As a member of Whole Life Ministries Healing Ministry, I have often heard critics dismiss claimed health benefits of serving God as fictional or for the “weak”. But, the opposite is really true. In fact, scientific findings actually confirm Biblical statements. A few of the health benefits are below:
6 SCIENCE-BACKED HEALTH BENEFITS OF FAITH IN GOD (with scriptures to support these findings):
1. HEART HEALTH (Exodus 23:25, Psalms 103:1-5, Psalm 23, Proverbs 4:20-23)
One key researcher in the area of faith and health is Dr. Harold Koenig. According to Koenig, research shows that when you engage in a faith-practice with God (i.e. regular prayer) you are 40% less likely to have blood pressure issues. A 2015 study found that greater religious involvement resulted in lower cortisol and chronic stress levels.
2. MENTAL HEALTH AND HOPE (Psalms 92:14, Psalms 146:5, Jeremiah 17:7, 2 Corinthians 10:5, Ephesians 5:9, Galatians 5:22-23, 2 Timothy 1:7, 1 Peter 4:7)
About 80% of the research on faith and health is in the area of mental health. More involvement in religious activities correlates with better mental health. Specifically, studies show greater:
- Coping with Adversity
- Well-Being and Happiness
- Hope and Optimism
- Sense of Control
3. LESS SUBSTANCE ABUSE AND HEALTH-DETRIMENTAL BEHAVIOR (Proverbs 20:1, 1 Corinthians 6:19-20, Galatians 5:23)
Among practicing Christians, studies find less cigarette smoking, less risky sexual behavior (outside of marriage, multiple partners, etc.) and less drug abuse. Studies also show improved food choices and exercise as faith practices increase.
4. PRAYER AND HEALING (Exodus 23:25, Luke 10:9, James 5:14-29)
The power of prayer for healing has been well-documented. In fact, Dr. Koenig has stated that there have been more than 4000 studies that have been done on the connection between spirituality and medical healing.
5. A GREATER SENSE OF GRATITUDE (Psalms 50:23, Psalms 100:4, 1 Corinthians 2:9, 1 Corinthians 8:3, Philippians 4:6, 1 Thessalonians 5:18)
In and of itself, gratitude results in better health. Those with faith in God tend to have a greater sense of gratitude. Gratitude improves:
- Mental Health
- Healthy Behaviors
- Heart Health
- Mental Health
- Healthy Aging
6. LONGER LIFE EXPECTANCY (Exodus 20:12, Psalms 103:1-5)
Believe it or not, science has consistently shown those with religious faith have an overall longer life expectancy! One study analyzed data from questionnaires completed every four years of 74,534 women. It found that women who attended religious services more than once per week had a 33% lower risk of dying compared with women who never attended religious services. Women who attended services weekly had a 26% lower risk, those who attended services less than weekly had a 13% lower risk.
It’s always great to see science confirm the Word of God!!! This is just more proof that God’s Word is always true (Numbers 23:19), whether science “agrees” with the reality of the greatness of God or not! We truly serve a marvelous God!!!