These days, it seems like everyone knows someone who has been afflicted with some kind of cancer. My 90 plus year old father-in-law has had a slow-growing prostate cancer for years that fairly recently metastasized to his spine. He is intelligently seeking treatments to slow the cancer down, but tests show that the treatments have become ineffective. A few days ago, we found out that Pastor G’s sister, who is the care giver for my father-in-law, has stage one uterine cancer that requires her to undergo a hysterectomy. According to the doctors, her prognosis is good because they caught it so early. Pastor G and I pray that is indeed the case. We leave both Pastor George ‘s father and sister in God’s hands. His will be done.
So, how can a believer cope with cancer or any other serious illness or affliction? Most of the time, the person can’t do anything to change what’s happening, so living the serenity prayer comes in very handy indeed. You know the one I mean:
God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.
The believer can live Romans 8:28 and see how God works even cancer for his/her good.
Romans 8:28 (NKJV)
28 And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.
The believer can live and be comforted by Psalm 23, which shows how bad things can be going on but God is in control and is there to bless the hurting regardless of the storms in life.
Psalm 23 (NKJV)
The Lord the Shepherd of His People
A Psalm of David.
23 The Lord is my shepherd;
I shall not want.
2 He makes me to lie down in green pastures;
He leads me beside the still waters.
3 He restores my soul;
He leads me in the paths of righteousness
For His name’s sake.
4 Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil;
For You are with me;
Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.
5 You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies;
You anoint my head with oil;
My cup runs over.
6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me
All the days of my life;
And I will dwell in the house of the Lord
A believer can think spiritually positive thoughts:
Philippians 4:8 (NKJV)
Meditate on These Things
8 Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things.
Pray with me, please: Father God, You know that I or someone close to me is afflicted with cancer. You are the God of life and death, and You know when this life’s story ends for each of us. Thanks for Your word, where I can find comfort and encouragement. Thanks for being with me in the days, weeks, months or years ahead and help me to make right, wise choices as the challenges arise. Help me to consider what’s really important, that sometimes the quality of life supercedes treatments that increase the quantity of life but could leave me or my loved one truly miserable. Grant me peace, grant me courage, and grant me wisdom. Help me to be there for others when life gets tough. Thanks for letting us all know how much You care and are involved in our lives. Help me to let go of this physical life if need be, and help me to let my loved ones go to You when the time comes. In Jesus’ name, amen.
Copyright 2015, Pastors George and Sharon Billington, All Rights reserved