Trust has two dimensions, like two sides of a coin: To trust and be trusted.
In the beginning God tested our first parents, Adam and Eve to see if He could trust them, and if they would trust Him.
The test revolved around the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, growing in the garden of Eden.
“And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, 'Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat; but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.’” Genesis 2:16-17
Unfortunately, Adam and Eve mistrusted God and ate fruit from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.
After that awful day in the garden of Eden, God took the first step toward renewing trust and building a new relationship with Adam and Eve. In turn, living outside the garden of Eden, Adam and Eve learned to completely entrust their lives to God, obeying the law of life.
For Total Health we too must learn how to build our trust in God. This Trust in God permeates our whole being. Just look at this wonderful promise from the Bible:
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart,And lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths...It will be health to your flesh, And strength to your bones.” Proverbs 3:5,6,8
And how do we develop complete Trust in God?
We learn to trust people by getting to know them, so Trust in God is developed by learning about His character. Who is He? What is important to Him? Does He really care about you or me? Can we trust Him with our lives?
We can see God’s character etched in nature - the trees, birds, animals, the beaches, rivers and mountains and so on.
“The works of the Lord are great, Studied by all who have pleasure in them. His work is honorable and glorious, And His righteousness endures forever.He has made His wonderful works to be remembered; The Lord is gracious and full of compassion.” Psalm 111:2-4
Think of an aspect of nature which delights you - a bubbling stream, a soft furry kitten, an awesome rock, a delicately fragranced flower. God gave us all these things, for He is, “...the living God, who gives us richly all things to enjoy.” 1 Timothy 6:17
God’s healing hand reaches out to us, whether we acknowledge Him or not.
God’s character is also revealed in the Bible. We can learn to trust God through His word. Throughout the Bible you will find His promises to us. As we accept His promises, and apply them in our lives, step by step we learn trust - and trust develops more trust.
“Trust in Him at all times, you people; Pour out your heart before Him; God is a refuge for us. Selah.” Psalm 62:8
In the past, you may have judged God by the churches or religions which abound in our world today.
How about a fresh approach? How about spending time alone, talking to God and opening a Bible to read what lies between the covers? Or maybe you would prefer walking in a natural place like a beach or a park, and quietly asking God for understanding about your life? These are two simple things you can do to begin applying Trust in God to your life. If you don’t try you will never know!
God’s Son gave us this promise in the Bible, “’Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened.’” Matthew 7:7-8
“’Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.’” Matthew 11:28
“’...the one who comes to Me I will by no means cast out.’” John 6:37
When we take our problems to God, He is able and faithful to help us. We can come to Him just as we are for He invites us:
“Cast your burden on the Lord, And He shall sustain you; He shall never permit the righteous to be moved.” Psalm 55:22
God knows what is best for each and every one of us, in our work, our home, our family relationships, our friendships, our spiritual development - and our health.When we trust God, we allow Him to lead and guide us in all areas of our lives. Trust in God is therefore, the antidote for stress.
Endocrinologist Hans Selye who spent 50 years researching the effects of stress, defined stress as,
“...any power, force or experience which touches our lives physically, mentally or spiritually against which we must react in order to maintain balance in life.”
Selye discovered the body reacts to stress by making hormones which affect every system of the body. Not all stress is harmful. Some is valuable for human growth and development. Stress becomes destructive only when it is so intense and carries on so long, that a person can’t cope any longer. What happens then?
Well, the high levels of stress hormones lower the body’s resistance to infection and cancer, and organs can become damaged. The blood pressure is raised, increasing the risk of heart attacks and strokes.
However, Selye and many other people who have researched stress have discovered this:
It is not what stresses us that counts, but the way we react to stress - we could say, our attitudes. Let’s consider the sources of stress. We can group them under these headings:
Self seeking - pride, selfishness.
Trials of life - grief, boredom, disappointment, deadlines, family, work and financial worries, health problems.
Rage - anger, bitterness, revenge, hatred.
Envy - jealousy, discontentment, comparing oneself with others, feelings of inadequacy.
Self centredness - self pity, self-hatred, lack of self-worth, depression.
Sin of every other description - consequences of sinful be haviour, guilt, condemnation, hopelessness, despair.
Only God has the solution to all these forms of stress. Only God can give us peace. We need two kinds of peace: peace with God, and the peace of God dwelling in us.
“’These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.’” John 16:33
“’Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.’” John 14:27
A healthy, effective way of reducing stress levels is to spend time in nature. Walking in a forest, listening to bird song, watching animals in their natural environment, feeling the sea spray on your face, all these and more can actually lower the stress hormone level below the base line (the level when you wake in the morning).
In “Stepping into the Human Body”, we learned how blood cells are formed in our bones - including the white blood cells which destroy cancer and germs. Believe it or not these white blood cells, our body’s defence system, are strengthened by the hormone endorphin which is produced by Trust in God.
The effect of faith and prayer on health was reported in an article called, “Prayer, the medicine patients are seeking.” published in USA TODAY (May 3, 1996). The article reported:
“A 1995 study at the Dartmouth Medical School of 232 patients who had undergone elective heart surgery found the “very” religious were three times more likely to recover than those who were not.”
“Of 300 studies on spirituality in science journals, the National Institute for Healthcare Research found nearly three-fourths showed that religion had a positive effect on health.”
So trusting in God has been clinically proven to benefit our Total Health.
Will you Trust in God as you step toward Total Health?