Tuesday: Healing the Mind and Body

Through physical healing and mental restoration, Jesus made disciples. Often Christ’s patients suffered both mental and physical diseases. Physical restoration itself was never the final objective. The ultimate goal was always discipleship. Healing could provide twenty, fifty, perhaps seventy-five additional quality years. Discipleship offered eternal life with Christ.

Image © Providence Collection from GoodSalt.com

Image © Providence Collection from GoodSalt.com

In Luke 8:26-39, the demon-possessed man from the Gerasene region begged to accompany Jesus. Instead, Christ commissioned him to evangelize his family and townspeople. Having been so miraculously delivered, he could be a powerful witness for Jesus.

Study Matthew 6:19-34, 1 Peter 5:7, 2 Corinthians 4:7-10, Philippians 4:4-9, and 1 John 3:20-22. How might the principles taught in these verses relieve the anxiety, guilt, and shame that underlie many mental illnesses?

Physical sickness is sometimes caused by mental stimuli. The relationship between mind and body is well-established by medical science. Anxiety predisposes some to stomach problems. Worry causes sleep disorders. Uncontrollable anger factors into heart disease. Teaching people about mental-health principles should highlight the importance of trusting God, naturally leading them toward personal spiritual commitment and full discipleship.

Each day has its burdens, its cares and perplexities; and when we meet how ready we are to talk of our difficulties and trials. So many borrowed troubles intrude, so many fears are indulged, such a weight of anxiety is expressed, that one might suppose we had no pitying, loving Saviour ready to hear all our requests and to be to us a present help in every time of need.-Ellen G. White, Steps to Christ, p. 121.

Though a close walk with the Lord is no guarantee of good health, there’s no question that the peace of mind that comes from knowing the Lord can have a positive impact on us, even physically. What are some practical ways in which we can learn to take the principles taught in today’s lesson and apply them to ourselves, especially if we are prone toward worry?



Tuesday: Healing the Mind and Body — 14 Comments

  1. It is highly unlikely that many of us can perform healing miracles such as mending broken limbs and so on. In fact I have only seen two miracles among close acquaintances and both of them turned out to be hoaxes a week or so later. While I appreciate the Biblical accounts of Christ's miracles and those of the early apostles, I recognize that there is a paucity of healing miracles today. Some claim it is a lack of faith but I am not so sure about that.

    The topic this week is really about discipling the sick and we do need to think of the practical implications of this idea. Most of us are not professional medical people either, so we need to think it terms of what ordinary people like teachers, officeworkers, farmers, and building workers, can do.

    1) Live a healthy lifestyle. That does not mean following a fad diet, counting minutes of sleep, doing exactly 5 km of walking every day. There is so much advice about food, water, sleep, exercise and relaxation available these days that there is really no excuse for not putting it into practice.

    2) Exercise your mind. Some of us give up thinking when we leave school. If you don't exercise your mind you deserve to lose it.

    3) Take time to care for the sick. People do not "deserve" to get sick. Even the most health conscious people get sick. Sick people need people who care about them.

    Christians who practise what they preach through a healthy lifestyle make credible witnesses. And that would be enough of a miracle for the observant to take notice

    • People get sick from two different sources. First, from the life style the choose, and the Second, so that the will go God can be manifest in one's life so people can know who God really is. Christians believe because the are serving God the should not get sick, but that is not true. How would we know and experience the great Physician if we never get sick. But whenever we get sick, we can use it as a withness to others.

    • "Take time to care for the sick. People do not "deserve" to get sick. Even the most health conscious people get sick. Sick people need people who care about them."

      This goes for the mentally ill as well--even those who are "just" suffering from depression.
      We need one another. Too may times the Christian race is seen to be an Iron Man competition; where the brave Christian warrior battles alone against the elements (with God of course).

      Many people even refuse to believe that depression exists as a medical problem; believing that people should just "cheer up" and "have faith".

      So I appreciate the point.

      • I appreciate your comment about mental illness. We often try to dismiss it a lack of faith. My father was a person of great faith and yet he suffered from depression. Good medical advice and treatment together with understanding and love from family and friends helped him to control his condition and gave him the hope he so desperately needed at that time.

