Here are two excerpts from the book Faith and Health, written by Charles Reynolds Brown (past Dean of the Yale Divinity School) and published in 1910.
“The Lord of Love is seeking to banish fear, to bestow confidence, to increase faith, to promote healing. He too is desirous that you should gain peace, develop strength, obtain happiness and enter into his rest which remains for the people of God. While you are working out your own salvation by systematic, persistent effort, God is working with you and for you to accomplish his good pleasure.”
“The Church of Jesus Christ ought to ‘teach health,’ not as its chief business, but as a leaf on the tree of its main purpose, which, as already indicated, is to produce the good fruit of Christian character and service.”
Why Should Christians Be Healthy? To Bear Fruit in Our Lives
God wants us to be healthy so that we can experience the good “fruit” he has in store for us. The more fruit we have in our life the more glory God receives.
What kind of fruit does God desire us to experience and have a part in?
- Winning souls to Christ. Romans 1:13
- Sharing what we have with those in need. Romans 15:25-28
- Developing Christ-like character – the fruit of the Spirit. Galatians 5:22-23
- Praising God and giving thanks. Hebrews 13:15
John says that there is no greater joy for those win souls. 3 John 3-4 The believer also has great happiness when they share their possessions with others – “It is more blessed to give than to receive.” Acts 20:35 In this verse, the word blessed can be translated “oh how very happy,” so there is a greater happiness in giving than receiving. When we give we can also experience great peace. Philippians 4:6-7 says that we can have the kind of peace which surpasses all understanding. These three emotions of joy, happiness and peace are a few key ingredients which foster good health.
But good health should not be desired as an end in and of itself. God desires us to have good health, and the emotional and physical energy typically associated with it, because this better enables us to have more fruit in our lives and to better use the gifts and talents that he has given to us to serve others and to serve him. When these things happen we are in God’s will.
When we’re in God’s will, he is glorified. This is why God desires a Christian to be healthy.
“Dear friend, I pray that you may enjoy good health and that all may go well with you, even as your soul is getting along well.” 3 John 1:2
Questions to Reflect On:
What is your motivation to be healthy and well?
Is it your experience that the healthier you are the better enabled you are to serve God and others with the gifts he’s given you?
Faith and Health, the book by Charles Brown, is available as a free Pdf file online.
Article – God Wants You Whole
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