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There Is a Link Between Your Faith and Your Health

Rev. Margaret Minnicks is an ordained Bible teacher. She writes many articles that are Bible lessons.

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It might be hard for some people to understand that there is a definite link between their faith and their health. Religious leaders and medical professionals agree that most people who practice their faith are also the ones in better health. There are many reasons for that.

Studies

More than 200 studies have been conducted, and the results prove that faith plays a major role in people's health. The results prove that healthy people often attend church, pray on a regular basis, study the Bible and practice other spiritual disciplines. The benefits include fewer colds, less depression, a lower risk of heart disease, cancer, and addictions.

Studies and statistics show that faith has a positive effect on mental and physical health in positive ways.

Statistics

The Journal of Aging and Health published a study on 791 older adults and their church attendance over an eight-year period. The conclusion was that church attendance and faith kept all of them healthy with no stress, depression, suicidal thoughts, or mental illness.

Researchers at the Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa showed that 44,000 cancer patients had positive treatments because of their faith and spiritual beliefs. There was also improvement in moods and social interaction.

How Faith Help With Healing

Faith gives people a sense of meaning and purpose. Therefore, there is a connection to a greater power other than themselves.

People of faith pay attention to self-care and healthy behaviors. People of faith are more likely to practice healthy behaviors. People without faith often do not practice healthy behaviors. Instead, they might smoke cigarettes, drink alcohol, and do drugs. Also, they do not practice self-care by eating healthy food, exercising, and getting enough sleep because they are out partying a lot.

People of faith practice spiritual disciplines. They attend church, study their Bible, pray more, and engage in other spiritual disciples. These activities help them feel connected which can boost their immune system. If people of faith do get sick, they recover much quicker from their illnesses than people who have no faith.

People who lack faith do not practice spiritual disciplines. No matter how sick a person gets, he might never pray to God about his illness and never ask God to heal him.

People of faith have better mental health. They have a greater sense of well-being, hope, purpose, optimism, and self-esteem. They are less likely to be depressed, suffer from anxiety, engage in substance abuse, and have suicidal thoughts.

Benefits of Faith for Healing

While faith is not a magic potion for medical conditions, there are many benefits of faith for healing. A few of them are listed here.

Faith reduces negative stress that has a direct effect on a person's immune system. Therefore, cells to attack disease inside the body are reduced. Faith can help reduce high blood pressure caused by stress. Prayer, worship, and engaging in other spiritual activities can enhance the body’s relaxation response which can keep stress at bay.

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Keep In Mind

While faith is encouraged and has healing properties, please keep in mind that faith itself does not heal. Faith is a channel through which divine healing may flow. While faith is imperative for healing, it is not a pill to make all sicknesses disappear. People of faith are not immune entirely from getting sick. However, there is a connection between a person's faith and his ability to heal.

Keep the following things in mind:

  • Faith promotes healthy behaviors for self-care.
  • Faith helps to minimize the stress that leads to illnesses and depression.
  • Exercising one’s faith is not a guarantee that healing will occur. Therefore, people should not think they have no faith if they get sick because medical conditions come with old age no matter how much faith an older person has.

The Bible gives examples of the relationship between faith and healing. The Gospel of Mark illustrates how Jesus was limited to healing people in His own hometown because of their lack of faith. "He was amazed at their lack of faith” (Mark 6:5-6).

References

The Faith and Health Connection

The Surprising Links Between Faith and Health

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

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