When Cancer Came to Our Home

No one in this life is exempt from struggles, heartaches, and difficulties.

Written by Luis Palau
Tags: Cancer, Difficulty, Healing, Hope, Sickness
Nearly 20 years after Patricia and I were married, we faced the biggest challenge of our lives when she discovered a lump in one breast. We were just finishing a six-city speaking tour in Scotland— and rushed back home to Portland, Oregon. Yes, there was a problem. A biopsy was necessary. Then came the doctor’s verdict.

For a moment we sat in stunned silence, trying to block out his awful words. “The tumor is malignant and radical surgery must be performed immediately. We can’t delay.” Surgery was scheduled for the following Monday.

Pat had cancer.

When we got back to the house, I headed to my office in the basement. Somehow I had to come to grips with this terrible blow, I told myself. But a hundred emotions welled up inside me, and I began to weep. This was the sort of thing that happens to other people, but not to my wife. Not to Pat.

My thoughts were instantly interrupted by the strains of a familiar old hymn. Where was it coming from? Our four boys were all at school. No one was in the house except Pat and me.

Slowly it dawned on me—Pat herself was playing the piano and singing, “How Firm a Foundation.” As the bottom was falling out of our lives, the Lord reminded us both how desperately we needed to base our security and strength in Him alone.

No one in this life is exempt from struggles, heartaches, and difficulties, of course. I’d known that since I was a boy. My own mother had been widowed at age thirty-five. That she was even able to keep our family together was a miracle. I was reminded, God will see us through these deep waters, too.

Deep waters they were
After I broke the news to our four boys, there was a long moment of silence. Then my youngest son, Steve, who was only eleven years old at the time, blurted out, “But, Daddy, people die from cancer!”

“That’s true, but we believe God is going to make Mommy better again. She won’t be feeling very well for a long time, so that will mean some changes around here, for all of us. You guys are going to have to not only learn to take care of yourselves, but also to help Mommy every way you can.”

While Pat was recuperating at home after surgery, we carefully reviewed all our well-laid plans. Everything was up for grabs. Pat didn’t want me to cancel a huge speaking engagement in Los Angeles, but I was torn up inside. I ended up taking the two youngest boys with me on my next trip. They were used to traveling with me from time to time. It turned out to be a good decision, one that helped ease the turbulent feelings we all were experiencing. Yes, Mommy was sick. But we would take good care of her while she tried to get better.

Pat started chemotherapy treatment, at first every week, then every other week when she got too sick. We knew the current statistics of survival rates and all the rest. But we refused to play the “What if?” game. Pat’s life was in God’s hands. We also refused to give in to blasphemy. We dared not shake our fist in God’s face, no matter what so-called experts said about “the need to vent your feelings.” Third, we refused to second-guess the medical treatment she was receiving. Her doctor knew what he was doing.

You wouldn’t believe the amount of free advice people dished out to us. I waylaid most of the least helpful articles and books that arrived in the mail to spare Pat the grief of tossing them herself. At one point I had to tell someone, “Look, lady, you can cut people’s hair, but you are not going to give us medical advice!” That was the last thing Pat needed at that point.

What she did need and so appreciated were the calls and visits of friends who listened and shared an appropriate verse of Scripture with Pat. Jeremiah 29:11 became a favorite:

“I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
When Andrew, Steve, and I got back from Los Angeles, Pat and I talked again about my schedule. Hard decisions had to be made. That included canceling a trip in June to an international conference where I was scheduled to give a major address. Instead, after conferring with my colleagues, I decided to take the next year to focus more on media opportunities close to home.

The next year I did accept a speaking engagement in San Diego. It was delightful to have Pat join me. She spoke one morning to a group of 2,000 women about her struggles with cancer and the need to trust Jesus Christ to stand strong through life’s storms. I didn’t keep it a secret how much I admired her strength and endurance the past fourteen months despite repeated periods of weariness, sickness, discomfort, and pain.

Our two oldest sons, Kevin and Keith, flew out of the nest that fall, for their first semester at college. They returned home for the holidays a few days after a bone scan revealed Pat had no signs of cancer anywhere. We celebrated Christmas and New Year’s in a big way. We were all back together again. And Pat’s cancer was gone!

As a family, we couldn’t thank the Lord enough for sparing Pat’s life. In my heart, I also thanked God for using that time of adversity to give Pat a wider platform for ministry. Suddenly, editors were asking her for articles. She started receiving many more invitations to speak at women’s conferences and other events. With our four sons getting older, the timing couldn’t have been better.

