I grabbed the phone when I recognized the area code. Our friends were calling from across the country. After a recent visit with us, Lon and Trish had returned home and received the shocking news Lon had cancer in both lungs. This friend is like a brother to my husband. They were born on the same day in the same hospital, played baseball together, and were college roommates.
The doctors were wrong. He didn’t have double lung cancer. In this case, double pneumonia and pleurisy were something to celebrate!
Hours later another call sunk my heart. This time the call came from a dear friend who’s served alongside me in ministry for many years. Susie contacts me each week to know how to pray for my work. And when she calls to pray, she doesn’t talk about praying, she prays.
A scan showed tumors on her vital organs. It looked like cancer had returned with a vengeance—only months after ending her chemo. Her faith buoyed me, as it always does, but my spirit felt crushed.
Further tests confirmed our worst fears. The cancer had spread to several organs. She started chemo within a week.
Perhaps you too are facing a foe that scares you, or you’ve received crushing news. Your natural response is fear.
Someone described FEAR as:
The truth sets us free from fear. Paul said we struggle not against flesh and blood (Ephes. 6:12). All battles, whether physical, emotional, financial, or relational, include a spiritual aspect. It is as if the enemy drops bombs in one ear that explode in fear, doubt, and discouragement. But the Lord delivers the balm of truth in the other ear to restore our souls. Which will we believe?
Of course we are human, but we don’t fight like humans. The weapons we use in our fight are not made by humans. Rather, they are powerful weapons from God. With them we destroy…arguments…that oppose the knowledge of God. We take every thought captive so that it is obedient to Christ” (2 Cor. 10:3-5 GW).
Maybe you can relate to the bombs and balms I felt this week.
Fear bomb: My petite friend isn’t strong enough to start chemo again.
Faith balm: God equips us for our battles.
You armed me with strength for battle. You made my opponents bow at my feet” (Ps. 18: 39 GW).
“When I am weak, then I am strong” (2 Cor. 12:10 NASB).
Fear bomb: How can we fight so many masses?
Faith balm: The strength of our foe doesn’t hinder His might.
O Lord, no one but you can help the powerless against the mighty! Help us, O Lord our God, for we trust in you alone. It is in your name that we have come against this vast horde”(2 Chron. 14:11 NLT).
Fear bomb: The doctor’s report isn’t good.
Faith balm: We can’t see what God is doing.
We live by faith, not by sight” (2 Cor. 5:7 NIV).
Gwen, my college roommate and a cancer survivor, said, “I never ask my doctor for a prognosis. That just puts them in a corner. And no doctor knows God’s plan for me.” This woman of faith feels great and continues to enjoy life many years after going through both colon and lung cancer.
Fear Not: God Has Gone Before Us
We didn’t know a cancelation would open a spot for Susie to begin treatment Thursday. But God knew. At 5 a.m. I awakened with a prayer running through my mind asking Jesus to move the cancer out of my friend’s body and to bury it in the bottom of the ocean.
Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you” (Matt. 17:20 NIV).
How tender of God to give us a Scripture to bolster our hope and faith before her treatment that day.
When doubts blast, God comforts.
Big battles tax our strength and test our faith. But Jesus stands ready to help.
The father instantly cried out, ‘I do believe, but help me overcome my unbelief!’” (Mark 9:24 NLT).
No one knows what tomorrow holds. But we know the One who holds tomorrow. And nothing can touch us without first passing through the filter of His love (Ps. 139:5).
Those who know Jesus don’t have to fear cancer or death because He—
- Is greater than any enemy (Deut. 33:27).
- Is the resurrection and the life (Jn. 11:25).
- Will never leave us or forsake us (Heb. 13:5).
The Power of Prayer
My friend Gwen went through radiation for a new cancer this March. She and Susie use cancer as a platform to proclaim Jesus (Rev. 12:11). Their doctors and friends find strength in their presence. Please pray for our exceptional friends Lon, Gwen, and Susie and their families.
And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise them up” (James 5:15 NIV). #healing, #prayer Click To Tweet
And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise them up” (James 5:15 NIV).
God’s Hidden Purpose: In this podcast Pastor Jim Cymbala speaks about how God can use our difficult and challenging situations to encourage others to trust the Lord.