Hurt People, Hurt People

We have no hope apart from Christ.

Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross. — Hebrews 12:1-2

In recovery we hear that “hurt people, hurt people.” We’ve all experienced this, and sometimes, we see it happen to others. It’s heartbreaking. School shootings, for example, are a grotesque display of true evil that has brought heartbreak and pain to so many lives. How are we to deal with such deep pain? Where is the hope in a tragedy such as this?

The answer is that

we have no hope apart from Christ.

Without Him, such tragedies just spawn more hurting people who go on to lash out at others in a futile effort to quench their own pain. Jesus is the only source of comfort and light capable of guiding us through our pain to a better place.

When our hearts are breaking and we have questions swirling around in our heads — questions we fear have no answers — God invites us to come and talk it out with Him. Many of the answers may be past our comprehension, but knowing the answers are safe with Him allows us to hand our questions — burdens too great for us to bear — over to Him. God cares about everything that concerns us, everything that grieves our hearts. In the midst of the darkness, He is our hope, the one we can trust.


Lord, my heart is breaking as I see hurting people hurting people all around me. Help me to leave my unanswered questions with you. In Jesus’ name, Amen.


A Picture of Redemption

If you do what is right, will not you be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must master it. — Genesis 4:7

Every once in a while God gives us the chance to witness a miracle! Recently, a leader in Celebrate Recovery shared this miracle with me: “A year ago a man walked into my office, broken, at his wit’s end, with a heart full of despair. He was angry and trying to cope with a host of substances and other unhealthy habits that were destroying his mind and hardening his heart. He was ready to abandon his wife and family. Last night I saw this man again at a Celebrate Recovery graduation service. Now, eleven months sober, he is a completely different man.

“With tears in his eyes, he accepted his 12-Step chip and then expressed his love for his wife who was sitting close by. I was humbled as I heard him talk about the restoration that had come to his marriage and how his kids are rejoicing and talking about God. He then quoted the following Bible passage, changing you to I:

‘If I do what is right, will I not be accepted? But if I do not do what is right, sin is crouching at my door; it desires to have me, but I must master it.’

“The man I met a year ago is no more. In his place, a new leader has been born. That’s what I call a true miracle — the transformation of a human life.”


Dear God of miracles, I stand in awe of what You have done in so many lives. My words cannot express Your greatness. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Excerpted with permission from Celebrate Recovery Devotional by John Baker, Johnny Baker, and Mac Owens, copyright John Baker, Johnny Baker, and Mac Owens.

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Your Turn

All around us people are in pain and people are rejoicing. There is suffering and there is joy. It’s a mix of angst and praise. Where are you today? Come share with us. ~ Devotionals Daily



John Baker is a nationally known author, speaker, and founder of Celebrate Recovery, a ministry born out of the heart of Saddleback Church in 1991. He is currently serving there as pastor of Celebrate Recovery and is one of the church’s five elders. Over the last 23 years, nearly 27,000 individuals have gone through this Christ-centered recovery program at Saddleback Church. The program is now being used in thousands of churches nationwide. Over two and half million individuals have completed the program.

Johnny Baker has been on staff at Celebrate Recovery since 2004 and has been the Pastor of Celebrate Recovery at Saddleback Church since 2012. As an adult child of an alcoholic who chose to become an alcoholic himself, Johnny is passionate about breaking the cycle of dysfunction in his family and helping other families find the tools that will lead to healing and openness. He knows that because of Jesus Christ, and by continuing to stay active in Celebrate Recovery, Maggie, Chloe, and Jimmy – his three children – will never see him drink. Johnny is a nationally recognized speaker, trainer, and teacher of Celebrate Recovery. He is a coauthor of the Celebrate Recovery Daily Devotional, Celebration Place, and The Landing, and is an associate editor of the Celebrate Recovery Study Bible. He has been married since 2000 to his wife Jeni, who serves alongside him in Celebrate Recovery. Connect at

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