If there's anything God wants for his people, it's for them to be healthy. In addition, he also wants them to be happy, to prosper, to live life to its' fullest, and help others.
Steve Reynolds, a preacher from Virginia, created a new weight loss program called "Bod4God". On this program, followers of it and members of his church lost a combined 17,000 pounds. (See the video for more.)
First, we must assume that "strength" is good- it prevents injuries, allows you to function better, makes you more physically productive, and also allows you to help others. There is no argument that can say that being strong is a bad thing.
Likewise, there is no valid argument that can suppose that being optimally healthy is a bad thing in and of itself- it prevents disease, it makes you more productive, and allows you to help others better. If you have kids, it enables you to be a better provider and interact more in your children's lives. It also benefits you in your career as you will miss work less and be more productive.
Now, when it comes to your workouts, which are the vehicle to which you will improve and achieve health and strength, there will be some critical elements that you will have to overcome in order to do so. All great stories in the bible have to do with people having to overcome challenges and obstacles. For example, part of improving strength and performance and losing weight requires you to get more reps than you did before, do more sets, lift at a higher intensity, and also lift up a weight level that you never did before. Often times that weight or the amount of reps will seem scary. You may fear getting injured, the weight dropping down on you and crushing you, looking like a fool, and just outright failure.
Your goal may also entail spending more time than usual running or doing cardio. This may seem impossible. For example, if you have always done only 20 minutes and now it is necessary to do 40 minutes, you may see this as an implausibility. Or, if you now have to do a new cardio machine or piece of equipment you never used before, you may not think you can do it, especially if it is one of the more sophisticated ones commonly seen in health clubs today.
Now assuming your goal is realistic (it's not too much more than you have ever attempted before), you will want to call on your faith. One bible verse that would work well for this is found in Luke 1:37:
"With God, nothing shall be impossible."
You may think performing your feat is impossible. More likely, perhaps people around you will tell you and convince you it's not possible or that you can't do it. Either of these cases will lead to doubt, and this applies to any goal you are trying to accomplish in the gym. It could be as small as thinking it's impossible to get a great workout in in only 15 minutes, one that could trigger results. By recalling this verse, you will always remember, that with faith, nothing is impossible.
Another manner in which God can help with your workouts in the same manner comes down to "focus". There will be many distractions during and throughout your workout. These range from people talking around you or to you, to rude gym rats running into you and grunting around you, to cell phones ringing, and maybe even poor music playing in the background.
In other words, it can be hard to concentrate, yet alone vision yourself succeeding and accomplishing your goal, and everyone knows that the ability to visualize your accomplishment or achievement is one of the most crucial factors in determining your success. If you are distracted or unable to focus, then you will be unable to see, or visualize, and therefore, unable to believe.
In these situations, if you put your faith in God, up against all distractions, and focus the best you can despite them, you will be able to perform at a higher level, and the highest possible level you can. This is what triggers results.
Another element in this is trusting in God. The bible verse for this is Psalm 37:5:
"Commit thy way unto the LORD; trust in him; and he shall bring it to pass.." and "Commit everything you do to the LORD. Trust him, and he will help you."
The gym contains lots of "know it alls" and people who will try to tell you what to do, or how to do something, and try to tell you what you can or can't do. Yet, there is no way they can know your own personal potential and what you individually can achieve, especially if it leads to a negative direction, which is common.
So when you trust in God, despite what anyone tells you or tries to convince you of, thus leading to negative thinking and a distraction, you will be able to remain focused on your own personal goals, and therefore perform at your highest level, and be the best you can be, which can only lead to progress and the ability to maintain it.
Faith in God will empower you and enable you to perform at your highest level, levels you might not have ever reached if you didn't believe, were distracted, or just didn't put the heart and passion into believing that you were destined to succeed and reach your goals. This can only help, as God knows, being healthy, happy, strong, and successful can only be a good thing.
The conclusion to such results as the people on the Bod4God program founded by Steve Reynolds may be that even though exercise is a science, science often times only describes the results of faith- as many scientific diets and fitness programs that have been released, it still holds true that obesity continues to be on the rise and that most of them don't work.
What are some of your favorite bible verses that can help with your goals and workouts?