One of the great health benefits that God has given to man is the Sabbath. Of course, Seventh-day Adventists have known this for nearly two centuries – after all, the Sabbath is one of our founding principles. However, I firmly believe we need to have a renewed commitment to the Sabbath in these last days. Recently, even peer-reviewed, modern . . . medical science supports its importance. Numerous published studies talk about the benefits of having a day “set apart.” Of course, this should be no surprise because God Himself instructed us to “Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy” thousands of years ago. There truly is healing and restoring power in the Sabbath. In this issue, you will read inspiring stories and see the healing power of the Sabbath and how sharing it can be instrumental in leading people to conversion and complete life transformation.
One of the great natural remedies is rest. In this hectic society our patients need rest. Our families need rest. We need rest. And God has provided us a day of rest. I have never forgotten my medical school neurophysiology professor, Bernell Baldwin. He shared studies which showed the beneficial effects of Sabbath keeping on students – not only on their grades but also on their mental outlook.
Years ago, in our medical clinic, my partners and I, along with Pastor Don Mackintosh, developed a biblically-based stress control program for our patients. During the program, which we named C.R.O.S.S. (Christian’s Resources for Surviving Stress), we met with our patients weekly for two months. In our study for these sessions, we found the Bible filled with stress-control principles that were amply supported in the scientific literature. Week by week we shared with our patients the Bible’s gimmick-free prescriptions for stress control.
In the course of the two months we found one of the most important principles of stress control is rest. When we can bring our patients to Jesus, He gives them rest; in fact, He gives them a whole day of rest (Matthew 11:28; Mark 2:27).
Those who take God’s gift of the Sabbath receive many benefits, including rest and peace. As Henry Vaughan’s haunting hymn lyrics say,
“Rest, rest to the weary,
Peace, peace to the soul;
Tho’ life may be dreary,
Earth is not thy goal,
O lay down thy burden,
O come unto Me,
I will not forsake thee,
I will not forsake thee,
I will not forsake thee, Tho’ all else should flee.”
Our society is in turmoil. People are in fragments. They are tired. People who have never been frightened before are frightened today. They fear the trajectory they see for the future. There has never been a time when Sabbath rest with its peace was more needed. And here at the end of time we can discover for ourselves and assure our patients that rest and peace is still available; rest and peace is still possible. “There remains therefore a rest for the people of God.” – Hebrews 4:9
This is our first themed AMEN Journal. The editorial staff pray that this special issue on the Sabbath impacts you as much as producing it has impacted us.
For me personally, the articles have deepened my own appreciation for Christ who gave mankind the Sabbath. It has brought me a renewed commitment to remember the Sabbath and keep it holy. Working on this publication has made me more determined to share the Sabbath truth with others. It has strengthened my resolve to never abandon the Sabbath. I hope it does the same for you.