In his book Getting Well Again, Dr. Carl Simonton showed the major role that motivation plays in fighting disease. Dr. Simonton, an oncologist from Texas, specialized in treating cancer patients. In his practice, Dr. Simonton noticed that mental attitude, or encouragement, made a big difference in how people resisted disease.
Dr. Simonton’s patients who lacked a encouragement for living often crumbled quickly. Perhaps this is why many elderly widows and widowers often die within a year of losing their spouse. In many cases the last years of their life were taken up in caring for their ailing spouse. Their reason for living has just passed away and, feeling they have nothing to live for themselves, they soon contract some disease and pass on as well.
In contrast, a terminally ill cancer patient might tell Dr. Simonton that because they wanted to get their last child through high school, they couldn’t die for another two years. Then, despite the odds stacked against them and the fact that they weren’t expected to live that long, they somehow made it through until their goal was achieved.
In both scenarios, motivation made all the difference. Motivation keeps us going and gives us something to look forward to, especially when life becomes very hard.
This is why the christian spiritual motivation is so very important. When we can’t see the light at the end of the tunnel, when we have lost faith in ourselves, there is someone else that we can believe in. We may be discouraged, even highly unmotivated, but if we believe in the Lord Jesus Christ there is light at the end of the tunnel. And because that light gets brighter and brighter the closer it comes, we are able to handle setbacks.
When we consider the life of Jesus—what He went through and did—we see that He had a lot of motivation. One of the main reasons He could suffer what He did was because He had a lot to look forward to.
This is why faith in Jesus can make all the difference for us. By following His forward-looking example, we can endure a great deal ourselves.
“Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith: who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.” (Hebrews 12:1-2)
Because He saw something glorious at the end of the road, Jesus was enabled to experience the horror that He did and still accomplish His mission. Though called to do something extremely difficult, to forego earthly pleasures and actually give up His life for people who were basically clueless about His mission, He was motivated to carry it through.
This is very good news—not only the news of the gospel, but the news that, even when we feel extremely discouraged, His energy, drive, and commitment can all be ours. Now that’s motivational!
(Last Updated: April 23rd, 2017)