"This is for your health." Acts 27:34
Bodily health is a great blessing, and should not be trifled with. All means likely to preserve it, should be attended to. To this the Apostle refers, and recommends the ship's company to take some food, because it was for their health.
Spiritual health is an invaluable blessing — and should be more carefully attended to. Unless the graces of the Spirit are in vigorous exercise, and the duties of piety are our delight — we are not in health; there is some sickness, and we need the physician's care. To preserve health where it is, or restore it where it is not — attend to the following prescription. It is valuable; it is important — because, "it is for your health."
1. First, you must have daily exercise. I
recommend . . .
that you walk daily in the paradise of God's Word;
that you work in the vineyard of God's church;
that you bathe in the fountain of redeeming blood;
that you keep up fellowship with lively Christians;
and that you exercise all the graces of the Spirit.
Attend particularly to these points, for, "it is for your health."
2. Second, pay attention to your diet. Let your food be the best — the bread of life and the living waters of salvation are recommended. They satisfy and sanctify. They make healthy — and keep healthy! Be sure you take sufficient nutrition; a little will preserve life — but much is necessary to health! Take your food regularly, for regularity is important. You cannot, "prosper and be in health" unless you live upon Christ, and live upon Him every day!
3. Third, as to your medicine — it is made up of the bitter herbs of disappointment, losses, crosses, temptations, bereavements, troubles and trials of various sorts. It is very unpleasant — but very profitable. Unless taken, and taken pretty regularly — you will be laid up with idleness, carelessness, anxiety, pride, or selfishness! But this medicine is intended to prevent or remove these evils. Your Heavenly Father will prepare it — and Divine Providence will present it! You are to beg God's blessing upon it — take it and expect benefit from it. Do not despise your medicine, for, "it is for your health."
4. Fourth, we prescribe tranquility. You cannot be
healthy, unless you preserve tranquility of mind. In order to calm your
heart . . .
live in peace with God, as a loving child with a kind and tender Father;
cast all your cares upon Him,
daily confess your sins before Him,
get a renewed manifestation of His pardoning love,
trust the promises and providence of God for the future,
live day by day,
be content with your lot — it is appointed for you by infinite wisdom and love! It is the very best that can be, and this you will see and confess by-and-bye.
Take no anxious thought for the tomorrow — but leave the
future with the Lord, for, "it is for your health."
Believer, God designs to preserve or restore your spiritual health in all that He does.
Does He require you to obey His wise, His holy, His flesh-displeasing precepts? "It is for your health!"
Does He afflict you? "It is for your health!"
Does He try you in your temporal circumstances? "It is for your health!"
Does He bereave you of your beloved relatives and friends? Even "this is for your health!"
The cup is bitter — but the design is gracious! The medicine is nauseous — but the effect is sweet.
"All things work together for good, to those who love God, and are the called according to His purpose."
If we use much exercise, pay strict attention to our diet, and live in holy tranquility — we shall not need much 'medicine'. But if we become inactive, feed upon worldly vanities, and are anxious and troubled about many things — we shall often need a regular course of pungent 'medicine'! And as sure as we need it — we shall have it! And if we complain or repine — our Heavenly Father will silence us, by pointing to our folly and asking, "Have you not procured all this unto yourself?"