  2. Back in 1977 when I graduated from medical school. I truly believed that there were families out there somewhere which were genetically sound, that didn't have different diseases or a genetic predisposition to diseases. I even thought that they might be in the majority and that I was just seeing those who were ill. After practicing medicine now for 37 years. I can't look back and recall even one family that I have cared for which has been totally untouched by illness of one kind or another.

    I believe that the human race has taken a lot of genetic and nongenetic hits over the last 6000 years. When you add to that a neurotic self-serving it's all about me lifestyle and the poisoned over-processed, in some cases, diseased foods which are eaten on a daily basis by a majority of the world's population. Can we wonder that we are but enfeebled and genetic mongrels of what we were initially created to be?

    When Christ was touched by the woman with dysfunctional uterine bleeding and he felt virtue leaving him. If he felt the flow of healing virtue leaving him. It would suggest that it is in someway quantifiable. I wonder if the same woman 2000 years further down the genetic slippery slope with the same problem might not require a considerably larger quantity of healing virtue? In terms of quantifiable virtue, one has to wonder if it wouldn't have taken just a bit more virtue to feed 5000 persons a full course meal rather than fish and bread.

    Reflectively, while I believe with all my heart in my Saviors love for humanity, me included, as well as his desire that all would be healthy and sound. I also, believe that he is not wasteful of healing virtue. I have come to believe that one of the reasons the last two generations of physicians around the world have been given a bit more knowledge to help ease the suffering of those dealing with terrible crippling illness and disease. Has been I believe, to help the suffering to have a good enough day to be able to reflect on one true fact, that healthy or diseased, for them and for each of us there comes that day when we will indeed take our last breath and we will return to the dust from which we were made. On that day whether it be after 30, 50 or 100 years of good or bad life on the planet earth the only important question is do we know Christ and does he know us?? TC Bryant M.D.

    • I worked in three different countries for just over 21 yrs, there are people who do not go to the doctor but use natural remedies.Anyhow people get spiritual gift and natural talent mixed. I knew about several people with natural talent who can heal people at least for sometime until the return next 6 weeks, or remove a body part which cannot grow back, or even treat and the patient diseases go into remission. But the healing the bible talks about is spiritual healing what Jesus did or Peter and John, those people did not return again but was healed, I never met no one with that capability.

  3. It's funny that you mention a broken wing my husband was at the DMV this week and found a bird with a broken wing. The bird feared my husband but now sits in a cage with a patched up wing. Many of us are hurt but do not know where to turn. It is only through Christ's character that we are able to reach others. We are commissions she help those in need as Christians we need to pray that the talent God gave us are used for the benefit of his kingdom.

  4. This lesson is very crucial in our mission,the church deals so much on soul and body well being forgetting mind well being as well,christians in general does not know that our minds feeds on information that enter through the five senses,now the thing is this there's a lot of junk food(info),as a result they produce anxiety which begets worry the nicest killer today,we have work to enlighten the world.

  5. [Moderator's Note: Please use full names when commenting. Comments without full names may bot be published. Thank you.]

    How true is it that uncontrollable anger can cause heart disease? Medical experts, please help!

  6. In the last paragraph of our lesson for Tuesday, says to me in a nut shell is: Take ALL your negative thoughts to God not a sister or brother, Ps. 37:3 and the "Steps to Christ" remarks are something that really spoke to me this am. My goal is to take my neg. thoughts to God only. Pray for me, on this subject. I know others have the same problem as I do, by just talking to others. I pray my life will turn around w/God's help when I put this into practice. Thanx for your prayers.

    • Yes, Evie. And, when we vent to others about the troubles we face with the people around us, we betray their confidence, and that is a lack of love. I have found this a hard lesson to follow; but I'm striving to keep it for God's sake.

