How did you get here? When will it end? Addiction is a powerful thing. It’s all-consuming and makes you feel like you have no control. It might come in the form of alcohol, drugs, gambling, pornography, an eating disorder or some other unhealthy behavior. It affects you physically, emotionally, socially and spiritually.

Whatever you’re bound to, there’s help. You don’t have to feel ashamed, broken or empty. God promises us in the Bible, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28). He longs to set you free and give you new life in His Son, Jesus Christ. When you are weak, He is strong, and offers real, lasting hope.

Christ was also tempted (Hebrews 4:15) and knows what you’re going through. When you trust in Him, you can be confident that He will help you break every chain that binds you.

Here are some steps to help you break free from your addiction:

— If you’ve never thought about what it means to find satisfaction and purpose in a relationship with Jesus Christ, do so now. (See PeaceWithGod.net for more.) If you have already given your life to Christ, make Him top priority.

— Admit responsibility. No matter what your situation, at some point you decided to drink, take drugs, look at pornography, etc. You are accountable for your decisions.

— Cut ties to friends and places connected with your addiction. This will help lessen temptation and make it easier to experience recovery. The Bible says, “Walk with the wise and become wise, for a companion of fools suffers harm” (Proverbs 13:20).

— Ask God for strength to help you overcome your addiction. Everyone struggles with temptation, but as 1 Corinthians 10:13 says, “God is faithful; He will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, He will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.”

— Don’t be surprised if your family or friends doubt a successful recovery. If this addiction has dominated your life, they have likely dealt with broken promises and disappointment. Give them time to see the new you.

— Remember that being a Christian isn’t about perfection. You might fall back into your old ways, but as soon as you do, ask for God’s forgiveness and ask Him to cleanse you of your addiction. 1 John 1:9 says, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.”

— Read and study God’s Word, the Bible. Get involved in a Bible-believing church and establish healthy friendships. The Bible says, “If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up” (Ecclesiastes 4:10).

— It’s often necessary to deal with the underlying causes of addiction to overcome it. Seek further counseling from a pastor, Christian counselor, or a local clinic or resource.

No one can promise an easy road to recovery, but Christ will walk with you and offers a firm foundation to stand on. Remember, “with God nothing will be impossible” (Luke 1:37, NKJV).