Last year (June 2017) I wrote about my friend Tad who was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer (Read about how he shared the gospel with a hospital technician in Philadelphia during a full body scan: Cancer Hope: I Am Not Afraid).
Tad has had quite a journey since his initial diagnosis, including:
Two surgeries that were unsuccessful in removing the tumors and stopping the spread.
Chemotherapy that worked for a while, but not long enough.
Feeding tubes to combat weight loss.
Weakness and fatigue.
Sleepless nights, difficult days, and more.
Tad has experienced all the challenges and sufferings of fighting this horrible disease. And in all of it, he is persevering in the strength of the Lord. In fact, he is finding great joy in the journey.
Facing Terminal Cancer:
1. With Friends
2. By Faith
3. Looking Forward to the Future
Recently Tad shared his experience of thriving while battling cancer with a group gathered at our church. Watch as Tad introduces himself, tells of his diagnosis, and shares how he has found hope and joy in his battle with cancer.
Watch more (shorter) video clips below.
Finding Joy in Metastatic Cancer: Friends, Faith, and Future
Tad shares three things that have helped him in overcoming the evils of this ravaging disease: Friends, Faith, and Future. Watch as he shares the hope and joy that is available for all who belong to Jesus and the gift of salvation for those who do not yet know Jesus.
The Bible is clear that fellowship with other believers is important. We are to be a support and a comfort to one another in times of trouble.
2 Cor 1:3-5 Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort; Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God. For as the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also aboundeth by Christ.
Just as Christ suffered physically, we also suffer physically. Watch as Tad speaks about friendships that are a source of comfort and are also an opportunity to share his faith.
Faith is the conduit through which we receive God’s grace. It is through faith that we are saved by the grace of God. It’s not anything we can do.
Eph 2:8-9 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.
When we exercise our faith and trust in God, we receive His grace for coping, persevering, and finding joy despite our circumstances. God is faithful to strengthen us to do His good works. That is the “good works” the apostle Paul spoke of when he wrote:
Eph 2:10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.
Even in our afflictions, we are able to do the good works of honoring and serving God. Watch as Tad speaks about:
- The importance of his faith in battling pancreatic and liver cancer.
- God calling him to be an example with cancer, not a victim of cancer.
- His faith in God’s promise of eternal life.
3. Future Focus
As Christians, we look forward to the future. We live in hope because Jesus is our Hope (Heb 6:19) and He has promised that we will be with Him in eternity. That’s the future that we look to for our comfort and joy in whatever trials and tribulations we experience in this life.
Rom 8:18 For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.
Meet Tad’s oncologist and hear him speak about how Tad is coping with cancer. Watch as Tad speaks of looking forward to a total healing and a future unparalleled joy that is yet to come.
1 Pet 1:8 Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory:
Thriving Instead of Striving
In Psalm 46, God told Israel to “be still and know that I am God” (vs 10). That verse means more than just to be quiet or to sit still. God is telling them to stop striving. God is telling them to stop trying to do things in their own power and of their own will. He is the One who will fight for them and preserve them.
The word “still” in Psalm 46:10 is the Hebrew word “raphah.” It means to be slack or weak. This should cause us to remember Jesus’ promise to us. He has said that when we are weak, He is our strength (2 Cor 12:9-10).
It’s also interesting to note that another form of this word is “rapha” which means to cure, heal, and make whole. Rapha is used of God in the compound name Jehovah Rapha, meaning the God Who Heals (Exodus 15:26).
My friend Tad is not striving in his battle with cancer. He is thriving because the Lord is his strength. Tad is weak, but Jesus is faithful to His promise to be Tad’s strength. Since Tad’s initial diagnosis, Jesus has given him strength beyond measure to fight the disease and to be a witness of the hope that is only found in the Lord Jesus Christ.
A Closing Word from Tad
A Prayer for Tad
Tad shared the gospel with a hospital technician in Philadelphia during a full body scan and she came to faith in Christ. Read: Cancer Hope: I Am Not Afraid
Tad lost his battle with cancer on December 10th, 2018. But he won the victory and the great prize of entering into the presence of his Lord and Saviour. Read the final “chapter” of his story here: When the Battle is Lost but the Victory is Won — Saying Goodbye to a Friend
Watch Tad on the Piano
Do not be anxious about anything. (Phil 4:6)
In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, we must rightly remember who is in control. Our God is sovereign over all things, including COVID-19. As Charles Spurgeon (1834-1892) said, “The sovereignty of God is a soft pillow on which weary people lay their heads.”
Remember also God’s gracious promise, and that it is true and He is faithful to keep it: Hebrews 13:5 …”I will never leave you, nor forsake you.” The next verse remind us of the power that comes in trusting God and how we can live: Hebrews 13:6 So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man [or COVID-19] shall do to me.
God loves us, and in Christ we find confidence and calm in times of uncertainty and trouble. When we trust in God, fear is replaced with faith, stress is replaced with strength, anxiety is gone and hope abounds, problems become opportunities, and we are able to receive the blessings God has for us in the midst of difficult circumstances. Turn to Jesus. He will lead you to the still waters and give rest for your troubled soul.
This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast…Hebrews 6:19
Be Ready Always...
to give a reason for the Hope that you have (1 Peter 3:15). When you can’t share the gospel with your words, share it by leaving tracts that tell people about God's grace.
When leaving a tract, always be diligent to pray about the short gospel message. Pray that it be found by someone who is in need of Jesus’ saving grace, and pray that the person will have a tender heart and open ears to receive the gift Jesus desires to give them.
By the power of the Holy Spirit, even a small tract can help in turning a broken sinner from darkness to light.
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