For anyone who’s experienced a tragedy like being diagnosed with cancer, Shock, Anger, Disbelief, Denial, Helplessness, Depression are feelings that hit like a tidal wave. If they linger (and they will try), despair can set in. Despair can be as much of an enemy to one’s health as the cancer itself.
A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.
So, the mortal nature in us says, “I can’t go on.” And that can kill us.
But God promises:
2 Corinthians 12:9 (NIV)
9 But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.
This scripture and promise from God was directed at Paul the Apostle. Paul had a pain – a thorn in his side – as he called it. He had just asked for the third time that God remove it. Keep in mind that Paul had experienced Jesus in person on the road to Damascus. Except for Jesus, Paul (formerly Saul of Tarsus) was the greatest evangelist and church planter that ever lived. He’d cast out demons, healed people, and raised people from the dead. He was bitten by a poisonous snake and did not become ill, was stoned but did not die, and survived prison and shipwrecks.
So, why did God not respond by removing that thorn from his side? Only God can truly answer that question. But what God said was that his grace was sufficient. His grace was enough to carry and sustain Paul. And if God’s grace is enough for someone like Paul, then it’s enough for me.
Grace cannot sustain you if you don’t really understand what it means. Grace can only sustain you if you really know what it means. God’s Riches At Christ’s Expense is a simple device that reminds me of what grace means and what is in store for me and those whom I love who know Christ. Our purpose is to be loved by God and to love God and bring him glory. Our purpose is not to have a pain-free life. In this world, God allows man to be perfectly free, allows the sun to shine on the evil, and rain fall on the good. In the world to come the good will be set apart from the evil and death itself will be put to death.
Even so, in this life God gives us grace if we choose to receive it and with it comes a peace that passes all understanding. That understanding is what changes the carnal attitude that says, “I can’t go on,” to an overcoming attitude that declares, “I can go on because God’s grace is sufficient.”
For more information about our battle with cancer, please go to Battling Cancer x2
For information about my Christian Thriller, please go to Malevolent Tide