This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success. (Joshua 1:8 ESV)
According to a survey conducted by the American Bible Society (ABS), Americans who regularly read and engage with the Bible have more hope than those who don’t, Christian Headlines reports.
Wikipedia defines hope as “an optimistic state of mind that is based on an expectation of positive outcomes with respect to events and circumstances in one’s life or the world at large … Among its opposites are dejection, hopelessness, and despair.”
In its survey, ABS asked respondents a series of questions related to the Persevering Hope Scale, where people are asked to rank the possibility of something happening on a scale of one to five, with one meaning ‘not at all’ and five ‘very likely’.
The overall average score for an American to these questions was 3.8 and according to the survey, there was little difference between men and women with each group scoring 3.8.
There was also little difference when it came to age with boomers scoring 3.8 and those in the older age group scoring 3.7.
However, the study found that there was one factor that impacted the ‘optimism’ number and that was Bible reading.
Those who stated that they were Biblically engaged scored on average 4.1, compared to 3.7 for those who said they were not scripturally engaged.
Scripturally engaged meant that they regularly read a Bible or believed it guided their relationship with God or impacted their daily life.
One comparison that I wished ABS had studied was rating people’s hope based on how much they watched the news.
Earlier this year, researchers at Texas Tech University concluded that people who obsessively followed the news had greater mental health issues than those who didn’t.
According to their research, 74% of people who obsessed about the news stated they had struggled ‘a bit’ or ‘very much’ with mental health issues compared with 8% overall.
READ: Study Shows Americans Who Read the Bible ‘Have Far More Hope’ than Non-Bible Readers AND Obsessively watching the news can make you mentally and physically sick
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