New Orleans, LA
I was once addicted to the villainous drug crack cocaine. My story is not unique, but it is inspiring. I have been a professor of faith for most of my life. Before you inquire about my credentials, let me explain. I don’t mean professor as in “teacher,” but professor as in “squatter.” Most of my life, I have been trying to occupy something that I had never fully possessed, namely, faith. You see, my trust was in God long before I used drugs. To this day, I cannot tell you what happened to cause me to become an addict, all I know is, it happened to me. After a lifetime of serving God, somehow, I became a crack cocaine addict.
I grew up in the church. Born with a talent for music, I started playing the organ for local churches at the early age of eight-years-old, and I cultivated strong confidence in God early in life. From the time I was five until I was eighteen-years-old, I can’t remember ever missing a church service. The year of my nineteenth birthday, I started playing keyboards in a local, but popular rhythm and blues band.
When you’re young, life is all about having fun, and I was indeed having a lot of fun. Playing in an R&B band exposed me to the “nightlife” which also led me to deviate from the church, at which time I started to dibble and dabble with all kinds of drugs. At first, it was marijuana, then pills, and before long I was using cocaine. All the while, I still attended church, although not as often.
When I got married, my infrequent music revenue was not adequate to raise a family. So I left the band and found a job. I have always had confidence in God, however, I didn’t know how to implement my faith. When my first child was born, I renewed my faith; I got heavily involved in the church, full force. A few years later, my pastor inspired me to begin a cell ministry in my home, where I faithfully worshipped God and held Bible studies every Tuesday.
About seven years into my marriage, I slipped back into drug use. This time cocaine was my choice drug. Soon after, I learned to cook cocaine, converting it into a rocky substance called crack. That was the beginning of a life of trouble. I had become a slave to the drug; crack cocaine was now my master.
My wife threatened to leave if I didn’t get control of my addiction. Nevertheless, I still remained confident that God would deliver me. But my wife insisted that I seek help. I wanted to save my marriage, so I enrolled int the Narcotics Anonymous Twelve Step Program. I completed the required thirty-day classes and I went home drug-free. Fifteen days later, I was once again smoking crack.
My crack-smoking eventually led to my wife divorcing me. I lost my family, my possessions, and everything that was dear to me. Life had become challenging, and I was near depression.
My parents taught me that faith believes, so I understood the principle of faith. In my heart, I believed God would liberate me so I continued to pray that God would soon rescue me from this evil that had come upon me.
One day I opened my Bible and my eyes fell on this scripture: “So then faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God” (Romans 10:17). “I don’t go to church anymore,” I said to myself, so how can I hear the word of God? Then I thought to read the word aloud to myself. The Bible was now my best friend. I read the word to myself. The word of God came out of my mouth and went back into my ears. Alas, I was hearing the word of God.
I still craved crack, and I got high whenever the opportunity presented itself. But for the next two years, I mostly stayed to myself, reading the Bible aloud, quoting scriptures, and praying.
Believing Faith Speaks
After two years of practically being alone with God, my craving for crack cocaine was gone. My confidence in God rewarded me with freedom. I learned that believing faith speaks. No longer did I profess faith, I now possessed it.
Faith is having confidence in the things we hope for. Although they are not visible to our physical eyes, we believe that God is working our hope into physical existence. It is the bridge that links us to the spiritual realm and makes God a touchable reality.
When we trust God it guarantees that God’s promises and Biblical revelations are true. We cannot detect these revelations and promises with our physical senses. However, by trusting God, we have the certitude that our expectations will come to pass. Faith is the tangible quintessence that the things we hope for become so concrete that even belief itself becomes a definitive reality of those things that are not yet visible. Your faith becomes so tangible that you actually believe you possess those things in the spiritual realm.