I read about a new Harvard study in Forbes recently which investigated the health and mental health of children and teenagers who were raised with religious or spiritual practices. I am not surprised by what they found.
According to the study, children and teens attending religious services at least once a week were 18% more likely to be happier in their twenties than those not attending. They were 30% more likely to volunteer and 33% less likely to use drugs later in life.
The study went on to say those who prayed and meditated daily had more life satisfaction, were better able to process emotions, and were more forgiving. Previous studies have suggested similar connections—for instance, that people who are more religious are often happier, and that people who believe in something greater than themselves are more resilient to stress. Less depression and more hope.
Hal Lindsey, author and lecturer, has been quoted, “Man can live about forty days without food, about three days without water, about eight minutes without air…but only for one second without hope.” I firmly believe this. What I further believe is that affiliation with a church or ministry that encourages its members to help others can have enormous benefits spiritually and mentally to attendees. By offering hope to others, hope is received.
Do you have hope? Are you providing hope to others?
Psalm 39:7 “And now, Lord, for what do I wait? My hope is in You.”