Tag Archives: cancer

How To Fight Impossible Battles


In II Chronicles 20, a huge army invaded southern Israel. The king and all the people were terrified because they defeated several strongholds easily. He begged God for help and asked others to pray with him. It sounds a lot like any one of us when we are facing something that seems impossible to beat. Fear is our first response, then we beg God for help. I believe what follows in this story is something we can all learn from in these moments in life. 

The first thing that happened was King Jehoshaphat got like minded people together, fasted and prayed. We are not to fight these battles alone. Fear’s goal is to intimidate you and to push you into seclusion. Don’t let it! There is strength in numbers and in fasting. Get a group of people around you who can fight on their knees and touch God for you. This first step is critical if you’re going to win an impossible battle.

In verses 15-17, God answered those praying. The Word of the Lord came back saying, “Do not be afraid! Don’t be discouraged by this mighty army, for the battle is not yours, but God’s” (NLT). Things only seem impossible when God is not in the equation. The battles we face are not our own, but they are God’s. We don’t have to be afraid or discouraged at the sheer impossibility of anything that comes our way because God goes before us.

As the army of Israel approached the battlefield, Jehoshaphat spoke in verse 20 and reminded them, “Believe in the Lord your God, and you will be able to stand firm. Believe in His prophets and you will succeed.” Faith will help us to stand firm when standing is all we can do. We can trust in God, and in His Word, to get the courage to keep standing in the face of impossibilities. Sometimes we have to remind ourselves to continue to trust God and His Word so we can see the victory.

Finally, the king appointed singers to praise God and he sent them out in front. At the very moment they began to sing, the Lord gave victory. We need to be able to praise God in advance of victory. We need to honor Him when all else seems to be going wrong. Praise is powerful. It activates our faith and moves our God. If you can’t find it in you to praise, play praise music until you do. Victory is dependent on God, not us. We can praise Him for that. Our impossible battles are no match for a God who says all things are possible. 

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Believing Is Seeing

I was recently asked the question, “Do you believe what you see or do you see what you believe?” I know you may have to read that again to catch it. It took me a minute. When I see a wall, I believe what I see so I don’t walk into it. It’s usually strong enough that I can’t walk through it. When I see an impossible situation, I have to be careful not to use my physical eyes to look at it because it’s actually spiritual. When the doctors say it’s a 99% chance that something is cancerous, I use my spiritual eyes to see what I believe. They just gave God one percent to work with. I’ve seen Him do more with less.

Each of us have a choice in how we see things. We can choose to look at physical situations like that and believe what we see or we can see what we believe. I have to constantly check myself and ask God, “Am I looking at this situation through the right eyes? How do you see this?” I want to make sure I’m on God’s side and that I see what He does. I want to make sure that if there is a chance for Him to act, I give it to Him. The last thing I want to do is act on what I see because I believe it. Does God believe it?

In Joshua 9, the Israelites were going through the Promised Land and fighting against every city. They were moving in and kicking the others out as God commanded. God spoke to Joshua and gave him battle strategies. Joshua would consult Him for everything. When the other army out numbered him, he chose to see what he believed and it led to victory each time. The people of nearby Gibeon heard what the Israelites were doing and wanted to make peace in order to live. They knew that the Israelites were not making treaties with anyone so they decided to trick them.

They sent a convoy of people with stale bread, old wine and worn out clothes. They asked for peace and the Israelites asked, “How do we know you aren’t from around here?” They pointed to the bread, wine and clothes and said they were all fresh and new when they left. Verse 14 says, “The men of Israel looked them over and accepted the evidence. But they didn’t ask God about it.” They looked with their physical eyes and believed what they saw. Had they asked God, they would have seen what it really was. They would have seen what they believed and acted accordingly.

What situation are you faced with today? What eyes have you been looking at it with? I want to encourage you to pray and ask God to open your spiritual eyes to see it as He does. Ask Him to help you see what you believe rather than to believe what you see. There is no situation that is impossible for God. There’s nothing you are going to face today that He can’t make a way out of. There’s no report that can be given to you that He can’t refute or change. It’s all in how you choose to see it. So I now ask you, “Do you believe what you see or do you see what you believe?”

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Love With Your Mind

And you must love The Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind and all your strength. – Mark 12:30

I believe most of the battles you and I face are fought in the mind. It’s in our mind that doubts are raised, fears are born and self defeating thoughts dwell. It is a crucial battlefield that many of us fail to admit what’s going on in. We say we’re fine, when really we’re entrenched in a battle for our mind. In order to be victorious in those battles, it is critical that we learn to love God with our mind.