Twenty years later, Pat and I occasion think back on those heart wrenching days while she battled cancer. The truth of Jeremiah 29:11 is more real to us than ever. We praise God for truly giving us a hope and a future.

God is a God of healing, but sometimes the healing is not of the physical body. Do you trust God enough to heal you in His way, even if that meant He was going to take you home? Ask for prayer for whatever sickness you have in your life.

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Jesus Can Heal Addiction

You can be free from addiction.

Written by Lois on 24/05/2016
Series: Weekly Devotional
Tags: Addiction, Forgiveness, Freedom, Grace, Sin
The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand.

1 Corinthians 10:13 (NLT)
We all have wrong desires and are tempted, but God has given us an Advocate who will help us resist sin if we are willing. Are you tired of being addicted to alcohol, sex, drugs, pornography or greed? Jesus has made a way for you to be free. This is how you can resist temptation and allow Jesus to heal your addiction.

There are countless people who are enjoying an addiction because they have not faced consequences yet. Galatians 6:8 tells us if a person “sows to please his own wrong desires, he will be planting seeds of evil and he will surely reap a harvest of spiritual decay and death; but if he plants the good things of the Spirit, he will reap the everlasting life that the Holy Spirit gives him.” There is no peace or freedom found in loving an addiction or sin. If you want to be healed, you have to turn away and renounce the addiction or sin.

Resist the Temptation
2 Timothy 2:22 tells us to “Run from anything that stimulates youthful lusts. Instead, pursue righteous living, faithfulness, love, and peace. Enjoy the companionship of those who call on the Lord with pure hearts.”

Temptation happens to everyone; no one is being singled out
Learn to recognize the people, things and situations that overtake you
After recognizing the tempter, resist him
It’s your choice, so choose to do what pleases God
Pray for Jesus to help you
Seek friends who love God, have resisted temptation and can help you
There is Healing
Jesus is able to heal every kind of addiction, even those we willfully sought out. Jesus is able to "restore to you the years that the swarming locust has eaten" (Joel 2:25), even if suffering is His chastisement to a person for sinful behavior. God's purpose is never to tempt us to sinful despair but to make us holy and useful. (James 1:13; Hebrews 12:11-13) David, who knew something about God's chastisement, said, "Oh, give me back my joy again; you have broken me—now let me rejoice." (Ps. 51:8) Ask Jesus to heal physical or emotional pain from an abusive parent, the brokenness of losing a child, the loneliness of the death of a spouse, or being orphaned.

An addiction is not going to heal you. Letting a sinful nature control your mind leads to death. But letting God’s Spirit control your mind leads to life and peace. Romans 8:6

Pray this week:

Father, this sin is wrecking my life. Will you help me? In Jesus’ name, amen.

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Why Won’t God Heal Me?

Lessons about God’s healing through the Life of Paul

Written by Dan Lee on 14/03/2017
Series: Weekly Devotional
Tags: Sickness, Health, Healing, Prayer, Sovereignty
But He replied, ‘My kindness is all you need. My power is strongest when you are weak.’ So if Christ keeps giving me his power, I will gladly brag about how weak I am. Yes, I am glad to be weak or insulted or mistreated or to have troubles and sufferings, if it is for Christ. Because when I am weak, I am strong.

2 Corinthians 12:9-10
There are many wonderful stories of healing in the Bible. Jesus healed many people of leprosy, blindness, lameness and other ailments. He even raised Lazarus from the dead!

No doubt you have also heard of God healing people today. God still hears our prayers for healing and has the power to heal and do all kinds of miracles.

So you may be wondering, “What about ME?” I, or someone I love, have been struggling with (name the disease) all these years. And I have prayed for healing, fasted, had people lay hands on me. So why have I not been cured?

I’m afraid that there is no simple, easy answer. But there are some principles we can learn from the Apostle Paul’s example. We hope you will find them encouraging.

1. God Has a Purpose
Earlier in this same chapter, we read: “Of course, I am now referring to the wonderful things I saw. One of Satan’s angels was sent to make me suffer terribly, so that I would not feel too proud.” (2 Corinthians 12:7).

It’s interesting that though Paul’s affliction is never specifically named, the PURPOSE for the affliction is given twice — at the beginning and at the end of verse 7: “so that I would not feel too proud.”

