WHEN THE GOING GETS TOUGH….A discussion about life-enhancing thinking & life-supporting faith. Intelligence is not the ability to statistically calculate the odds of failure, but to know how to make the most of each moment’s opportunities. It is discovering what works.

THE BIG CHOICE. God is quoted, “I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live.”(A) We slowly erode our beautiful lives away with the dripping of negative thoughts, which produce tension, fatigue, anxiety, fear & poor health. It would be beneficial to remind ourselves how much our thoughts can bless us, IF we choose life giving thoughts!! Should we not ask, Will this make me healthier, stronger & happier?? And then choose the best.

PLACEBOS—THE SAFEST & CHEAPEST DRUG. In 1955, Henry Beecher reported a series of tests that showed the placebo effect was very powerful for many illnesses. His report became famous & was overquoted. Years later, flaws in his reported tests caused people to declare the placebo effect was a myth. Then flaws in the myth-supporting tests overturned that negative view, and new, better-executed tests accurately confirmed that the placebo effect is powerful in dealing with pain, anxiety, ulcers & inflammation. One theory that embraces all the types of healing benefits of the placebo effect, is the idea that it suppresses the “acute phase response” (inflammation from illness) & triggers the release of endorphins. The Placebo Effect does not touch viral & bacterial infections. The Placebo effect does not work if the person does not really believe that he has received something to heal him. In fact, some tests suggest that if the person changes his mind & quits believing, the negative illness returns! Many illnesses are affected by emotions. There have been many studies linking personality to various diseases. One area that scientists have neglected is how does the body naturally heal itself! Why does one child get sick, and the sibling playing by its side stay well?

PRAYER. People who pray have been observed to get sick less, and to have quicker recoveries if they do. Again God is quoted, “I am the Lord who heals you.”(B) Some even have experienced the prayer of faith that healed. I have participated in such miracles. A young boy, whom 3 doctors declared would die because his skull’s growth plate was broken (—the x-rays showed the damage–), was set in the middle of 4 of us brothers. As we prayed, we all simultaneously could feel when the Spirit healed him. The new x-rays showed no break. Faith allows good things to happen. Cast your cares on the Lord, for He is more caring than most people think. As He said, “there is a time to heal.”(C)

YOU CAN DO IT. THE TIME TO LIVE IS NOW. Many folks never lived for the present, but play the “This-is-not-it” game their entire lives. In 6th grade, they covet 7th grade. In Jr. High, they covet high school. When adults they covet retirement. They always live for some other side of the fence, where the grass will finally be green. The ultimate “This-is-not-it” is to have no joy for life, and in discontentment wait for “it” in heaven. “Beam me up God!” There is a secular version which fails to choose quality of life now, & desires to have a long life (quantity). They need more future for their This-is-not-it game. So I ask, What is our commitment to living??? Your will to live & have an abundant life is important.

SURVIVAL IN HARSH SETTINGS IS A GROUP ACT. I have been in a few challenging settings, and read dozens of true accounts of those who overcame in even worse situations than I have dealt with. I remember being paralyzed, freezing & alone in a prison hole. For me, time was the big healer. I have studied why some thrive & some fail. The thrivers are mature, & have already been hardened by not getting everything their way in life. They ignore the negative logic of their desperate situations. Whether a thriver or an immature person, everyone has their morale boosted by someone showing some care for them. I have given others hope & willpower to continue by simply caring. In desperate situations, the hope and will to survive must be renewed each day, otherwise the natural easy course is to surrender to death. As the thriver takes advantage of each day’s opportunities, he actually begins to adapt to his abnormal situation. Never underestimate the positive power of giving or receiving a gift in such extreme situations. There is a delight & joy in both giving & receiving. Some of the most successful brothers in Christ in extremely brutal communist prisons, practiced on a large scale the power of giving & receiving. It does not have to be what would normally be a big gift.
While life in general is not such an extreme survival scenario, social disintegration has been tracked to increased mental and physical illnesses. The stress of divorce or losing a loved one can increase one’s chance for disease. We are called to be our brother’s keeper.

Do we want to choose life or death? Every good thought is contributing to our present & future. Some people are blessed with the ability to take a positive thought & make it reality. Joy breeds joy. Many negative thoughts tear down our already fragile immune systems. Replace evil & bad with good. Replace death with life. Replace defeat with joy & victory. Choose well, & be blessed my friend.
(A) DT 30:19 (B) EX 15:26 (C) ECCL. 3:3


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