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CREATION Health: Trust

“I have come that you may live life to the fullest.” These are the words of Jesus to us from John 10:10. Just how can I live life to the fullest? Especially when we live in a world so polluted by humanity and sin. The answer is simple, yet many people miss the mark. Live your life by trusting in God and following His CREATION plan. Trusting in God can lead to a life full of happiness and health. What is your choice?

Studies have shown that those who have faith in God and trust in Him can live up to 7 years longer and have a fuller life experience than those who do not. Trusting in God means that you are connected to the Vine (God) that gives life and health. Without this spiritual connection, you will be on your own. Everyone in this world will go through difficult moments in life; such as loss of loved one, cancer, divorce, bankruptcy, etc. But those who have that spiritual connection to the Vine are better equipped to handle life better in spiritual, physical, mental and emotional areas. 

Psalms 92:12 says, “The righteous shall flourish like the palm tree; he shall grow like a cedar in Lebanon.” Look at the picture above. They are huge trees with huge roots that go deep and anchor into solid rock. When we anchor ourselves to God our Rock, we are empowered with divine strength to face the challenges of life with grace and power.

There is the promise of Divine Power that many missing in life.  1 Peter 1:3 says, “His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and goodness. Through these He has given us very great and precious promises so that through them you may participate in the divine nature and escape the corruption in the world caused by desire.” 

I don’t know about you, but I would much rather be in a different place than this sin filled world.  We have this promise that we can escape from the corruption of this world.  This does not mean that we will be physically transported to another world. But rather, it means that the evil in this world will not be able to affect our hearts desire for God. His love is mightier than all the evil in this world.  So claim the promise of 1 Peter 1:3 and use that divine power!

If you want to build your trust in God, then start with Bible study and prayer.  Romans 10:17 says, “So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.”  Mornings and evenings usually work for me.  Start your day and end your day with God. That way, you will be protected by the Holy Spirit throughout your day. 

God’s primary method of transforming our lives is through His love. Dr. Bernie Siegel, Yale physician and author of the best-selling book, Love, Medicine and Miracles, affirms the power of love, by stating that, “Unconditional love is the most powerful stimulant of the immune system.  The truth is: love heals.” 

The Complete Guide to Your Emotions and Your Health published by Prevention magazine, explained it this way: “It seems something deep inside our cells responds positively when we feel love.  Love appears capable of sparking healthy biological reactions in much the same way as good food and fitness.” 

Science now confirms that those who trust in God and live a life of faith can experience powerful healing mechanisms that are not found in drugs and medicines.  In one study, love received from one’s wife was associated with reduced risk of mortality in terms of 5-year incidence of angina pectoris and duodenal cancer.

A 35-year follow-up study was performed on a group of former Harvard students who reported on the love received from their parents. Warmth and closeness scores between the students and their parents were directly related to the reduction of morbidity of several chronic diseases diagnosed in midlife, such as coronary artery disease, hypertension, duodenal cancer and alcoholism.  Those who reported a loving relationship with their parents was associated with subsequently lower rates of cancer mortality.

Faith is the top coping mechanism for dealing with stressful life events and loss. One study asked participants to describe the coping behaviors they used to deal with stressful life events.  Religious behaviors were the most popular types of behaviors used.

In another study, faith was listed as the single most effective coping strategy in dealing with loss events, especially the death of a loved one.

In a study investigating religious coping among 600 people of differing religious and socioeconomic backgrounds, 78% of the respondents stated that their religious practices helped them in coping with a significant negative life event.

High school seniors who attended church weekly and reported religion was important to them were found to be significantly more likely than their less religious peers to eat healthfully, exercise regularly, and get adequate sleep. Furthermore, they were found to be less likely than other youth to engage in high-risk behaviors and more likely to engage in behaviors that promote long-term physical well-being.

On Forgiveness
In his book, Forgive for Good: A Proven Prescription for Health and Happiness, Dr. Fredrick Luskin writes, “The practice of forgiveness has been shown to reduce anger, hurt, depression, and stress and leads to greater feelings of hope, peace, compassion and self confidence.” Luskin served as the Director of the Stanford Forgiveness Project, the largest research project to date on the training and measurement of a forgiveness intervention. 

Forgiveness has been shown to impact the body’s stress response. One study revealed a correlation between reviewing hurtful memories and measures of the stress response (EMG, heart rate, blood pressure). When subjects were encouraged to think forgiving thoughts, the stress response was diminished. 

On Healing
Researchers found that a connection to God and resources of spiritual coping contribute to a patient’s ability to deal with surgery or chronic or serious medical illness. For example, spiritual coping enhanced pain management in rheumatoid arthritis patients.

In a study of gynecological cancer patients, spiritual coping provided a sense of self-worth and helped sustain patients’ hopes.

Patients diagnosed with the HIV infection had reduced anxiety through positive spiritual coping.

Spiritual/religious involvement consistently predicts lower risk of alcohol and drug abuse. Eighty-six studies that examined spiritual/religious commitment and alcohol use were found in a systematic review. People who were more religious had a lower alcohol use/abuse, including the high risk group of adolescents and young persons.

In a study where participants were in a religious outpatient treatment program for opium addiction, 45% remained drug free one year later compared to only 5% of participants in a non-religious, public health service hospital inpatient treatment program.

The Behavioral Health program at St. Helena Adventist Hospital is known as one of the most successful drug rehabilitation programs in California. A big part of their success has to do with spiritual care. 

On Worship and Prayer
Psalms 95:6 says, “Come, let us bow down in worship, let us kneel before the LORD our Maker.” 

Our Creator invites us into a lifestyle of worship. Our personal daily devotional time with God is a powerful promoter of well-being. Time spent in honest communication with Him has a healing effect. Just as we receive benefits from the qualities of a good friend when we spend time with them, the same holds true when we spend time with our Forever Friend, God. 

Participants in a study of more than 500 Mexican Americans and Anglo Caucasians were asked how often they prayed when not in church. Frequent private prayer strongly influenced well-being. The more the participants prayed, the greater their well-being over eight years later.

These findings were replicated in over 2,000 African Americans. Frequent prayer led to a greater satisfaction and happiness over a decade later. 

In a study involving 4,000 senior citizens, researchers at Duke University found that those who participated in prayer and meditation lived longer than those who did not.

1st Study:
The first study found that those who attended more than once a week increased their lifespan an average of seven years for whites and added potentially 14 years for African-Americans. This large study tracked a national sample of more than 21,000 US adults for nine years.

2nd Study:
Another, even larger, Johns-Hopkins University study of over 100,000 people, found that attending services on a weekly basis was associated with a reduced risk of death the following year by almost 50%.

I hope you can create a relationship with God built on trust and faith. It will be good for you in so many ways. “Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-7 NLT

photograph: copyright © 2012, Sami Bado

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