Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Kicking (Your Disease’s) Butt with God’s Power Tools

“I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live.” – Deuteronomy 30:19

“It’s confirmed. You have cancer.” I cannot begin to understand how hard those words must be to hear. Yet, thousands upon thousands do so each year. And this week, one of those was a friend of mine.

Cancer. It’s the disease that comes with the big question: “Will I live or die?”

Yes, there are other potentially fatal diseases. Heart disease. Diabetes. Addiction. Even rheumatoid arthritis can be fatal. Cancer, however, just seems to be different. It can strike quickly, taking down its prey within a matter of days. Or it can linger, out of reach of the surgeon’s scalpel, spreading its poison throughout the body over time. So cunning and unpredictable, no one can speak its name without shuddering at the thought.

I used to be complacent about cancer. Its common occurrence in my family, and my mother’s triumph over it 30 years ago desensitized me. And all the hope-filled cancer stories on TV were from survivors. I knew it was tough, but I knew it could be beaten. That is, until two years ago. When it took my father. When it stole the life of my neighbor. When it snatched my friend’s young child. Like a tornado, cancer ripped through my life and those around me, leaving a wake of devastation each place it touched down.

Suddenly, I realized why there is one word that comes up with everyone who has ever encountered cancer: FIGHT.

I write a lot about peace, a lot about faith, and a lot about hope. It’s what I strive for in the midst of fighting my own chronic illnesses like rheumatoid disease (RA) and migraines. Some people may think my approach is too “spiritual” or lightweight, lacking the necessary grit to tackle serious conditions like cancer. But hear me out. If there’s one thing I know for sure, it’s this:

Peace, faith and hope don’t preclude a fight: they empower it.

Peace is paired with strength. Ever wondered how to have supernatural strength? If you’re fighting chronic illness, you’re going to need it. The good news is that it’s available to you today. In Psalm 29:11, the Bible says, “The Lord gives strength to His people; the Lord blesses his people with peace.”

The antidote to inflammation-inducing stress, peace is a key weapon of warfare when it comes to fighting cancer or any other serious illness. It’s that “mind over matter” principle that begins with acceptance and gives us the strength to endure what we must to keep going.

How do we get it? Philippians 4:6-7 has the answer. “Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything; tell God your needs, and don’t forget to thank him for his answers. If you do this, you will experience God’s peace, which is far more wonderful than the human mind can understand. His peace will keep your thoughts and your hearts quiet and at rest as you trust in Christ Jesus.”

In other words, let go and let God. Then you will find the peace you need.

Faith is knowing you’re not alone. When you’re faced with an invisible illness, it’s easy to feel alone. And when you’re facing an enemy that looms as large as cancer or as daunting as crippling autoimmune disease, you need to know that you’re more than an army of one. How did little shepherd boy David defeat Goliath the giant with just a slingshot and a few small stones? Faith. Not just in himself, but in God. He believed in a power greater than himself to fight with him. And guess what? He won. So have numerous others who have trusted in the Lord, even when the road ahead looked bleak.

So when I’m scared, ready to succumb to the fear that I’m not big enough or strong enough, I call on the one who IS bigger and stronger: the One who says, “The LORD himself will go ahead of you. He will be with you. He will never leave you. He’ll never desert you. So don’t be afraid. Don’t lose hope.” (Deuteronomy 31:8 NIRV)

Hope is what carries you forward. An army doesn’t stand still. It plans its advances and marches forward, until it reaches its ultimate destination. And for anyone fighting cancer or chronic illness, hope is what moves the needle, rekindles the spirit, and keeps our eyes on the prize.

Hope for a cure fuels millions of dollars of medical research, while hope for another day keeps patients in the fight. Hope in God gives us the assurance that everything will be OK, no matter how it all turns out.

Armed with God’s power tools, we know all things are possible. So we keep going, we keep fighting. In our homes. In hospitals. On our knees in prayer. Knowing that the battle belongs to the Lord. He will be with us. He will never leave nor forsake us. We will not be afraid. We will not lose hope. WE WILL FIGHT!

What battles are you fighting with God’s help? Do you trust Him enough to put your faith and hope in Him, so that you can gain the peace and strength you need to win? 

Kicking (Your Disease's) Butt with God's Power Tools originally appeared on Spring Sight blog, by Linda W. Perkins. Click here for more posts. Get even more encouragement by following me on FacebookPinterest, and Twitter

Many of Spring Sight's posts can also be found each week on Crystal Storms' #IntentionalTuesday,  Kelly Balarie's #RaRaLinkUp,, Holly Barrett's Testimony Tuesday, Arabah Joy's Grace & Truth and Woman to Woman's Word Filled Wednesday.

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  1. Hi!
    I found this post on Holley Gerth's "Coffee for your heart".

    I really needed to read this! I am not struggling with cancer or anything as serious as that, but I have struggled with fear the last weeks because of a physical condition, and many times the fear has won. I have started to tell myself, and God, that I choose to trust God no matter what, even though I can't always feel it.

    So thank you for this encouraging, inspiring and strength-giving post! It inspired me to keep fighting.

    God Bless you and your family!
    -Ava Sophie

    1. I'm so glad you found Spring Sight, Ava, and that you were encouraged by what you found here! There are so many struggles we face that may not be as "dangerous" as cancer, and yet may hit us just as hard. Our best way to fight fear, though, is through faith. Staying in God's word, finding others to share with and be encouraged by, and opening your eyes to all God has done in your life so far will strengthen you. God bless and keep you through your trial. It WILL be OK! Just believe. Jeremiah 29:11. - Linda

  2. Finding your site for the first time and inspired to read that you are trusting God even in this discouraging and potentially frightening season of life.

    1. Thanks for stopping by, Michele. The verse that has kept me going since my RA diagnosis is what God told Joshua, "Do not be afraid. Do not be terrified!" He has opened my eyes to some real miracles, so that I can see Him at work. I know that I am never alone! Have a blessed day.

  3. I'm so sorry Linda to read about the people you have lost to cancer. While I have not had any close person who suffer the disease and neither is it a common disease in this part of the world, but I have seen my dad fight diabetes and other diabetic related diseases for over 20years now. I have relatives who have died of chronic asthma. I have been asthmatic from birth. So in a way I can particularly relate to this post. And the concept of fighting the disease with God's power as been what has kept me till date.
    So I keep fighting, on my knees, with God's word and trusting Him each passing day.
    Thank you for this encouragement Linda.
    So great to read from you again.
    Have a blessed week.

    1. Thank you, Grace. It's nice to be a part of your linkup group. Your article today so touched me as well! Yes, fighting on our knees is where it's at! As one of my favorite worship songs says, "There is power in the name of Jesus!" With Him, we need not be afraid.

  4. I have found that the best response to cancer or other illness is prayer. Anyone very sick should have the elders or ministers at their church pray over them and anoint them with oil. This is in the Bible and it works. Also follow the Doctors treatment plan. Have everyone you know pray! God healed me of cancer through prayers, when my doctors thought I would die. I am now cancer-free for 5 years!

    1. You are absolutely right about the power of prayer! I was healed from a condition a few years ago through prayer, and I have other examples from my family of miraculous healing as well. That said, see my post from November called God's Answer to Your Prayer, as well as December's article on miracles. As you pointed out, prayer doesn't preclude medical treatment, and we must also be willing to accept God's will even if it isn't what we want. Sometimes, we need to look for the "silver lining" in dark clouds in order to sustain our hope and joy in the Lord. Praise God for your healing and for your testimony!