Now, the thing to mark most keenly is this: a simple childlike trust in Christ drives that spirit of dread and fear clean out (1Jn_4:18).
It changes radically one 's mental attitude. The imagination is radically affected. And that change at once begins to work changes in the body.
It works in three ways. It will actually remove imaginary ills, and also those ills resulting from a tortured imagination. It will actually work toward changing bodily conditions, healing where there has been weakness and disease.
It will tend steadily toward keeping one in prime condition, in full vigour and strength. It will actually ward off disease threatening by contact.
That new mental attitude reacts in a marked way on one 's nerves. There is a normal relaxing of tense nerves. Tense nerves are responsible for bodily ailments to an incalculable extent. A normal relaxation removes a long list of bodily ills.
The latest expert word on defective eyesight is that it is caused by nervous tension in the eye itself, very largely. It is said that relaxation is the great corrective making glasses not needed. And this theory is being worked out with some most surprising results.
And, be it marked keenly, all this is simply on the natural level of action. I have tried to make it clear that Christ uses supernatural power in healing when need be.
But this thing I am speaking of now is on the purely natural level. The right touch with Christ affects the mental attitude. And the mental attitude controls largely the functions and sensations of the body.
From a reliable source the incident comes of a famous Philadelphia physician now deceased. The woman who consulted him told the story.
She was of a nervous temperament, and her numerous troubles had worried her to such a degree as to affect her health, and even threatened to affect her mental balance.
The eminent specialist listened, and then quietly told her to read her Bible for an hour a day, and report again in a month.
She was indignant. He gently insisted. Reflection led her conscientiously to do as he advised. The change was most marked. On reporting again, she asked the physician how he knew just what she needed.
The famous physician turned to a worn, marked Bible lying open on his table, and said with deep earnestness, "Madam, if I were to omit my daily reading of this Book I would lose my greatest source of strength and skill.
"I never go to an operation or a distressing case, without reading my Bible. Your case called not for medicine but for a source of peace and strength outside your own mind. I gave you my own prescription. I knew it would cure."
Turning your thought toward Christ fills you with the conception of His reality, His love, His power. Time daily spent over the Book, reaching through to Christ, brooding thoughtfully about Him, all this brings that attitude of heart and mind commonly called faith.
It fills your heart with love, love for Him. And love, this drawing of you out tenderly toward Him, this casts that slavish fear out.
You don't try to turn it out. You're thinking of Christ. He draws your heart out to Him. You resist the fear. It goes. The love drives it out. You find it gone.
Now note, that simple faith in Christ does two things. It releases that natural creative healing power within your body. That power swings into action. Its power is beyond calculation. At least, nobody has yet calculated it fully or adequately.
It does a second thing. It opens the way for any direct supernatural touch needed in addition to that natural creative healing power. It was in the days of his wisdom that Solomon said, "A tranquil heart is the life of the flesh" (Pro_14:30).
Now this is the first of the two main things we are talking about, the right mental attitude which comes as a natural result of a simple, true faith in Christ.
This is the first half of the chapter of what happens. But, mark keenly, it is only half. There's a second half.