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Heart Attack Victims Find Meaning in Trial

It's hard to find meaning in the midst of tragedy. But in her book The How of Happiness, researcher Sonja Lyubomirsky shows that people who find some kind of benefit from trauma and tragedy live longer and find more happiness than those who don't see any benefit in their trials. She gives the following example:

In one study researchers interviewed men who had had heart attacks between the ages of 30 and 60. Those who perceived benefits in the event seven weeks after it happened— for example, believing that they had grown and matured as a result, or revalued home life, or resolved to create less hectic schedules for themselves—were less likely to have recurrences and more likely to be healthy eight years later. In contrast, those who blamed their heart attacks on other people or on their own emotions (e.g., having been too stressed) were now in poorer health.

Possible Preaching Angles: Of course sometimes the "benefits" are far from obvious. But as Christians we know that God is sovereign and good, and sometimes that is the only benefit we receive—at least in the immediate future.

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