Theological Musings

Faith Responds to Cancer: 4 Passages for Quiet Reflection

We live in a broken and sinful world. This statement is a Christian truth. There are many unjust, cruel, and unfair aspects of life. While God has already conquered death and provided us with eternal salvation, this world continues to exist in it’s broken state. Cancer exists as proof of these very facts. 

Grappling with the brokenness of the world is no easy feat, especially if you or a loved one have personally been affected. God wants to support and comfort you as the following passages demonstrate. 

2 Corinthians 4:16-18

Cancer is a physical attack that can cause the body to waste away. Even treatment of cancer can contribute to the body wasting away. Common side effects from chemotherapy can include fatigue, hair loss, and weight changes. Paul acknowledges the limitations of our earthly bodies, but reminds the Corinthians that our hope is not restricted by the realities of this world. The heartaches of this world are temporary and will be be replaced with a new world without struggles, heartache, or cancer.

Prompts for Reflection:

  1. How has cancer effected your own body or the body of a loved one?
  2. What are you most looking forward to with the new body God will grant in the resurrection?
  3. What challenges prevent you from fixing your eyes on what is “unseen?” 
  4. Share any challenges related to the cancer with God and listen for His reply. Write down what you learn.

Hebrews 10:23-25

God provides the model for how we should support one another. He is faithful to us and we must be faithful to one another. For our own sakes as well as for the sake of others. It is during the midst of sickness that we are in the most need of support and community. For some the severity of the cancer may hinder their ability to attend church regularly, but it does not prevent those in the church from visiting. Do not neglect those who cannot come. For those stuck at home do not shy away from asking for visitors. 

Prompts for Reflection

  1. How have you been utilizing your community during these challenging times?
  2. Whom in your community may benefit from a home visit? Whom could you invite over to receive prayer and encouragement?
  3. In what ways has cancer caused you to neglect meeting with others? 
  4. Seek God’s guidance on how to continue meeting with others through these challenging times

1 Corinthians 15:54-58

Cancer can bring someone closer to the reality of death. Even for those who have hope in life after death, the grief of separation is very real. The concept of death causes anxieties and despair. Paul once again reminds the Corinthians that this world is temporary. Death has been conquered and immortality awaits us. We have a hope that prevails death. Do not despair for more awaits beyond the grave.

Prompts for Reflection

  1. How has cancer impacted your relationship with the concept of death?
  2. What has been your experience with death throughout life? 
  3. How does Christ’s resurrection influence your view of death?
  4. Share with God any fear, grief, or anger that presents itself 

Psalm 23

Cancer is a valley of death for many. Scripture has never once denied that troubles are a part of this world. God provides comfort because there is indeed a need for comfort. Comfort for those who are fighting sickness daily and comfort for those who watch as the fight happens to their loved ones. God can still restore our souls as the body wastes away and Psalm 23 provides a poetic discretion of that comfort.

Prompts for Reflection

  1. In what ways has God provided you comfort through this time?
  2. How would you want God to comfort you?
  3. What fears attack when walking through the valley of shadows? Bring those fears to God
  4. How has goodness and mercy followed you in this journey with cancer?

Cancer resources

Supporting a Child Whose Loved One Has Cancer from Mesothelioma Hope

Faith and Living with Mesothelioma from

Mesothelioma Caregivers from Mesthoelioma Guide

Christ and Cancer from Desiring God

Is Colon Cancer Genetic? from Know Your DNA

Helpful Resources for Mesothelioma Patients from Mesothelioma Resource Group

Click here for more Health Psychology Resources

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