During the past two years, people have become more health-conscious as the COVID pandemic has swept around the world.

But we know that sickness, diseases, and death are part of living in this sinful world. And we will all die one day.

Jesus said in John 10:10, "The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life and that they may have it more abundantly."

Also, the Ministry of Healing, p. 17, says, "Our Lord Jesus Christ came to this world as the unwearied servant of man's necessity. He 'took our infirmities, and bare our sicknesses,' that He might minister to every need of humanity...The burden of disease and wretchedness and sin He came to remove. It was His mission to bring to men complete restoration; He came to give them health and peace and perfection of character."

When Jesus was on earth, He healed many diseases. He has also given people counsel on how to live healthy lives. These counsels are also given through His inspired writings.

When we talk about health, we have to remember that God created us as holistic beings. The mind, body, and spirit are interrelated. As such, we are told to stay away from harmful substances such as alcohol, tobacco, illicit drugs, and caffeine.

Unfortunately, many people drink caffeinated drinks as a temporary relief from drowsiness. But it doesn't solve the problem of fatigue. Instead, it leads to other health problems like anxiety, depression, insomnia, restlessness, osteoporosis, and headache.

Rather than drinking harmful substances, let us drink fresh, pure water. Water makes up about 60 to 70 percent of body weight. Every organ system depends on it. So, it is essential to drink plenty of it throughout the day. Though its amount varies based on a person's body composition, a good rule to follow is to take 8 to 10 glasses a day.

The second is exercise. It is best done in sunlight and fresh air. Doing it helps lower the risk of coronary heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, diabetes, cancers, and a lot more. It also helps improve bone health, sleep quality, body weight, skin, and others.

While it's sometimes difficult to incorporate exercise in our busy lives, it's important to find a type that we enjoy doing. Then, try to do it on the same schedule each day. But it's still more advisable to engage in as much movement as possible.

The third is food. The food that we put into our bodies has a significant impact on our overall health. The Bible encourages a balanced plant-based diet consisting of grains, fruits, nuts, vegetables, and legumes.

Based on studies, a plant-based diet results in the following:

  • Vegetarians had 24 percent less risk of dying from coronary heart disease as compared to non vegetarians.
  • A study in Japan showed that women who eat meat daily are 8 ½ times more likely to develop breast cancer than those who rarely or never do.
  • Studies in England and Germany showed that vegetarians were about 40 percent less likely to develop cancer compared to meat-eaters.
  • Those who ate "white meat," particularly chicken, have approximately 3 times the risk of getting colon cancer compared to vegetarians.

Fourth is rest. Doctors recommend at least 7 to 9 hours of sleep every night. Without it, we are at risk for health conditions like obesity, diabetes, lowered immune system response, mood disorders, higher risk of injury, and impaired mental function.

Concerning this, we should practice the God-given weekly rest provided on the seventh-day Sabbath. It is a special time to refresh and rejuvenate from the week's labor. With this, we worship our Creator and fellowship with family and friends.

Finally, let's develop a strong relationship with God. "Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.  For My yoke is easy and My burden is light" (Matthew 11:28-30).

With all these, Jesus has provided a way for us to achieve an abundant life here on earth and in the future life of eternity with Him.

As such, let's claim His promises and power as we practice these health principles He has provided for us.

For more information, please visit adventist.org/health/.