I shall ... praise him, who is the health of my countenance, and my God. Psalm 42:11.
The wise man says that wisdom's “ways are ways of pleasantness, and all her paths are peace.” Many cherish the impression that devotion to God is detrimental to health and to cheerful happiness in the social relations to life. But those who walk in the path of wisdom and holiness find that “godliness is profitable unto all things, having promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come.” They are alive to the enjoyment of life's real pleasures, while they are not troubled with vain regrets over misspent hours, nor with gloom or horror of mind, as the worldling often is when not diverted by some exciting amusement.
It is true that there are many professing Christians who have diseased imaginations, and do not correctly represent the religion of the Bible. They are ever walking under a cloud. They seem to think it a virtue to complain of depression of spirits, great trials, and severe conflicts. This course is not in accordance with the words of the Saviour, “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” It is the duty of all to walk in the light, and to cultivate habitual cheerfulness of mind, that they may reflect light rather than gloom and darkness.
Godliness does not conflict with the laws of health, but is in harmony with them. Had men ever been obedient to the law of ten commandments, had they carried out in their lives the principles of these ten precepts, the curse of disease that now floods the world would not be. Men may teach that trifling amusements are necessary to keep the mind above despondency. The mind may indeed be thus diverted for the time being; but after the excitement is over, calm reflection comes. Conscience arouses, and makes her voice heard, saying, “This is not the way to obtain health or true happiness.”
There are many amusements that excite the mind, but depression is sure to follow. Other modes of recreation are innocent and healthful; but useful labor that affords physical exercise will often have a more beneficial influence upon the mind, while at the same time it will strengthen the muscles, improve the circulation, and prove a powerful agent in the recovery of health.
“What man is he that desireth life, and loveth many days, that he may see good? ... The righteous cry, and the Lord heareth, and delivereth them out of all their troubles.”—The Signs of the Times, October 23, 1884.
From Reflecting Christ - Page 160
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