In 1997 the journal of the American Heart Association reported on some remarkable research.
According to the Chicago Tribune, Susan Everson of the Human Population Laboratory of the Public Health Institute in Berkeley, California, found that people who experienced high levels of despair had a 20 percent greater occurrence of atherosclerosis—the narrowing of their arteries—than did optimistic people.
“This is the same magnitude of increased risk that one sees in comparing a pack-a-day smoker to a non-smoker,” said Everson.
In other words, despair can be as bad for you as smoking a pack a day!
That is just one more reason why God calls us to choose hope and faith.
The Christian life contributes to good health, for God gives us a legitimate basis for hope.
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We have a Living HOPE
HOPE in God
“Made heirs according to the hope of eternal life” (Titus 3:7).
A. Heritage—“that which is inherited; the lot, condition, or status into which one is born” (Webster).
B. Being justified by faith through Jesus Christ gives us the hope of eternal life, making us heirs of God and joint-heirs with Jesus Christ (Rom.
“Happy is he … whose hope is in the Lord his God” (Ps.
A. Optimism—“an inclination to put the most favorable construction upon actions and happenings, or anticipate the best possible outcome” (Webster).
B. Hope brings optimism and good cheer.
Optimism looks for and expects the best (Rom.
“Remembering … your … patience of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Thess.
A. Most Christians need more patience.
B. Patience of hope is developed through affliction, trial, and temptation—with the help of the Lord (1 Peter 5:10).
“In hope of eternal life, which God … promised …” (Titus 1:2).
A. Hope means “happy expectation.”
The Christian has the hope, the “happy expectation,” of eternal life.
B. We must set our affections on things above so we can claim the treasures laid up for us in heaven (Col.