  7. we cannot know christ in the mind,its only through the power of the holy spirit that can bring total restoration into our lives mentally,physically and spiritually. we must always be at the feet of christ,this is where our dicipling,learning,teaching i.e. spiritual gifts that christ has bestowed upon us will be made manifest to our families,communities,and churches.this is our calling as christ-like apostles to take up the cross of our Lord and to deliver the great commission in these closing days of earths history."and lo i am with you always even unto the end of the world. A-mene'

  8. I’ve experienced Gods healing in the important place; that is, in my spirit which Jesus has restored so that I can see God’s way and apply them to my mind and body. When the Spirit is in control, I become full of life and joy, which is what I think we are all in want of. The more I learn about Him, the more I see how lame our thinking is. I can’t trust a single thought.

    I have had symptoms of bipolar since birth. I prayed for healing, but God did not choose to heal the body of this malfunction; but He did choose to heal the mind and soul. Manic! I get a lot done during this faze, and am smart enough not to do anything foolish. Depression? I know when my mind isn’t functioning right, so I work to dismiss any unwholesome thought that comes when the body is down, which I notice is just a lack of the energy needed to function properly. I tell myself that I cannot make any decisions until I have recouped from the lows and my mind can function normally. After years of practice, I can’t say that I get depressed; but rather that I get very tired sometimes and have to rest my mind and body.

    Yesterday I found myself indecisive on an important issue. I was quite confused. I searched my spirit for God’s advice, and He let me know what to do. Afterwards I saw the same advice hidden in the scriptural readings of that day. Even though it goes against all logical solutions, choosing to follow Him in this matter is healing the mind and relieving the body from the stress that the worldly ways would have encumbered.

  9. I am a physician in family practice. I graduated from medical school in 1970. I have seen miracles happen in my practice that I believe are as much miracles as the miracles that Christ and the disciples performed. Yet, the most important one has been the miracle of growth in faith of my own Christian experience.
    I have been involved in directing patients to Christian principles that have enabled them to stop diabetic and cholesterol-lowering medication. Each of two patients of mine was enabled to lose 120 pounds in 12 months on the basis of accepting the spiritual principle that God speaks through the conscience as His voice to the soul. One was a patient for over fourteen years before she saw what was missing and received power when she allowed the Holy Spirit to work the miracle she had been looking for all that time. Putting one’s will in the direction of the voice of God through the conscience will result in the overcoming of the paralysis caused by the control of sin in the life.

    One thing that is a certainty is that the power of Christ today is not diminished in healing any physical or other disease. I believe that there are several reasons for not seeing more obvious miracles today.
    1) We are too focused of the seen rather than the unseen. The greatest miracle is the miracle of a changed life when one allows the Holy Spirit to come into the heart to cause a new creation.
    2) Christ has chosen to use different means for healing today that are just as much miracles of healing as in His day except they may be slower to arrive at and thus not recognized as miracles. If a patient is able to follow the health laws by the power of a changed life and is able to reduce or eliminate some or all of their medication would we call that a miracle? What if this took months or years would we still see God’s wonder-working power in that life? I do believe that drug medication does not cure disease. Medications may control symptoms but true reversal of disease comes through the use of the remedies of nature God has made available to us.
    3) When the children of Israel were at the threshold of the Promised Land the miracle of manna stopped. This was because God was going to give them food in the form of the cultivated fields and orchards that the various tribes who were being displaced by God had prepared for them. God does not perform miracles when it is within our power to achieve, by whatever means He has already put within our reach, the result we are looking for. If there is technology that He Himself has allowed mankind to arrive at and it is available to us, then we need to avail ourselves of the blessing.
    4) This statement from Ellen White is quite helpful in this quest for the answer to modern day miracles. “We are sometimes asked, ‘Why does God not work miracles through the church today, as He did in the days of the apostles?’ – Because the refuses to be guided and controlled by Him. Christ’s love in the heart, revealing through the life its wondrous power – this is the greatest miracle that can be performed before a fallen quarreling world. Let us make it possible for God to work this miracle. Let us put on Christ, and the miracle-working power of His grace will be so plainly revealed in the transformation of character, that the world will be convinced that God has sent His Son to make men as angels in life and character.” Signs of the Times Nov. 26, 1902


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