Televangelist Joyce Meyer is famous for saying, “Hope is favorable and confident expectation; it’s an expectant attitude that something good is going to happen and things will work out, no matter what situation we’re facing.”
Scientists are continuing to research the health benefits of expectation. According to an article by Luana Colloca and Franklin Miller, for pubmed.gov, “Considerable progress has been made in the neurobiological understanding of expectations in physiological and pathological processes. Recent scientific research indicates that expectations have the potential for relieving many symptoms which influence physiological and pathological functions. The application of research on health-related expectations has the potential for promoting wellness, improving health, and benefiting patient care.”
Much of their research has been in the area of placeboes and noceboes. But other authors also credit expectancy of healing when undergoing allopathic, psychiatric or spiritual treatment. Joel Osteen, in his book, Break Out!, writes much about expecting good each day. He wrote, “Instead of worrying about the future, get up every morning and say to yourself, ‘I can do this one more day. I may not know how I can do it the next twenty years, but I do know this; I can do it for twenty-four hours. I can stay in faith one more day. I can keep a good attitude one more day. I can have a smile on my face twenty-four more hours” (p. 164).
Osteen wrote, “I heard about this lady diagnosed with ovarian cancer. She was trying to stay positive and hopeful, but she was so afraid. She had two children. The doctors had given her only a 15 percent chance of surviving. She prayed and believed, and she had friends and family supporting her.
“One day somebody gave her a little grey rock with the words ‘Expect a miracle’ written on it. We’ve seen little trinkets with Scriptures on them and such. But when she was given that simple rock, something on the inside came alive.
“Her faith was ignited. She knew: “It’s going to happen to me. I’m going to be well.’ From then on, everywhere she went, she kept that rock with her. All during the day she would keep it in her pocket. At night when she went to bed, she would keep it by her pillow. It was a reminder to thank God that He was working and to thank Him that He was restoring her health.”
A few months later after various treatments, she was again examined by her doctors. Osteen wrote, “The doctors examined one hundred different places where they thought it could have spread. They told her not to get her hopes up. There was little or no chance that they would all come back cancer free.
“She went to the exams with her rock right by her side.” Afterwards, she woke up to find her husband sitting by her side smiling. “Honey, the results are in. There was no cancer in any of the one hundred biopsies,” he reported to her (see pps. 235-236).
Mary Baker Eddy, who practiced spiritual healing, and valued expecting prayer to be effective wrote, “When the destination is desirable, expectation speeds our progress” (Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, p. 426).
So what are you expecting each day? A day of progress or a day of defeat? When it comes to your health, are you expecting that you can defeat disease, make wiser life-style decisions, and overcome limitations?
Look at your expectations, and expect progress!
©2014 Christian Science Committee on Publication for Illinois