– Joe Fornear
I recently got a note from a sweet woman with young kids whose husband was just told, “There is nothing we can do for you.” She asked if I had any thoughts. No one ever wants to hear those words, still we have to boldly face bad news to keep it from overwhelming us. As Job said, “Shall we indeed accept good from God and not accept adversity?” (Job 2:10). So in this post I thought I’d share my response to her.
“Well first I know and remember this sense of desperation well, as they gave me days to live in May 2003. They used the h-word – recommending I go on hospice. Tumors were invading both sides of my pancreas, causing excrucitating pain. I had lesions in a lung and a kidney and a big patch in my groin that grew through and fractured one of my sitting bones – ischium bone. I felt so out of control, but I kept telling myself three things:
1) Though I was totally out of control, God never is. So try to rest in His complete sovereignty over everything – God is way bigger than cancer. It’s never over until HE says it’s over, and He can heal at any old stage of cancer. So have hope that He CAN heal and also believe that healing is His default position.
But He (Jesus) said, “The things that are impossible with people are possible with God.” – Luke 18:27
2) Soak up HIS supernatural peace, the peace which He says “surpasses all understanding.” In other words, His peace doesn’t make human sense because it can make us relax even when earthly circumstances stink. God is at rest all of the time. He never panics – nor should we – even during impossible times.
And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. – Philippians 4:7
3) Face the possibility that He may choose not to heal – on this side. Do not fear this possibility. He will walk us through whatever He allows. In fact, even if we get healed a hundred times in life, we will all eventually face our mortality of both ourselves and loved ones. Yet let this sink deep into your heart and mind – His children will absolutely never be alone or abandoned to fend for ourselves (How to know if you’re His child? – click here). His Presence always goes with us and there is absolutely nothing to fear. So be bold and courageous about your future. Don’t let the enemies of doubt and fear chip away at your sense of well-being in the Lord. He holds your future and even if it is very hard – it is very bright!
Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil, for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; You have anointed my head with oil; My cup overflows. Surely goodness and lovingkindness will follow me all the days of my life, And I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever. – Psalm 23:4-6
I found that fighting cancer is a supernatural endeavor – not a do-it-yourself project. Lean on Him and ask Him to teach you how to fight with His supernatural resources. Thus, we end with Paul’s advice:
Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might. – Ephesians 6:10
Find out more on what Joe found in God’s Word to fight bad news. His book, My Stronghold – A Pastor’s Battle with Cancer and Doubts, is part of our Free gift basket to cancer patients.
-If you’re fighting cancer, please write and let us know how we can pray for you. We want to be “in your corner” and send you some free resources. -In His Grip is also sent as an email newsletter, a ministry of Stronghold Ministry – sign up here. All materials in this blog copyright (c) Joe & Terri Fornear. Scripture quotations from the NASB.