Studies looking at the role of faith in the process of coping with stress, loss or death have found it to be an important variable. One study found that faith was rated as the single most effective coping strategy in dealing with loss. Another study found 78% of the respondents reporting that religion was involved in helping them cope with a significant negative life event.
Religion has been identified as an important coping resource for many health challenges. Positive impacts have been noted including the reduction of depressive symptoms, an increase in satisfaction with life, a decline in the length of hospital stay and a reduced risk of alcohol abuse. More than 80 studies published over the last 100 years showed that religious/spiritual factors were generally linked with lower rates of depression.
Researchers have found that spiritual resources contribute to a patient’s ability to deal with the physical and emotional stresses of surgery as well as chronic, serious medical illness. One particular study revealed that, after controlling for severity of fracture, elderly women who underwent surgery for hip fractures had the best surgical outcome when they indicated that God was a strong source of strength and comfort and that they attended religious services frequently. These women were less depressed and walked farther when discharged from the hospital than those who lacked a strong religious commitment.
“Thy word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path.” – Psalm 119:105
The evidence is clear: religious beliefs and faith clearly bring both emotional and physical benefits. This shouldn’t be at all surprising, should it? It is God’s will and desire for us to have an abundant life that is filled with health, peace, purpose and meaning.
When you face emotional changes, talk to God. Go to His Word and seek His face. Continue trusting Him. Although we cannot know the future, we can know that God is on our side and only has our best in mind. He longs for us to trust Him and enjoy an intimate relationship with Him. Look up to God, focus on Him and allow His love and mercy to calm your soul. By focusing on Him and His transformational love, you will be lifted above your challenges. Knowing Him brings healing. In John 10:10, NKJV, Christ says, “I have come that they may have life and that they may have it more abundantly.” He longs to give us the life He designed for us at Creation.