6 Reasons I’m Grateful for My Cancer by Dr. David P. Craig

A Positive Acronym for C.A.N.C.E.R.

C – is for Christ – Jesus Christ chose to be my cancer. He chose to be the spiritual good cells I needed to make me right with the Father – his righteousness in exchange for my sin (justification); and He chose to be the bad cells (cancer cells – my sin) that were rightly punished by a Holy God (propitiation). In short Jesus took my chemotherapy (His Goodness killed my idolatrous religiosity and evil thoughts and deeds) on Himself so I can have the righteousness of God imputed to my account.

2 Corinthians 5:21, “For our sake he made him to be sin (cancerous cells) who knew no sin (good and perfect cells), so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

A – is for Attitude – I truly believe that there are too many benefits to list in regards to having cancer. However, maybe the best benefit is that I know God is sovereign and good. He has demonstrated this time and again throughout my life and all throughout the Scriptures. I know two big things about God – He’s sovereign and has a plan in my cancer; and secondly He is always good. I know that cancer is evil and that the cancer wants to kill me. I also know that to God cancer is evil and He will use it for His purpose and for my good and the good of others.

Genesis 50:20, “As for you, you meant evil (cancer) against me, but God meant it (cancer) for good, to bring it about that many people should be kept alive, as they are today.”

N – is for New Focus – The Christian life is a continuous battle against the world, the flesh, and the devil. I like to illustrate my cancer this way – If you ever played the Atari Classic video game “Asteroids,” you have these big asteroids coming at you and you are in a little space ship that moves about killing the asteroids and they break up into more asteroids coming at you quickly until you kill them all. I feel like with cancer, my past concerns of finding work, overcoming financial setbacks, and so forth were like a bunch of little asteroids coming at me. Now I have the ability to focus on a big asteroid (cancer) coming at me slowly. However, I have a God that’s bigger and in control of how He chooses to use that cancer for His glory. He can and will destroy it in His perfect time. My job right now is to seek His glory and it’s easier to hone in and focus on the battle with the cancer.

1 Corinthians 10:31, “So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do (fight cancer), do all to the glory of God.”

C – is for Community – I am so grateful for the body of Christ and the community of cancer over comers and those in the fight with me. I have never experienced such care and concern from others and the outpouring of love from family and friends who are going to battle for and with me in prayer.

James 5:15, “And the prayer of faith will save the one who is sick (with cancer), and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven.”

E – is for Encouragement – I am daily receiving cards, emails, and calls that display an outpouring of camaraderie and the urge to be courageous in my plight. I am spurred on to want to live well for my Lord and Savior and do well for His glory while I have breath.

Hebrews 6:10 and 10:23-25, “For God is not unjust so as to overlook your work and the love that you have shown for his name in serving the saints, as you still do…Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful. And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.”

R – is for Repentance and Restoration. I believe that I am a huge idolater. God is continually bringing to mind things that I’ve put before Him – even good things like food and family. However, with cancer I have no idols that can save me. Only the love of God can deliver me from fear. Only the worship of God satisfies my cravings. Only the promises of God give me hope. Only the Gospel gives me pleasure all day long. Only the Word of God sustains me and gives me courage. Only the Holy Spirit convicts me of my sin and comforts and counsels me. I am a sinner in desperate need of God’s grace and endless pleasures that in He alone satisfy my soul. I repent of my worthless and powerless idolatries and I find my satisfaction in Christ my Lord and Savior – my Healer and restorer! He will make me strong when I am weak and He will use my total dependence on Him to point others to His glory in Christ!

Acts 3:19, “Repent therefore, and turn again, that your sins may be blotted out.”

Hebrews 12:11-13, “Being disciplined isn’t enjoyable while it’s happening – it hurts! But afterwards we can see the result, a quiet growth in grace and character. So take a new grip with your tired hands, stand firm on your shaky legs, and mark out a straight, smooth path for your feet so that those who follow you, though weak and lame, will not fall and hurt themselves, but become STRONG.”  (Living Translation)

Jeremiah 30:17a, “For I will restore health to you, and your wounds I will heal, declares the LORD.”

*I am not taking these verses and exegeting and interpreting them in context – that’s not my purpose here. I’m merely applying them to my circumstances. I believe that God speaks to us corporately and individually – and I take comfort in and through the Holy Spirit through the various amazing applications of the Gospel found throughout the Scriptures daily!

Author: lifecoach4God

I am the Lead Pastor of Marin Bible Church (Bay Area), born and raised in Huntington Beach, Ca., and currently living in Novato, California. I am married to my best friend of 30 years - Dana - and have five adult children; and seven grand children. I have been a Teaching Pastor for over thirty years. I was privileged to study at Multnomah University (B.S. - 1988); Talbot School of Theology (M.Div. - 1991); Westminster Theological Seminary & Northwest Graduate School (D. Min. - 2003). I founded Vertical Living Ministries in 2008 with the goal of encouraging Christian Disciples and Leaders to be more intentionally Christ-Centered in how they live by bringing glory to God in nine key areas of life: (1) Intimacy with God, (2) marriage, (3) family, (4) friendship, (5) vocationally/ministry , (6) emotional and physical health, (7) stewardship of resources, (8) discipleship, and (9) mentoring.

4 thoughts on “6 Reasons I’m Grateful for My Cancer by Dr. David P. Craig”

  1. I hope that a lot of people get to read this David. I don’t have cancer (yet), or any other disease, but I see so much in what you wrote that pertains to my life as well (idols, fears, etc.). Your words and scriptures helped me to realize that we all have a cancer in our lives somewhere (sin), and that The Lord wants to heal us. Thank you for your encouraging words and I pray that God does a Mighty work through you for his kingdom and to bring many back to him and to also heal them. I truelly hate that you are going through this awful experience, but then you and Dana are the only two people I know that can totally use this as a ministry to help others and I know that you will. God is so Good to answer our prayers. Sometimes not exactly how we thought they would be but I have always said that He is going to do a mighty work through you (from all the set-backs,lost relationships, pain and grief you have suffered). He has always known where he was leading you and Im so glad you’re home here in Ca. while he is leading you through this journey. I can’t wait to hear more amazing things that God will continue to do through you and Dana. Already it’s been amazing and it’s only just begun. I will continue to pray for you and your family everyday. I love you like my own family, (I mean you kinda are since Dana’s my sister haaa). Gods Blessings I pray for you. Thru Christ

    1. Hi April, I truly think that next to my conversion; marriage to Dana; and having kids and grand kids – that my cancer is the best thing that’s ever happened to me. It gives me a huge opportunity to believe and live out the Gospel in full view of those who are watching and listening to me. I am truly grateful that God is using my pain and suffering for the glory of Christ!

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