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In 1979, Norman Cousins, the editor-in-chief of the Saturday Review for more than three decades, was given the tough news, “You have six months to live.”  The doctors said he had a 1-in-500 chance of recovery.  What happened?  He beat the odds and lived another 20 years! 

Norman revealed how he did it in his bestselling book, Anatomy of an Illness.  While the doctors administered medicine, Cousins decided to fight his illness with his attitude.  He employed a simple strategy . . . laughter.

Here’s how he did it.  Cousins told his friends to call him every time they heard or did something funny.  He watched comedies and listened to stand-up comedians.  And, in his spare time he also pranked the hospital staff.

But, there was one nurse who never smiled or laughed.  In fact, she made him feel guilty every time he hit the call button. 

During one of her rounds, she handed him a specimen cup and asked for a sample.  Instead of urinating in it, Cousins poured his apple juice in the cup. When she came to collect the specimen cup, the nurse held it up to the light and said, “We’re a little cloudy today, aren’t we?”

Cousins said, “Yup, I guess I better run it through again” and gulped down the “sample.”

Later, he explained the prank to the nurse.  It worked.  She laughed!

Cousins didn’t just beat the odds.  What was it?  How did he do it?  Friend, it was hope.  Hope is a powerful word. 

Here’s what 1 Peter 1:3-6 says, “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy, he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade. This inheritance is kept in heaven for you, who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time. 

In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials.

Hope is medicine for the trial, the test, and the struggle.  I pray you will experience a good measure of hope as you endure and stand in Him!

Posted by Ted Burden with