March 24, 2013 – March 30, 2013
“In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.” I Thessalonians 5:18.
Study Help: Testimonies, vol. 5, 443–445; The Ministry of Healing, 241–259.
“Good deeds are twice a blessing, benefiting both the giver and the receiver of the kindness. The consciousness of right-doing is one of the best medicines for diseased bodies and minds. When the mind is free and happy from a sense of duty well done and the satisfaction of giving happiness to others, the cheering, uplifting influence brings new life to the whole being.” The Ministry of Healing, 257.
“The love which Christ diffuses through the whole being is a vitalizing power. Every vital part—the brain, the heart, the nerves—it touches with healing. By it the highest energies of the being are roused to activity. It frees the soul from the guilt and sorrow, the anxiety and care, that crush the life forces. With it come serenity and composure. It implants in the soul, joy that nothing earthly can destroy—joy in the Holy Spirit—health-giving, life-giving joy. Our Saviour’s words, ‘Come unto Me, … and I will give you rest’ (Matthew 11:28), are a prescription for the healing of physical, mental, and spiritual ills. Though men have brought suffering upon themselves by their own wrongdoing, He regards them with pity. In Him they may find help. He will do great things for those who trust in Him.” Ibid., 115.
“Every ray of light shed upon others will be reflected upon our own hearts. Every kind and sympathizing word spoken to the sorrowful, every act to relieve the oppressed, and every gift to supply the necessities of our fellow beings, given or done with an eye to God’s glory, will result in blessings to the giver. Those who are thus working are obeying a law of heaven and will receive the approval of God. The pleasure of doing good to others imparts a glow to the feelings which flashes through the nerves, quickens the circulation of the blood, and induces mental and physical health.” Testimonies, vol. 4, 56.
1 A MERRY HEART
- There is something else necessary to our physical, spiritual, and mental well-being which will also directly affect our witness to the world. What is it? Psalm 5:11.
Note: “The influence of the mind on the body, as well as of the body on the mind, should be emphasized. The electric power of the brain, promoted by mental activity, vitalizes the whole system, and is thus an invaluable aid in resisting disease. This should be made plain. The power of the will and the importance of self-control, both in the preservation and in the recovery of health, the depressing and even ruinous effect of anger, discontent, selfishness, or impurity, and, on the other hand, the marvelous life-giving power to be found in cheerfulness, unselfishness, gratitude, should also be shown.
“There is a physiological truth—truth that we need to consider—in the scripture [Proverbs 17:22 quoted].” Education, 197.
“When we go mourning, we leave the impression upon minds that God is not pleased to have us happy, and in this we bear false witness against our Heavenly Father. … But when we engage in the service of God, the heart should be aglow with thanksgiving; for the Christian is not left to walk in uncertain paths, he is not left to vain regrets and disappointments. If we do not have the pleasures of this life, we may still be joyful in looking to the life beyond.” The Review and Herald, January 14, 1890.
- Does this mean that we should amuse ourselves and others with frivolity, joking, and jesting? Ephesians 5:4.
- How can we have a deep inner joy? Galatians 5:22–25; Psalm 43:5; Hebrews 13:6.
Note: “The word of God should be studied and obeyed, then the heart will find rest and peace and joy, and the aspirations will tend heavenward; but when truth is kept apart from the life, in the outer court, the heart is not warmed with the glowing fire of God’s goodness.” Testimonies, vol. 5, 547.
2 MENTAL HEALTH
- How do our thoughts affect us physically? Proverbs 17:22; II Timothy 1:7.
Note: “Between the mind and the body there is a mysterious and wonderful relation. They react upon each other. To keep the body in a healthy condition to develop its strength, that every part of the living machinery may act harmoniously, should be the first study of our life. To neglect the body is to neglect the mind. It cannot be to the glory of God for His children to have sickly bodies or dwarfed minds.” Testimonies, vol. 3, 485, 486.
“There is an intimate relation between the mind and the body, and in order to reach a high standard of moral and intellectual attainment the laws that control our physical being must be heeded.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 601.
“Every influence that affects the health of the body has its bearing upon mind and character.” Child Guidance, 408.
- With what should we fill our minds? Philippians 4:8.
- How can I have peace when there are circumstances and trials which overwhelm me? Philippians 4:6, 7; Psalm 130:5, 6; Lamentations 3:26.
Note: “Parents, gather the rays of divine light which are shining upon your pathway. Walk in the light as Christ is in the light. As you take up the work of saving your children and maintaining your position on the highway of holiness, the most provoking trials will come. But do not lose your hold. Cling to Jesus. He says, ‘Let him take hold of My strength, that he may make peace with Me; and he shall make peace with Me’ (Isaiah 27:5). Difficulties will arise. You will meet with obstacles. Look constantly to Jesus. When an emergency arises, ask, Lord, what shall I do now?” The Adventist Home, 207, 208.
3 SORROW SUFFERERS
- What does sorrow, regret, unrest, and guilt do to the body? Proverbs 12:25.
Note: “Satan is the originator of disease; and the physician is warring against his work and power. Sickness of the mind prevails everywhere. Nine tenths of the diseases from which men suffer have their foundation here. Perhaps some living home trouble is, like a canker, eating to the very soul and weakening the life forces. Remorse for sin sometimes undermines the constitution and unbalances the mind.” Testimonies, vol. 5, 443, 444.
