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“The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make His face shine upon you, and be gracious to you; the Lord lift up His countenance upon you, and give you peace” (Numbers 6:24-26).

Researchers have surprising evidence that people who believe in God as a heavenly parent who loves and cares for them, and who actively cultivate that faith, have one of the most effective resources available for managing stress in a crisis and achieving long-term health. Listen to what five famous people have to say on the power of personal religion to detoxify stress:

The “grandfather” of jogging for fitness, cardiologist George Sheehan, credits religion with an almost unequaled power to relieve stress by providing an inner sense of calm and tranquility, a sense that no defeat is final, and a sense of lasting security.

During his three years as a prisoner of war at Auschwitz, Jewish psychiatrist Victor Frankl found that if he could help fellow prisoners believe that their experience, horrendous though it was, had some meaning, he could help them maintain the will to survive. He later wrote in his classic, "Man’s Search for Meaning"; “There is nothing in the world, I venture to say, that would so effectively help one to survive even the worst condition, as the knowledge that there is a meaning in one’s life….Suffering ceases to be suffering in some way at the moment it finds a meaning.” (See Romans 8:28.)

In his book "Stress/Unstress: How You Can Control Stress at Home and on the Job", Dr. Keith Sehnert advocates finding a quiet time each day for prayer and reading the Bible or other devotional literature as a vital component of a well-rounded stress-management program.

Released Them to God

Skip MacCarty, in his “Stress: Beyond Coping” seminar, tells of a time when five major stressors were impacting him, resulting in sleepless nights. One night he practiced a key principle from his seminar: he reviewed each problem thoroughly with God, then released them to God one by one. He reports that that night he was able to sleep peacefully for the first time in weeks.

Highly respected author and psychiatrist Paul Tournier said that he used to live a restless life, always racing the clock. But he reported that once he began to devote an hour a day to quiet reflection, devotional mediatation, and prayer, he was happier, healthier, and better able to distinguish between priorities, and actually accomplished more.

Why not spend some extra time today with your forever Friend and discover just how powerful this relationship can be in detoxifying stress.

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By Dwight K. Nelson. Excerpted from Fit Forever, compiled by Kay Kuzma, copyright © 2005 by Review & Herald Publishing. Copyright © 2012 by GraceNotes. All rights reserved. Use of this material is subject to usage guidelines. Scripture taken from the NEW KING JAMES VERSION © 1982.


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