It doesn’t matter how strong your faith is, when you or a loved one is faced with cancer, life gets hard. Your conversations with God fluctuate on a daily basis – transitioning from angry, to hopeful, to depressed, to empowered, to everything in between.
The inevitable question of why floats ominously over your head and each day is filled with anxious waiting – hoping, begging, pleading for an answer, or better yet, a miracle.
This doubting and struggling are completely acceptable. Don’t allow yourself to feel guilty or angry for your struggle. Recognize that God is in pain with you – and values the authenticity in your remarks toward Him.
JoAnn, a miracle, cancer-survivor said, “There is one statement God said that I reminded myself of often, ‘He will never leave me nor forsake me.’ That got me through so many difficult times.”
That said, don’t allow yourself to forget the hope and optimism that we have in Jesus Christ. As a Christian, we have more to look forward to than this temporary life on earth. When facing life’s greatest challenges, this should not be forgotten.
“These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” – John 16:33 (One of JoAnn’s favorite verses.)
Facing cancer is a challenge, and I recommend connecting with your local church, church leaders, and Biblical counselors for advice, comfort, fellowship, and encouragement – but here are a few activities worth embracing as a Christian struggling with cancer:
1. Embrace your Christian community
Being a Christian is fantastic when life goes well, but its true value comes when we face difficulties and hardships. Matthew 18:20 tells us that “where two or more are gathered together in my name, I will be there.” When we worship and pray together, not only do we reveal to God that we are committed to one another, but we can reignite the hope and faith in each other’s lives.
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort others.” – 2 Corinthians 1:3-4
JoAnn used this verse to continue looking for opportunities to help, encourage, and
comfort others in Jesus during her battle with cancer.
Finding others who have gone through the same thing will give you a network of people who understand your struggle and can help you make sense of it all.
2. Forgive people’s ignorance
Sometimes our most optimistic and prayerful friends can be the most annoying when challenges arise. There are many things Christians shouldn’t say to cancer patients – yet often do. If you have friends and church members quoting verses, saying prayers, or even sharing revelations from God that turn out to be false, don’t hold a grudge. Remember that they are saying and doing whatever they can to bring you comfort – because they love and care for you.
That said, if someone gets too annoying, just request that you love their prayers and (maybe) their presence, but would prefer to have silence or distracting conversation.
3. Maintain a healthy lifestyle
Although cancer is still largely a mystery, there does seem to be a correlation with cancer and a separation from life in the Garden of Eden. In other words, processed foods, meats, and even non-organic body products may attribute to cancer. Although not a guaranteed cure, people have discovered that switching to a healthy, organic, plant-based diet can have a positive impact on eliminating cancer, naturally. A change in diet added to exercise, and a positive attitude will certainly empower your body in its fight against cancer.
4. Seek out holistic healthcare providers
There are plenty of doctors and hospitals who embrace the Christian message. These providers will try to offer holistic health care that goes beyond radiation therapy. They will pray with you, recommend lifestyle changes, and reveal a sincere interest in you and your well-being. Visit these providers for your health care needs, your faith, and the possibility for healing will increase.
5. Remember that a better life is to come
Ultimately, all of us lose our lives at some point. Whether it’s at 8 or 80, death finds us all.
But as Christians, we have faith that overcomes the fear of death. The pain, frustration, and death that we must all face on this earth will be greatly overshadowed by the life to come. God will wipe away our tears, and there will be no more sadness, no more pain, no more death. We have hope in a God of love who intimately cares for us – and we can be confident that He has overcome the sin in this world, and eternity with Him will be incredible.
JoAnn, even as a mature follower of Jesus, had struggles and fears with the unknown of death.
She used the following verse to help:
“Be strong and courageous, do not be afraid or tremble at them, for the LORD your God is the one who goes with you. He will not fail you or forsake you.” – Deuteronomy 31:6
Although this list in no way minimizes the gravity of the situation, we hope that the content here provides some practical ways to battle cancer while simultaneously giving hope for a life to come.
“Prayer is very powerful in dealing with cancer. ‘And all things you ask in
prayer, believing, you will receive (Matthew 21:22).” – JoAnn
Keywords: How to Deal with Cancer