Hope, Strength and Peace
How to find them in the midst of cancer.
By Chris Lawrence
I believe every person facing challenging circumstances has three critical needs: hope, strength and peace. These three are invaluable for any person, but even more so when a person faces cancer.
That’s why the purpose of Hope Has Arrived is “finding hope, strength and peace against cancer.”
Cancer is a life experience like no other, such a complex tangle of fear and uncertainty, the battle against it like a long winding road rather than a straight path.
Hope, strength and peace prove life-altering, moving a person out of the darkness and uncertainty of cancer and into a bright light of hope and promise.
That’s not a platitude, it’s real. Every article and video on this website seeks to help you find hope on your journey.
Here is a closer look at hope, strength and peace, and why we believe they are so important.
Hope is the belief of a good outcome, one that continues to drive us and move us toward a goal despite opposing forces that scream the opposite.
Living with hope is like breathing air, try living without it even for a few minutes!
I wish it was easy to always to live in hope. But clearly that is not true. In fact, many cancer survivors would say that as hard as the physical effects of cancer can be, probably the greatest challenge is how facing the disease attacks their hope.
Yet, hope is what we need most of all.
More than a mere abstraction, hope helps give us strength to live productively through the present, despite challenges or setbacks.
When we lose it, we slip into the cold, dark shadows. But when we find it, our life feels like a sunny day, even if storms gather in the background. Check out these powerful words:
“As for me I will always have hope,” says Psalm 71:14.
Wouldn’t you like to be a person who always has hope, even in the worst possible circumstances?
Every person can benefit from experiencing more hope in his or her life!
When people face something daunting, they inherently know that they need strength—not just physical, but mental and emotional fortitude as well.
Strength is the capacity to withstand great force or pressure. And the cancer journey certainly delivers a lot of pressure and uncertainty.
Wherever a person finds themselves on a cancer journey—whether initial diagnosis, treatment or survivorship—cancer brings a person to new levels of physical and emotional exhaustion that they didn’t previously experience.
When people think about cancer, they often say that a person needs to fight and be a “fighter.” And yes, I do think there is an element of truth to this.
But as I have personally experienced, this journey will often push us past the limits of our ability to fight. And so, we must look for a greater strength than we possess, by looking outside of ourselves. I believe we can find this through a relationship with God.
The strength of spiritual hope
Spiritual hope is something we mention a lot on Hope Has Arrived, as many survivors say it is vital to living with hope, strength and peace.
Check out these words of spiritual hope from Isaiah:
“(God) gives strength to the weary
And increases the power of the weak.
Even youths grow tired and weary,
And young men stumble and fall;
But those who hope in the Lord
Will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
They will run and not grow weary,
They will walk and not be faint.”
I love the words, “strength to the weary” and “soar on wings like eagles.” Wouldn’t you like to experience that on those days when your emotional and physical strength feel completely zapped or depleted?
This strength waits to be found by anyone who wants it. And even though our difficulties might remain, you will find yourself with a renewed spirit and strength to face it.
Peace is experiencing a sense of calm and well-being. It means feeling at rest, even if your circumstances are anything but tranquil.
The opposite of peace would be stress and anxiety, restlessness. These unpleasant emotions come naturally when you discover that your life is threatened or changed.
Indeed, the fear of cancer can prove very real.
So how can you experience peace in the midst of the uncertainty?
In many religions, peace is something you try to attain through meditation, acts of service or even self-denial.
However, in Christianity, peace is something that the Creator gives to people as a gift.
As Jesus said, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you (John 14:27).” He offers this gift with no strings attached. And the way to find it is to ask for it.
To learn more about finding peace, see “The Gift of Peace,” which is one of the most popular articles on our site.
The Anchor of Hope
These three concepts—hope, strength and peace—are vital on a cancer journey. Yet, I believe hope is the most important.
And I know I’m not alone. Look at all of the cancer organization who use “hope” in the title.
The reason is that hope becomes anchor—not a flimsy toy anchor, but like one of those huge steel nautical anchors that can stabilize a cruise liner.
“You can have days when you don’t have a lot of strength but you can get through it if you have hope,” says Lee Silverstein, a Stage IV survivor who created The We Have Cancer Show. “You can have days when you don’t have a lot of peace, but hope can get you through. I find that so much is grounded in that four-letter word.”
And we need an immovable anchor when our strength fails, and we lose our peace. Hope can be your anchor, even when the waves and winds of life push and pull you around.
Indeed, hope is the anchor. Wherever you are at on your journey, may you find hope, strength and peace today.
And may you especially find hope.
Would you like to experience more hope on your journey? Walk with us on the Pathway to Hope, our seven-day email series about finding hope in the midst of cancer.
To find encouragement and hope through our community, join our prayer and support group on Facebook.
For more about finding spiritual hope, read Knowing God Personally.
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Note: We are not doctors and we cannot answer your medical questions. However, we welcome your questions about finding hope and knowing God.