A sunny outlook — and a strong faith — are a healthy combination

10/15/2013 7:52 PM

10/15/2013 7:52 PM

DEAR BILLY GRAHAM: My aunt believes that if you just have a sunny outlook on life, you’ll be healthy and almost never get sick. It seems to work for her, but is she just kidding herself? I have a hard time being optimistic with all the problems I have. — J.N.


Modern medicine has confirmed something the Bible said long ago: Our minds and our bodies are closely connected, and what affects one often affects the other. The Bible says, “A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones” (Proverbs 17:22).

I often think in this connection of King David, and what happened to him after he did something that was terribly wrong. As a young man, he was faithful to God and sought to do what was right. But as the years passed, he went through what we today might call a midlife crisis, ignoring his responsibilities and losing sight of God’s moral standards.

King David ended up committing adultery, then tried to cover it up by ordering the death of the woman’s husband. But guilt ate away at his soul — and also at his body. Only after he confessed his sin and sought God’s forgiveness was his burden lifted. Later, he wrote, “When I kept silent, my bones wasted away through my groaning all day long” (Psalm 32:3).

Having an optimistic attitude certainly may help us stay healthy (although sickness and disease can still strike). But how can we stay optimistic, particularly when life’s problems press down upon us?

The key is to turn our problems — and our lives — over to Jesus Christ. When we know him, we no longer carry our burdens alone. The Bible’s promise is true: “Cast your cares on the Lord and he will sustain you” (Psalm 55:22).


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