The older I get the more aware I become of the importance of living a healthy lifestyle. It doesn’t take one long to realize the epidemic proportions of various illnesses and diseases that plague our society. In fact, my guess is that most people need not look any further than their own family to see evidence of the top three causes of death in 2011. The top three causes of death in 2011 according to the National Vital Statistics Report released on October 10, 2012 by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention are (1) heart disease, (2) cancer, and (3) chronic lower respiratory diseases. Also included in the top 12 are stroke, diabetes, influenza, pneumonia and chronic liver disease.
Every day at any given time you can turn on the radio or television and tune in to a program that is discussing strategies for living a healthy lifestyle. In a matter of seconds, the internet can deliver more information pertaining to health and fitness than one can reasonably absorb. It is true that not all information publicized on the internet or in any other form of media can be reliable and trustworthy. Nevertheless, all people with a little due diligence can obtain the information necessary to live a relatively healthy lifestyle. However, this discussion is not geared toward the wealth of information that is at our fingertips regarding healthy living; rather, it is designed to highlight how faith in God is foundational to health and wholeness. Please note that I am not suggesting that faith in God is somehow a “magic answer” to sickness and disease; nor am I suggesting that lack of faith is the cause of such illnesses.
Understanding the source of sickness and disease
It is necessary to have a general understanding of the source of sickness in order to fully understand the role that faith in God plays in the context of sickness and disease. Most people will agree that sickness and disease comes from the chemicals in our foods, eating the wrong kinds of foods, genetics and lack of exercise. I agree that these are all contributing factors; however, none of them are solely responsible for the sickness that people endure.
The problem with sickness began when sin entered the world through the disobedience of man causing separation between God and man and the corruption of all things. Genesis 2:16-17 records “And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, You may surely eat of every tree of the garden, but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.”
The story continues in Genesis chapter 3 when the serpent deceived Eve into eating of the so called forbidden fruit. Adam was enticed by Eve and he also ate. This act of disobedience caused sin to enter the world, which resulted in two types of death: spiritual and physical. Adam and Eve did not experience immediate physical death, but the process of physical death began. Genesis 3:19 records “…till you return to the ground, for out of it you were taken; for you are dust, and to dust you shall return.” Sin caused sickness and disease to enter the world and bring corruption to our bodies. Romans 5:12 says, “Therefore, just as sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned.” Moreover, Romans 6:23 says “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” This is where we shift to the good news!
The source of health and wholeness
In spite of the disobedience of Adam and Eve, God immediately extended his grace. The process of redemption began by the grace of God, which was fulfilled in the sinless life, death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Romans 5:17 says “For if, because of one man’s trespass, death reigned through that one man, much more will those who receive the abundance of grace and the free gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man Jesus Christ.”
Jesus purchased the solution to sin and death and provided freedom and wholeness. Jesus is the only answer to health in the whole person; spirit, soul and body. The Bible says in 1 Thessalonians 5:23, “now may the God of peace himself sanctify you completely, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
Faith in Christ for health and wholeness includes exercising wisdom and doing the things that knowledge and common sense dictate. Having faith means taking care of ourselves to glorify God in our bodies.
The reason that faith in God is key to health and wholeness is because our faith dictates that we do what we are supposed to do while trusting God for the outcome.
Moreover, faith continues to believe even when the outcome is not what we expect. Faith will only work if we understand that it’s the Lord we believe in and not the reward. When our trust is in him, he will give us the wisdom and the power we need through faith to live life in health and wholeness.
The overall point is that God is our source!
1. God is the source of all wisdom. (Proverbs 1:7) The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. The wisdom we need to take care of ourselves and obtain healing comes from faith in the one who possesses all wisdom.
2. God is the source of all healing. (Psalm 103:3) God not only forgives all of our sins, but he heals all our diseases. Here we have to understand based on the source of sin and sickness that God is the only full and final solution.
3. God is the source of life. (John 14:6) Jesus said clearly that he is the way, the truth and the life. This means that faith in Christ not only results in eternal life, but abundant life while on this earth.
Although there are things that happen beyond our control that cannot be explained, we can trust that the word of God is true and his love will never fail us. Keep REACHING FORWARD for health and wholeness in your life.