- What are some causes of a downcast spirit? Psalm 55:4, 5; Matthew 6:34.
Note: “He [God] does not desire us to go in anguish of spirit. We are not to look at the thorns and the thistles in our experience. We are to go into the garden of God’s Word, and pluck the lilies, and roses, and the fragrant pinks of His promises. Those who look upon the difficulties in their experience will talk doubt and discouragement, for they do not behold Jesus, the Lamb of God, who taketh away the sins of the world.” Manuscript Releases, vol. 4, 160.
- What is the remedy for the downcast spirit? Psalms 51:6–12; 55:16–18; 61:2–4; 77:11, 12.
- When should we especially remember to be cheerful and why? Psalm 128:2.
Note: “Those who are excited, anxious, or in a hurry, would do well not to eat until they have found rest or relief; for the vital powers, already severely taxed, cannot supply the necessary digestive fluids.” Counsels on Diet and Foods, 107.
4 A LIVING PRINCIPLE
- For what is God looking and longing? Leviticus 26:12; II Corinthians 6:16; Isaiah 57:15; 66:2.
Note: “Those who teach the principles of health reform should be intelligent in regard to disease and its causes, understanding that every action of the human agent should be in perfect harmony with the laws of life. The light God has given on health reform is for our salvation and the salvation of the world. Men and women should be informed in regard to the human habitation, fitted up by our Creator as His dwelling place and over which He desires us to be faithful stewards. ‘For ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people.’ II Corinthians 6:16.” Counsels on Health, 479.
- Through whom and for what purpose does God want to dwell in us? John 16:13.
- How will this affect those around us? Malachi 3:16; Ephesians 5:19, 20; Hebrews 10:24, 25.
Note: “We are in a world of suffering. Difficulty, trial, and sorrow await us all along the way to the heavenly home. But there are many who make life’s burdens doubly heavy by continually anticipating trouble. If they meet with adversity or disappointment they think that everything is going to ruin, that theirs is the hardest lot of all, that they are surely coming to want. Thus they bring wretchedness upon themselves and cast a shadow upon all around them. Life itself becomes a burden to them. But it need not be thus. It will cost a determined effort to change the current of their thought. But the change can be made. Their happiness, both for this life and for the life to come, depends upon their fixing their minds upon cheerful things. Let them look away from the dark picture, which is imaginary, to the benefits which God has strewn in their pathway, and beyond these to the unseen and eternal.
“For every trial, God has provided help.” The Ministry of Healing, 247, 248.
5 GOD’S PURPOSE
- Why did God create humanity? Revelation 4:11.
Note: “Infinite love—how great it is! God made the world to enlarge heaven. He desires a larger family of created intelligences.” “Ellen G White Comments,” The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 1, 1081.
- What cooperation on our part is needed that He may dwell within? II Corinthians 6:17, 18; 7:1; John 14:21, 23; Acts 5:32.
Note: “The condition of being received into the Lord’s family is coming out from the world, separating from all its contaminating influences. The people of God are to have no connection with idolatry in any of its forms. They are to reach a higher standard. We are to be distinguished from the world, and then God says, ‘I will receive you as members of My royal family, children of the heavenly King.’ As believers in the truth we are to be distinct in practice from sin and sinners. Our citizenship is in heaven.” Fundamentals of Christian Education, 481
- How is it possible to implement all of His instruction? Romans 8:7–14.
Note: “Let none who profess godliness regard with indifference the health of the body, and flatter themselves that intemperance is no sin, and will not affect their spirituality. A close sympathy exists between the physical and the moral nature.” Counsels on Diet and Foods, 165.
- If we do what God has said, what reward awaits us? Isaiah 64:4; I Corinthians 2:9.
Note: “It should ever be kept prominent that the great object to be attained through this channel [the Battle Creek Health Institute] is not only health, but perfection, and the spirit of holiness, which cannot be attained with diseased bodies and minds. This object cannot be secured by working merely from the worldling’s standpoint.” Testimonies, vol. 1, 554.
1 Do I have a merry heart or a sad one?
2 What thought patterns do I need to change in order to think upon good things?
3 How can we give our fears to God in order to be set free from them?
4 For what things can I praise God today?
5 Do I really desire to have the Lord dwell within me, and what must I change in order to have that become a reality in my experience?
The Religion of Christ
“There are erroneous doctrines also, as that of an eternally burning hell and the endless torment of the wicked, that, by giving exaggerated and distorted views of the character of God, have produced the same result upon sensitive minds. Infidels have made the most of these unfortunate cases, attributing insanity to religion; but this is a gross libel and one which they will not be pleased to meet by and by. The religion of Christ, so far from being the cause of insanity, is one of its most effectual remedies; for it is a potent soother of the nerves.” Testimonies, vol. 5, 444.
This Lesson Is Not Only Theory
“This is true sanctification. It is not merely a theory, an emotion, or a form of words, but a living, active principle, entering into the everyday life. It requires that our habits of eating, drinking, and dressing be such as to secure the preservation of physical, mental, and moral health, that we may present to the Lord our bodies—not an offering corrupted by wrong habits, but ‘a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God’ (Romans 12:1).” Counsels on Diet and Foods, 57, 58.
© 2007 Reformation Herald Publishing Association, Roanoke, Virginia. Reprinted by permission.