Can Your Faith Be a Great Healer?
Medicine can heal your body or support your body's healing. But faith is equally as powerful.
Staying in good health is essential to living a long and fulfilling life. We need to look after our bodies in order to live life to the fullest. To do this we need to exercise regularly and to eat well. But it's also about helping our bodies recover from injury or illness. A good health regime can greatly reduce the risk of us getting sick or having an accident, but it can't rule the possibility out altogether. However, if we are ill or injured, then having a healthy body beforehand will definitely help us recover quicker.
Another factor that will help us to recover from sickness or accident is a positive mental attitude. It's well-known among medical professionals that the patient's mental outlook is a crucial part of the recovery process. This is why people talk about "fighting" disease. Recovery has to be an active process, and you need to have the will to win.
A positive mental attitude can also help you to exercise. Going to the gym everyday requires stamina and discipline. It's very easy to tell yourself it's not worth it, or that you'll never live up to your super-fit ideal. In order to commit to a worthwhile exercise routine, you need to believe in yourself, and for some people faith makes that easier.
Faith in God
As the house journal of a long-established, worldwide Christian ministry, The Way International Magazine regularly features articles that demonstrate the importance of faith in healing and recovery. The Way International teaches people about faith and the word of God, and enables them to use that faith to benefit themselves and their community. Their focus is on practical examples of living in God's word, and how this can be carried out in our own daily lives.
A Higher Power
Many of the world's most successful recovery programs similarly stress faith in a higher power as crucial to getting people back on their feet. One of the most famous examples of this is Alcoholics Anonymous. When faced with seemingly insurmountable challenges, people can easily lose faith in their own ability to overcome them. They may even think that they don't deserve to be well again. But if they can call on God to help them, then this can give them the strength to carry on. If they are confident in God's love and in his omniscience then they can put their trust in a force they know is infinitely stronger than they are. Paradoxically, this often helps them to find hidden strengths within themselves.
The Power of Belief
When we think of the Christian saints, we hear again and again how their faith helped them to withstand impossible sufferings. They believed that God was always with them, and that He would take care of them even beyond the grave. They knew that death was not the end, and this gave them the strength to endure.
What we believe can actually shape our experience of reality. Faith is a powerful form of positive thinking. There are many examples of actual faith healing that appear to defy science, with seemingly miraculous results. But faith can act as a healer in other less dramatic ways, also. Doctors in busy hospitals will tell you that those patients with some kind of faith have a better chance of recovery than those without.
Clearing the Mind
A belief in a benevolent God clears the mind of many destructive doubts and fears. Faith means believing that God's will is being done, which is enormously liberating. If everything is part of the divine plan, then what is there to worry about? The mind and body can then focus on healing itself, free from damaging distractions. The believer knows too that God wants them to be well and healthy, so that they can carry on doing His work.
We can see from this that faith helps us to heal in two important ways. The first is a belief that we will get better. The second is a belief that we have a reason to get better. Of course, faith should never be a substitute for proper scientific medical care. But it can certainly work alongside it. A strong belief system motivates the body on a cellular level to do all it can to make a full recovery. This is not necessarily evidence of any kind of a supernatural intervention, but more of a reminder of how interconnected our mind, body and spirit are on every level. By believing in God, we sometimes draw on a strength inside ourselves that we never previously knew was there.
Faith can be as powerful as medicine – and it's not something we should undermine or forget.