And not only this, but [with joy] let us exult in our sufferings and rejoice in our hardships, knowing that hardship (distress, pressure, trouble) produces patient endurance; and endurance, proven character (spiritual maturity); and proven character, hope and confident assurance [of eternal salvation]. Such hope [in God’s promises] never disappoints us, because God’s love has been abundantly poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us. Romans 5:3-5 Amplified Bible (AMP)
It’s been ten years since I was diagnosed with thyroid cancer. I’ve been reviewing my 2008 journal for this post and re-living the fear, inconveniences, financial worries, and the future what if’s. Today, ten years later, as I think about this cancer journey road I walked, I am filled with gratefulness. In the journey though, I was not always rejoicing. At times, I did not have hope.
The Bible helps us to know how to endure hardships. I’ve read these words in my Bible many times. Learning to apply them and believe them in faith is the hard part.
The diagnosis was the most difficult. Hearing those words, “you have cancer” was a shock. I had a cyst on my thyroid that was aspirated and I thought that would be it. End of story. I never had thyroid problems and had no symptoms. I thought my life was over. I wasn’t ready to meet Jesus. I still had a lot of life to live on this earth.
The next several months consisted of doctor appointments, research, surgery, treatments and body scans. I joined an online support group, mostly for help to understand it all. In my research, I found a lot of conflicting information, which frustrated and angered me.
Having cancer taught me God can be trusted. Unfortunately, I didn’t always trust Him in the journey. He was working things out even when I could not see His hand in it. I don’t know why he allowed me to have cancer but true to His word, he was with me and never left me. I can look back and see how He brought special people in my life to pray for me and offer help.
Having cancer taught me to be grateful for each day and to not take life for granted. This is something I must work at every day. And writing this post is a good reminder. Life is too short for not forgiving others, bitterness, ungratefulness, and pettiness, all of which I battled along with cancer. I’m thankful for the freedom I have in Christ when I confess these sins.
Attitude is a big part of healing. When we have a positive, pleasant attitude, others like being with us. Medical studies show health benefits of having a good attitude. So if having a good attitude contributes to better health, maybe a bad attitude contributes to some of our diseases and illnesses. There are also studies showing this to be true.
What does all this have to do with Hope? The Hope I write about is defined as “confident assurance.” We can have Hope in God’s promises that He will see us through any hardship of illness, the hardship of finances, the hardship of marriage and on and on. He can be trusted. God was faithful to us the entire time and He will be faithful to you too. I want you to know God sees you. He loves you. Trust Him to see you through. It’s not easy. I would not be writing this today if it weren’t for Him in my life.
Dear Heavenly Father, I pray for those reading this who may be battling cancer or any type of hardship in their life. Father, please help them to trust You for their needs. Calm their fears. Fill them with Your peace and hope. Thank you that you never leave us. In Jesus Name, Amen