Hidden Blessings

I recently read about a psychiatrist that conducted a meta-analysis of 147 studies that involved nearly 100,000 subjects. The average inverse correlation between religious involvement and depression was 20:1. Religious involvement was also found to enhance remission in patients with medical and psychiatric disease who have established depression. The vast majority of these 147 studies focused on Christianity.

I can personally attest to this.  As I have previously shared in my devotions, I was diagnosed with a terminal kidney disease over 30 years ago.  I will say that the initial shock of such news was mentally difficult to handle to say the least.  However, the gift of faith really allowed me to move forward and lead a very positive life.  Faith in Jesus gave me hope, comfort and peace.  

However, gratitude made a tremendous impact on me mentally as well.  By focusing on all the blessings that God had provided me, I was much more able to put in perspective and minimize the illness.  Looking back, in many ways the illness has been a blessing in that it greatly increased my faith and made me take much less for granted.  I like to do a lot athletic things and early on, I got in the habit of thanking God every day I was healthy enough to road bike, mountain bike, play basketball, hike, golf or workout.  Gratitude is an incredible bridge from pain, sorrow and anxiety to joy.

I try to pray Philippians 4:6-8 every day:

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.  Amen.

Brad Gauen

*Join us in praying the Daily Texts.


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