In the beginning of the chapter, we see that Paul had some amazing revelations — he was “caught up into the third heaven” and also “caught up into paradise” (2 Corinthians 12:2-3). These experiences were so spectacular that he would have been tempted to boast about them, or to feel superior to those who had not had these experiences.

So God chose to humble Paul with a “thorn in the flesh.” It was not random, nor a whimsical act on God’s part. It had a very specific purpose.

2. God Can Use Anything
That same verse tells us that Paul’s thorn in the flesh was “a messenger of Satan.” How can that be? Was it from God or from Satan? The answer is it was both! Satan, of course, is set against God and His purposes and His people. Satan probably enjoyed tormenting Paul. But, just as at the cross, Satan’s evil plans were turned around 180 degrees to serve God’s purposes. Satan succeeded in harassing Paul, but the result was that God used it to bring humility in Paul’s life.

3. God’s Strength is Displayed
This principle is stated three times in these two verses, in different ways:

“But he (Christ) replied, ‘My kindness is all you need. My power is strongest when you are weak.’ So if Christ keeps giving me his power, I will gladly brag about how weak I am. Yes, I am glad to be weak or insulted or mistreated or to have troubles and sufferings, if it is for Christ. Because when I am weak, I am strong.”

God wants us to develop our gifts and talents and use them for His glory. But when weak, afflicted people achieve great things, it is clear that GOD is the one who did it and He receives the glory.

Our purpose in life is to glorify God — to show His power and His greatness. And even though our circumstances may be painful or uncomfortable for us, God wants to remind us that it’s the eternal things that matter. “Things that are seen don’t last forever, but things that are not seen are eternal. That’s why we keep our minds on the things that cannot be seen.” (2 Corinthians 4:18).

4. We Can be Content
“Yes, I am glad to be weak or insulted or mistreated or to have troubles and sufferings, if it is for Christ. Because when I am weak, I am strong.” (2 Corinthians 12:10).

Look at that list — a lot more things than just sickness! And yet in all those things, Paul was content for the sake of Christ, because his ultimate goal in life was God’s glory.

So when you or those you love are battling sickness, by all means, pray. But if God chooses to let an affliction persist, look for what He wants to do IN you and THROUGH you – to be humbled yourself; to show God’s great strength in you; and ultimately to give glory to God.

Pray this week:

Lord, I don’t like this sickness or affliction, and I wish I didn’t have it. But I trust that You have a higher purpose for my life, just as You did the Apostle Paul. Lord, humble me and show Your great power in me through this affliction. Use everything in my life, good and bad, to bring You glory. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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How to Heal Addiction

Hope for the Hurting and Trapped

Written by Dan Lee on 29/11/2016
Series: Weekly Devotional
Tags: Temptation, Addiction, Sin
I have the right to do anything,” you say — but not everything is beneficial. “I have the right to do anything” — but I will not be mastered by anything.

1 Corinthians 6:12
Addiction is a loaded word with many meanings. We tend to think of it as extreme, however, anyone can suffer from addiction, and it’s far more common than you think.

The World Health Organization tells us that worldwide, 6 million people die every year due to tobacco use, and 3.3 million die due to alcohol related causes.

Alcohol, drugs, and smoking have caused much misery for years. But now, we can add pornography, TV binge-watching, overeating, shopping, and video games. For instance, one woman in New Mexico, USA, was spending over 12 hours a day playing a multiplayer video game — and let her 3-year-old daughter starve to death. Clearly, our world needs to healed from addiction.

Even normal activities can harm us when taken to extremes. Paul tells us in 1 Corinthians 6:12, “‘I have the right to do anything,’ you say — but not everything is beneficial. ‘I have the right to do anything’ — but I will not be mastered by anything.” An addiction means we have let ourselves be “mastered” by something.

Perhaps other believers have told you to “Flee from youthful lusts” (2 Timothy 2:22) or to “Resist the devil” (James 4:7). But addictions come with mental, emotional and physical components that together exert a much more powerful pull than a regular temptation.

Here are three things that can put you on the road to healing addiction…

1. Cry out to God
First things first — are you a follower of Christ? Even before asking for help with addiction, you must get right with God.

During a time of extreme trouble, David wrote: “I called on the LORD, who is worthy of praise, and he saved me from my enemies. The ropes of death entangled me; floods of destruction swept over me” (Psalm 18:3-4). God did not answer David until he had called on Him.

Start by acknowledging that you cannot conquer your addiction in your own strength. Jesus said, “Humanly speaking, it is impossible. But with God everything is possible” (Matthew 19:26).

