The Northern Light V13 Issue 4: I Want You to Prosper

With 2,287 deaths from COVID-19 in Minnesota and 220,000 in the US, these last 8 months have been the longest COVID-19 season that we were hopeful would finish rather quickly.  Unfortunately, COVID-19 is still with us, and according to the experts the winter could turn this pandemic season into an even longer one.  What to do?  Well, for one thing we need to remember that God promises: Can a woman forget her sucking child, that she should not have compassion on the son of her womb? yea, they may forget, yet will I not forget thee. (Isa. 49:15).  Isaiah is saying we should not be afraid.  Why?  Because God has promised to be with us in these difficult times, He will walk us through.

One of our distinctive teachings becomes strikingly relevant in these days - our message of Health Reform.  I remember when I first learned about Adventism, health reform was linked to salvation, or so I understood.  In other words, becoming vegetarian, abandoning coffee, leaving off sugary drinks and many other practices were linked to our experience of seeking the salvation that God offered.  I must confess that salvation was a little too hard if I had to abandon all my unhealthy practices to be “fully” saved.  Well, now I understand that my perception of health reform or perhaps the emphasis given to it was misplaced.  Spirituality is really a love relationship. In the words of Jesus in Matt 22:37 it is a relationship that involves the heart, soul, and the mind. Our spirituality will therefore impact our lives. Spirituality is “the state of deep relationship to God”[i] or broadly described as a “concept referring to the ways in which people seek, make, celebrate and apply meaning to their lives.”[ii] As Adventists let us try to live our lives as Christ lived. The Health reform message is meant to prepare God’s end-time people for the challenges ahead.  The story of Daniel and his friends in Daniel 1 is a perfect illustration of the importance of Health reform.  These young men were confronted by a challenge that required strong spiritual discernment, healthy mental condition, and physical strength. Daniel and his friend’s choice of health reform in preparation for the crisis and challenges ahead is a critical example of what is needed in the end time. 

In our day, we also need health reform as we prepare to confront the challenges that we are beginning to experience as we move on through the end time.  That is why paying close attention to the recommendations of the Spirit of Prophecy regarding health is in tune with a clear understanding of the conditions necessary to be ready for the test.  COVID-19 is certainly a public health issue that affects everyone and yet many of our members are experiencing a great deal of stress and spiritual discouragement in the face of this public health crisis.  This crisis should not and certainly cannot take away our assurance of eternal life in Christ.  It may take away employment and health, but it should not remove our faith and commitment to God. The great apostle of love says, “Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth.” (3 Jn. 2).  Let us highlight the value of a teaching that is intended to be a blessing not only for this life but also for the life to come.

By Eduardo Jacobo, Hispanic Ministries Coordinator

 

[i] Walter A. Elwell, Evangelical Dictionary of Theology (Baker Book House, Grand Rapids MI

49506, 1984), 1046

[ii] Philip Hughes et al., Believe It or Not: Australian Spirituality and the Churches in the 90s (Kew, Australia: Christian Research Association, 1997), 7.