There will be . . . glory, honor and peace for everyone who does good. (Rom. 2:9–10)

GOD’S JUDGMENTS are not all reserved for the day of judgment. God’s commandments are like natural laws. There are immediate consequences—good or bad—from respecting or disrespecting those laws.

Those consequences are dramatically revealed in our physical, mental, and relational health. Studies show that a person with a vital religious faith has a lower pulse rate, lower blood pressure, in­creased oxygen consumption, and lower stressed brain wave patterns than do those lacking a meaningful faith.

More than 300 studies found that people having a vital faith recover faster from physical and mental illness, surgery, and even addictions. Those who regularly attend church are less likely to commit suicide, abuse drugs or alcohol, have out-of-wedlock births, or divorce. On the contrary, those who do not are less happy and healthy, have higher rates of stress and depression, lower self-esteem, and unhappier marriages. There are tangible benefits to having a vibrant faith.

This should be no surprise to those familiar with the Old Testament, where God promises, “If you listen carefully to the Lord your God and do what is right in his eyes, if you pay attention to his commands and keep all his decrees, I will not bring on you any of the diseases I brought on the Egyptians, for I am the Lord, who heals you” (Ex. 15:26).

Take a long, deep breath and say, “Thank you, Lord.”

James N. Watkins loves God, his family, writing, speaking, and deep-dish pizza—in that order.

© 2018 Wesleyan Publishing House. Reprinted from Light from the Word. Used by permission.