Loving God with our mind is about making the choice to continue to love when our passion fades and our psyche doesn’t feel like it. It’s about remembering those feelings of gracefulness that came along when you were rescued from the gates of hell and have since gone away in the day to day routine of being a Christian. Lamentations 3:21-22 says, “But this I recall and therefore have hope and expectation: it is because of the Lord’s mercy and loving-kindness that we are not consumed.” The writer knew that when his hope was fading, he had to recall where he came from and therefore had hope.

Hope is a hard thing to keep up when you experience physical trials and pray to an invisible God. Doubt comes in and let’s you know the trials are real, but asks, “Where is God in all of this?” If we don’t learn to love God with our minds and have the ability to recall what He’s done, it will be easy to fall in such a situation. I remember when my mom was dying of cancer 15 years ago. One of the days that I went into ICU to visit her a M. D. Anderson in Houston, she could see the worry on my face. She did something that I’ll never forget.

She sat me down and started from when she was a child until that very day and recalled every time that God had met her needs. She told of childhood struggles, her doubts, miracles she had seen God perform for her and our family. For hours she talked to me about it. In the end, she looked at me and said, “Chris, I have peace with what will happen here because I know God has always done what’s best for me.” She loved God with her mind as well as with her passion and psyche. When she was tired from the chemo, when her psyche was worn out from the fight with cancer and her body couldn’t move, she showed me what it meant to love God with her mind.

Her body didn’t survive what cancer had done to it, but her soul did because cancer could not touch her love for God. It was hard not to be angry with God about losing her, but before she passed, my dad sat us down and told us to purpose in our minds that no matter what happened, we wouldn’t get angry with God. We needed to remember He is a good God even when things don’t go the way we want them to. We needed to love Him with our minds instead of losing the battle to anger and doubt.

What about you? How have you learned to love God with your mind when everything else seems to be failing? Maybe you’re struggling with your love for God today as you read this because of circumstances that you don’t understand. Let me encourage you to do what my mom taught me. Go back and recall all that God has done for you, write it down so you can see it and then have hope and expectation as Lamentations put it. Loving God with your mind is hard work, but critical to surviving difficult times.

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Stories of Healing

I’m going to brag on God today. A couple of weeks ago my sister in law was experiencing problems. The doctors looked and didn’t like what they saw. They did a biopsy and it came back positive. The doctors said there was a 95% chance it was cancer and immediate surgery would be needed to remove it. When they told us about the situation, I made the comment, “They just gave God 5%. I’ve seen Him do a lot more with a lot less.” After surgery, they sent off another biopsy. When it came back, the doctors said they were confused. There was no cancer.

Scripture tells us that God is the same yesterday, today and forever. What He’s done in the past, we can expect Him to do today. Jesus went around healing people in towns and villages. He healed those who had faith that He had the power to do it. He still has not changed and has the ability to heal us. I don’t know why everyone who has faith isn’t healed, but I do know that it takes faith to be healed.

I believe that faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God as Romans 10:17 says. I believe it also comes when we hear stories of other people who have been healed. There is something about hearing someone else’ verifiable healing that causes our faith to rise. When our faith rises, anything is possible. Jesus Himself said, “Anything is possible if a person believes,” in Mark 9:23.

When all hope is lost and when it doesn’t look like there is a way, that’s when God loves to move. Isaiah 35:5-6 says, “And when he comes, he will open the eyes of the blind and unplug the ears of the deaf. The lame will leap like a deer, and those who cannot speak will sing for joy! Springs will gush forth in the wilderness, and streams will water the wasteland.” God can make a way where there is no way. He can make streams in the desert and He can heal the deaf, the blind and those who are lame.

If we go back to the scripture in Mark that we read earlier where Jesus said that anything was possible, it was Jesus’ response to a man who brought his son to be healed. When Jesus asked him if he believed, he replied, “Lord, I believe, but help my unbelief.” That’s what a lot of us need to pray when our faith is waning due to circumstances. God can help our unbelief and grow our faith. We just need to ask. If you need healing today, I encourage you to continue to believe for your healing. God is still working. He’s still in the healing business.

If you’ve been healed, please let me and others know by commenting below. Your testimony will help build the faith in others. If you’re believing for healing, I want to hear from you too. That way, we can all join together and bind our faith to believe with you for your healing.

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Becky’s Struggle

This a guest post from Becky Woods. She is a mother of young children and is fighting Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. She and her husband are blogging through their journey of faith, family and fighting cancer. You can find their blog here. This is an excerpt from today’s post.

I don’t know what it is about the past week, but I’ll admit I’ve struggled. I’ve felt a little more nausea this time around, although I wasn’t sick or anything. I just had that constant gross feeling in my chest that made me JUST miserable enough to not enjoy my day. But honestly, when I think of how small that side affect is compared to what so many people experience with their chemo, I feel like a fool for complaining. But since this is my blog 🙂 I’m going to be honest with what’s been hard for me, regardless of how minor it probably is. And I’ll be honest, I’ve had a tough week with not feeling great and then feeling almost depressed for no apparent reason.

