This topic is adapted from the PursueGOD Video YouTube channel.
Cancer is a word that conjures up feelings up fear, grief, and often anger. But even with a cancer diagnosis, Tony keeps his faith in Christ and becomes and inspiration. Pastor Bryan speaks with Tony about keeping his trust in God while dealing with cancer.
- Tony was diagnosed with cancer a couple years ago, and as he first came to terms with the diagnosis and began treatments, he thought several questions that we ask God during our suffering: Why me? Is God punishing me for something? But after some time, Tony’s perspective changed and he realized that cancer was just a part of life, and that everyone is impacted by it in some way.
- While Tony was going through treatments and in severe and constant pain, he kept up with his prayers almost constantly. He asked God to take away the pain, and while the pain never went away during these treatments, Tony still made it through and came out with a new appreciation for so many things he had previously taken for granted.
- With a new lease on life, Tony started being more thankful for things, saying important things to loved ones that he hadn’t said enough of, and made sure to point out whenever someone did something wonderful or good.
- Despite being in remission for a year, when Tony went in for a follow-up appointment the doctors discovered more cancer, and told him they would not be able to cure him. Faced with more challenges and pain, Tony could have become bitter and remorseful, turning away and blaming God for what he is going through. Instead, Tony decided to go through treatments again and kept his faith strong.
- While he prays for God to do what doctors can’t, he looks at the larger picture of how he can serve God with his life. He believes that if God heals him, then there must be more for him to do. But he believes that if he does die, then maybe his work was to share this story and his experience.
- Tony’s outlook is not different whether he feels he will live longer or not. He has his faith in Jesus and knows he has a home in heaven. He has sinned, but trusts that Christ has paid the price for his sins and loves him unconditionally. His faith and trust in God does not depend on his health or what he is going through.
- When Pastor Bryan asks Tony to explain how he has gotten to this place of trust in God through cancer, Tony says that it was not an immediate response and he still has times when he struggles with his fears and doubts. But what Tony does is keep up his prayers and knows that he wants to get the most out of however much time he has left. This practice and attitude give him a godly perspective on life, and he looks at it as knowing he will use every remaining minute of his rife to thank God and let everyone know he cares about them.
No matter how painful and difficult things are in this life, we can put our trust in God that our time on earth is only ever temporary. We all will face trials like cancer in our lives, but keeping our faith can help us face those trials with an attitude that can inspire others and draw them nearer to Christ.
- Watch the video together or invite someone to summarize the topic.
- What is your initial reaction to this video? Do you disagree with any of it? What jumped out at you?
- Have you or a family member ever been diagnosed with cancer? If so, how has your faith impacted how you dealt with it?
- What are some things that you probably take for granted in your life? How can you learn to be more thankful for these things in your daily life?
- Read John 16:33. How does this verse remind us of how big God really is and what he can accomplish?
- Tony has turned his battle with cancer into an inspiration for others. How can you take something difficult in your life and use it to help others pursue God?
- Write a personal action step based on this conversation.