Yesterday I heard of somebody I know who has been diagnosed with cancer. He has a very young daughter and his obviously distressed. Dr Michelle Strydom, who wrote a book called, “Healing begins with sanctification of the heart”, and uses a lot of Dr Caroline Leaf’s research, says that no disease in incurable. Both these doctors are Christians and Dr Leaf is a neuro scientist. What the book says is that between 87 and 95% of diseases are caused by fear, anxiety and stress, and that by changing our thinking patterns we can heal our diseases. The thoughts we think is what makes us do what we do and makes us what we are. The Bible confirms this statement.
Proverbs 23:7, For as he thinks in his heart, so is he.
We all have thoughts running around in our minds all the time. A friend was telling me how she reacted to an unfavourable situation which she didn’t feel comfortable speaking out about, by a million thoughts crowding her head, and she assured me they weren’t positive thoughts. This is a normal reaction. We do it all the time. People often say, “You can think what you like, but you can’t say what you like.” That isn’t necessarily correct though. We should be training our brains to think good thoughts and not to get upset over every issue. When we are stressed there are changes that take place in our brains and these changes affect our bodies. I’m sure most people have experienced the affect that shock or anxiety has on the stomach. We suddenly have to go to the bathroom even if we haven’t eaten. That is such a simple example, but is a real example of how our thoughts affect our bodies.
Sometimes we are in a difficult emotional situations and we feel that the best thing we can do is to suppress our feelings so that everything appears to be normal. This isn’t a good thing, but neither is throwing tantrums about everything either. By being silent and putting away negative emotions or by being explosive and hanging all the dirty on the line you aren’t building the right kind of connections in your brain. If you have either of those problems you have to learn to trust Jesus, to take the Bible at face value, and to apply the promises that you have been given. Firstly, God doesn’t want us to be stressed. Apparently there are 366 references to not worrying. I say apparently because I haven’t looked them up myself. That sounds like a good project for one day. And secondly, God made provision for our fear, stress and anxiety. He sent Jesus to die for all those negative emotions.
But how does Jesus stand in for our anxiety. I see it this way: If I am not a Christian, I live like the rest of the world lives and I regard stress as totally normal. When I accept Jesus as my Saviour, I begin to look differently at the world. I realize that I am only here temporarily and that there is life after death, for me, an awesome life because I now am a child of God and will go to heaven. So automatically a lot of fears I had before I became a Christian just aren’t relevant anymore. I don’t have to fear death because death is not going to be the end, but the beginning of a wonderful new life. I read my bible and I realize that Jesus died for my sins and that God gives me grace to be able to live without sin, but when I do sin He does forgive me. I also learn that there is absolutely no reason to fear people because it is repeated many times in the Word. I don’t have to fear being destitute because God says that He will take care of me. Just like I don’t ever have to fear being lonely. He will never leave me or forsake me. Jesus also died for our sickness. There is no sickness that He can’t heal, and when I look at the research I mentioned, it makes sense. When I put my trust in Jesus and I stop worrying and being fearful, I am going to have many more positive thoughts which will send sickness running. There are conditions that aren’t stress related, but Jesus is in the miracle business and the Word tells me that nothing is impossible for God. And of course one of my favourite verses tells me how I should think.
Philippians 4:8, Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things.
Now that we know what to do we need to start doing it!