After visiting the beaches in Normandy, France, where allied troops landed on “D” day to begin the invasion that would serve as the first steps towards bringing WWII to a close, I began to think about how hard it must have been to have stayed behind while your loved one left for war. The last precious moments with that person would be savored for years to come!
At the same time, dread and anxiety might have become our constant companions, for in times of war, no news isn’t always good news, and no matter what we do, we would continually be wondering what our loved one is possibly facing! Time would become our enemy, and the longer the war lasted, the harder it would be to maintain hope.
The same is true when a loved one rages war against cancer, or any other serious disease for that matter. Uncertainty would reign. Has it spread? When will the “dreaded” surgery be? Will he/she need radiation therapy? Chemo therapy? Even the wait during the actual surgical procedure can be tense, especially if it lasts longer than anticipated.
This kind of war will always bring uncertainty. It has the ability to shake us to the core. The only one who will revel in such news is the evil one himself, and we can be assured that he will try to torture us to the maximum, doing whatever is possible to shake our faith in the One who constantly stands by us amidst any of our circumstances. Doubt, discouragement and anxiety will be his weapons of choice.
But wait, does it have to be it that way?
Not at all! We have a tendency to forget the good news that Jesus promised us: “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33 NIV).
Jesus has overcome the evil one! We don’t have to listen the discouraging oratory and doubt-filled rhetoric of the devil!
It’s so important that we recognize these discouraging thoughts as being weapons of the enemy. Then we can say “no” to them, and “yes” to the promises of God. Who do we prefer to trust?
As my wife currently faces cancer, I have taken the promise God gave me as my banner. I stand on it, I believe, and I meditate on it daily. He is faithful!
And what was this promise He gave me? “And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast. To him be the power for ever and ever. Amen.” (1 Peter 5:10-11 NIV)
Do we need to be afraid? No way!
Should we let doubt infiltrate our thoughts? No way!
Should we ever give up hope? No way!
Instead let us “take heart! [Jesus has] overcome the world”! We have nothing to lose! With Jesus at our side, we can face anything! I mean anything! He is victorious!
If He can do that for me, a worrier by nature, He will do the same for you. He is our hope!
Who do we prefer to trust?
(To access the entire “When Suffering Knocks on our Door” devotional series, please click here.)