2. Get Help from Others
When trapped in sin, our impulse is to isolate ourselves from other believers. This is what Satan wants as well! Spending time with caring believers and sharing your struggles is an important step in escaping it. Yes, it can be humbling, and even humiliating, but your Christian brothers and sisters can help you with prayer. “Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed” (James 5:16). Also see Hebrews 10:24.

3. Cut it Off
In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus spoke of sexual temptation this way: “So if your eye — even your good eye — causes you to lust, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell” (Matthew 6:29).

Jesus was telling us that if any object or person consistently leads us to sin, we need to get that thing out of our lives. For example, if your friends want you to take drugs with them, you need to find some new friends. If you tend to look at women with lust, don’t go to the beach in summertime. If you can’t resist pornography on the Internet, you need to install filters on your computer — or get rid of the computer altogether.

If you have struggled with an addiction, please know that there is hope, and that the God who made the universe is ready to help deliver you when you cry out to him.

Pray this week:

Lord, I am tired of being mastered by addictions. Please show me the way out, and give me strength from Your Holy Spirit to go that way. Help me to help others who need this help as well.

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The meaning of Jesus’ name, (“Yeshua” in Hebrew,) is to deliver or rescue. Jesus is our Savior.

Jesus Delivers Us
The meaning of Jesus’ name, (“Yeshua” in Hebrew,) is to deliver or rescue. Jesus is our Savior.

Written by Lois on 06/09/2016
Series: Weekly Devotional
Tags: Rescue, Jesus, Refugee
My eyes are always on the Lord, he rescues me from the traps of my enemies.

Psalm 25:15
Recently, a Bible teacher asked…

“do you want Jesus to deliver you out of the place that brings you suffering?” Sometimes a broken heart, financial trouble or addiction keeps us away from God. Only the grace of Jesus can make us whole in every situation and carries us through it.

When King David cried out to God in Psalm 25:16-18, he said, “Turn to me and have mercy, for I am alone and in deep distress. My problems go from bad to worse. Oh, save me from them all! Feel my pain and see my trouble. Forgive all my sins.”

With King David’s prayer in mind, let’s explore how God has the power to set us free from from our troubles and how to look to Jesus to deliver us:

First, How Can You Be Delivered?
Listen to the words of Jesus, “I tell you the truth; those who listen to my message and believe in God who sent me have eternal life. They will never be condemned for their sins, but they have already passed from death into life.” (John 5:24)

In this world, suffering is unavoidable. But the next world will be free from it. Getting to know the Son of God personally and accepting His gift of eternal life is the way to gain Heaven: His deliverance from all worldly suffering.

Know that Faith is what brings Deliverance.
Have faith that the Son of God, Yeshua, can set you free. Hebrews 11:6 tells us, “… it is impossible to please God without faith. Anyone who wants to come to Him must believe that God exists and that He rewards those who sincerely seek Him.” Believe in Him in your heart.

Know Jesus’ Desire for You to be Delivered and Whole.
True faith asks, believing Jesus is willing, but understanding He may have better plans.

The leper in Matthew 8:1-3 believed in Christ's ability but humbly asked for healing: “Large crowds followed Jesus as he came down the mountainside. Suddenly, a man with leprosy approached him and knelt before him. “Lord,” the man said, “if you are willing, you can heal me and make me clean.” Jesus reached out and touched him. “I am willing,” he said. “Be healed!” And instantly the leprosy disappeared.”

The Apostle Paul also asked for healing, but discovered that it was more important for him to trust in Christ's sufficiency than to experience physical healing. (2 Corinthians 12:7-10)

Ask yourself … how great is your burden?
Do you feel like you’ve done too much or have gone through too much in your life to be delivered? You’re not alone.

With Christ, there is peace that supasses all of our temporary troubles here on earth. This peace comes from knowing that we can only find victory in Jesus. So, “Today when you hear his voice, don’t harden your hearts.” (Hebrews 3:7) Because he has overcome the world, bringing us everlasting hope, no struggle can keep us from it. “For God says, “At just the right time, I hear you. On the day of Salvation, I helped you.”( 2 Corinthians 6:2).

It doesn’t matter how great the burden you carry.

Jesus is greater.

Pray this week:

Father, “turn to me and have mercy, for I am alone and in deep distress. My problems go from bad to worse.” Help me. In Jesus’ Name, amen.

Visit the Kairos webiste https://cabinet.kairosplanet.com/register/#111b0e