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For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.
Ephesians 2:10One of the surest hindrances to the recovery of the sick is the centering of attention upon themselves. Many invalids feel that everyone should give them sympathy and help, when what they need is to have their attention turned away from themselves, to think of and care for others.
Often prayer is solicited for the afflicted, the sorrowful, the discouraged; and this is right. We should pray that God will shed light into the darkened mind and comfort the sorrowful heart. But God answers prayer for those who place themselves in the channel of His blessings. While we offer prayer for these sorrowful ones, we should encourage them to try to help those more needy than themselves. The darkness will be dispelled from their own hearts as they try to help others. As we seek to comfort others with the comfort wherewith we are comforted, the blessing comes back to us.
The fifty-eight chapter of Isaiah is a prescription for maladies of the body and of the soul. If we desire health and the true joy of life we must put into practice the rules given in this scripture. Of the service acceptable to Him, and its blessings, the Lord says:
Is it not to deal thy bread to the hungry,
And that thou bring the poor that are cast out to thy house?
When thou seest the naked, that thou cover him;
And that thou hide not thyself from thine own flesh?
Then shall thy light break forth as the morning,
And thine health shall spring forth speedily:
And thy righteousness shall go before thee;
The glory of the Lord shall be thy rearward.
Then shalt thou call, and the Lord shall answer;
Thou shalt cry, and He shall say, Here I am.
If thou take away from the midst of thee the yoke,
The putting forth of the finger, and speaking vanity;
And if thou draw out thy soul to the hungry,
And satisfy the afflicted soul;
Then shall thy light rise in obscurity,
And thy darkness be as the noonday:
And the Lord shall guide thee continually,
And satisfy thy soul in drought,
And make fat thy bones:
And thou shalt be like a watered garden,
And like a spring of water,
Whose waters fail not.
- Isaiah 58:7-11
Good deeds are twice a blessing, benefiting both the giver and the receiver of the kindness. The consciousness of right-doing is one of the best medicines for diseased bodies and minds. When the mind is free and happy from a sense of duty well done and the satisfaction of giving happiness to others, the cheering, uplifting influence brings new life to the whole being.