Here’s the thing. I KNOW that in order to keep the doubts away, in order to keep my mind from feeling anxiety, in order for me to avoid allowing depression sneak in, and in order for me to feel close to God and to be reminded of his purpose for me through all of this I NEED to be in His WORD! I need to be spending time with Him! But am I? Not like I need to be. I will try to dwell on the encouraging scripture that friends and family pass on to me but that’s not enough. If I want to know Jesus better each day and feel his presence and feel like my focus is in the right spot and feel His peace, I need to stop giving my silly excuses (like being too tired, like being too busy with kids and babies) and start disciplining my time better and prioritizing my relationship with God! How interesting it is when a “tragedy” first happens to you how quickly you run to God and know exactly what you need to do, but then as time passes and things ease up and seem a little more normal, God starts taking a back seat again to life. I get so mad at myself every day for allowing this pattern to continue when I KNOW BETTER! It reminds me of one of the most confusing verses in the bible 🙂 I’ll just recap some of it:

“I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do………As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me. I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. For what I do is not the good I want to do; no , the evil I do not want to do- this I keep on doing……” (Rom 7:15-20) And so on!!

I don’t want to waste this time and this journey that I”m on. I want to grow and learn more about God and how good He is and what higher purpose He has for us through this. I want to be transformed and taken past my fears and doubts. I want to be an example to my kids of a GODLY parent that is always modeling for them a passion for Christ, even in my quiet moments at home and with how I choose to spend my time. So you can pray for that for Jonas and I. And please pray for my emotions to KNOCK IT OFF and return to normalcy 🙂 so that I don’t struggle with moments of numbness or moodiness. I want and need the joy of the Lord to fill me and I could use prayers for me getting my priorities on the right track again concerning spending time with THE SOURCE of joy.

I thought once I reached the half way point of my treatment I’d feel thrilled but instead I almost feel overwhelmed that I still have all that time left to go before I’m done. And, I’m still trying to pray against the fear of it coming back. I KNOW people have encouraged me with how they had their cancer come back but fought it again and are now cancer free, but I DO NOT want to hear the word cancer again in my future EVER! I’m trying to give this worry up to God completely but it’s hard for me.

Thank you again for praying. I need it. This time might be more of an emotional struggle for me but I so appreciate your prayers for me feeling great and staying happy and positive.

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Don’t Give Up

I have several close friends who are going through some difficult times. Many are in desperate need of God’s touch because doctors can only do so much. Others just need a breather from the waves of bad news that keep rolling into their lives. I’ve been there myself a time or two. You probably have been too. You might even be there now, but even though you feel alone in the situation, you aren’t.

It can feel empty sometimes when friends, who don’t know what else to do, simply say, “I’ll be praying for you.” You really want them to throw you a life preserver and pull you from the water that you’re tired of treading. You know there’s nothing they can really do for you, but you wish someone could. You cry out to God, but it seems you’re prayers are falling on deaf ears. The answers you seek don’t come and you’re left with more questions.

When answers finally come, they aren’t really what you were seeking. You’re confused and your faith is shaken. You start to wonder if you’ve done something wrong to deserve this. You think that maybe God is punishing you. You drift into the fog of uncertainty and begin to wonder if God really exists. The only thing you do know is that you feel pain, uncertainty and confusion.

It’s in these moments that you find out what your faith is made of. It’s here that you learn to trust God with everything in your life. When there is nothing that anyone can do to help, you have a God who is there to sustain you in those difficult times and to give you hope for victory. When all you have is Him, you have more than enough. You may not be able to see past today, but He sees your tomorrow.

In II King 6, Elisha had been telling the king through divine guidance where ambushes were set up to attack his army. The king of Aram was furious because his plans kept getting foiled. He accused his officers of leaking information to the Israelis, but one of them knew of Elisha and told him what was happening. The king put a bounty on Elisha’s head. They found out where he was staying and traveled by night to surround him.

The next morning, Elisha’s servant got up early and walked outside. He became fearful because they were surrounded and cried out to Elisha. Elisha got up walked up to him and said, “Don’t worry about it. There are more on our side than on their side.” I’m sure the servant looked at him like he had lost his mind. Elisha then bowed his head in prayer and said, “Lord, open his eyes so that he may see.” At once the servant was able to see what Elisha saw. There was a mountainside full of horses and chariots of fire surrounding the other army.

Today, even if you can’t see beyond the circumstances that surround you, I pray that God will open your eyes. May you see that God is on your side and He is fighting for you even when it seems that no one else is. Greater is He that is in you than he that is in the world is the way I John 4:4 put it. I’ll tell you what I told my friend yesterday, “I don’t always understand what God does either, but I’ve learned to trust His plan and answers even when they don’t make sense.” You are not alone and God’s answer will be what’s best for you.

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