  3. Provide psycho-social and other support to those with special needs through counseling and scholarships for needy children.
  4. Explore ways and means of minimizing the risk factors and promoting the protective factors among our members and the wider society and sharing the same with all who care to support

ALL SAINTS’ CATHEDRAL, NAIROBI

Theme: Celebrating God’s Faithfulness (Deut. 4:9)

Topic: Drugs & Substance Abuse: Jesus is the Solution

Date: 25th June 2017

Readings:  Jeremiah 29:1-14; James 4:1-12

Our parting shot last week was that the negative effects of drugs and substance abuse are very real and evident in our country. Whether it is the numerous youths in the coast that have been rendered useless by drugs or the cry of aging mothers in central Kenya to the authorities to rid their neighborhoods of alcohol dens so that their sons and daughters can get back home to nurture healthy families or the numerous households across the country that can only dream of what it would mean to have sober and stable mothers and fathers that can give them a good start in life, not to mention Christian parents who are continuously on their knees seeking for God’s intervention in their daughters’ and sons’ lives that present a bleak future.

Occasional campaigns may not come close to capturing the plight of the many lives that are languishing in sickness and evil as a result of drugs. While in the meantime, suspected drug barons are often held as heroes. Time is long overdue to present the people who infiltrate our schools, institutions and neighborhoods with drugs as enemies of the state. For indeed they are; they are literally destroying the future of our nation and citizenry.

While the children of Israel were in captivity in Babylon, through the prophet Jeremiah, God helped them understand that though they were not in perfect circumstances, – and there never are perfect circumstances,- they could not afford to assume a victim mentality by folding their arms in helplessness. God called them to engage in an active and productive life (Jer. 29:5-6), to help them understand that there still were things that were in their power to do. They had an excuse to languish in poverty because of the mere fact that they were refugees. And refugees they were, but the God they trusted in was not a refugee or a victim of circumstances, He could still break through their real situations and bring good in bad circumstances.

Paul had learnt well and adopted the same mentality. Though in chains, he said that the word of God for which He was suffering was not in chains (2 Tim. 2:9). He is credited to have written four epistles from prison and they continue to nourish our hearts to date. He goes down in history termed as the greatest Christian in history who said about himself in 2 Corinthians 11:23 that “…I have worked harder, been in prison more frequently, been flogged more severely, and been exposed to death again and again”, and yet we see him to have left considerable impact in Christian history.

Abraham Lincoln is quoted to have said that the best way to predict the future is to create it. With the help of God, we can create a future that is drug free, if as a society we make a decision to do what needs to be done to make that happen. The often repeated quote says that “the only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing”. God desires to see and do good in society, but He works through people who fear Him and are willing to be His conscience, His hands and feet in society. In moments of despair and oppression, God expects that there will be people who trust Him enough to make a change. Jesus came into a community that was desperate and oppressed and declared His mission: “the Spirit of God is on me, because He has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favour (Luke 4:18-19). The Spirit of God desires to work in and through us in order that we demonstrate a living faith. One that is active and able to effect God’s will in our everyday life. If indeed we believe that God offers a solution to the drugs and substance menace in our society then we should be willing to partner with Him in order to actualize that solution.

Hymn:  Father I Place Into Your Hands  

Study Questions: Jeremiah 29:1-14 – Pray that God would cause you to see wonderful things in His Word

  1. Identify from v 1-3 who Jeremiah sent with a letter and who it was meant to reach.
  2. Do you see any contradiction between what is mentioned in v. 1 and what is mentioned in v. 4 about who had carried the people into exile? Give reasons for your answer.
  3. Read v. 5-14 alongside Jeremiah 24:3-7. What does this tell about the character of God and about those who put their trust in Him?
  4. Identify the actions that those in exile were asked to take in v. 5-14. What would it mean if they failed to take action?
  5. What would it mean if they decided to take action and would it matter whether they were exiles or free?
  6. Looking at the situation/environment you are in, what kind of action do you think your faith in God would require you to take?
  7. Would you say that you have a living faith or a dead faith as informed by James 2:14-26? Give reasons for your answer.

 

Prayer: Almighty God, we are very grateful for Your loving kindness. Thank You for Your promises that enables us to have hope in You even in the midst of difficult circumstances. We pray that we will take a hold of Your promises that we may act according to Your will and not in the limitation of our circumstances. Give us a heart that will perceive Your will and ears that will hear what You would have us do and move us to action by Your Spirit. In Christ’s Name we pray. Amen.