Pathway to Hope #7
Walking in hope.
Marrying my wife was hands down the best decision I have ever made. It required me to be committed to her, and vice versa. Did I mention we got engaged on top of a 150-foot tall sandstone rock tower, only accessed by climbing up an exposed and narrow spine? Hopefully she would also say marrying me was her best decision ☺ But she knew what she was in for, and outdoor adventure has been a big part of our relationship.
The reason I bring up my wife is that, like marriage, walking in hope requires an ongoing commitment.
The word commitment may sound a little scary, but if you want to possess hope that will sustain you through cancer—and really any other trial for that matter—then an ongoing relationship with God is critical.
Obviously this relationship looks different than earthly marriage, but there are certainly some parallels like love and commitment.
In this last pathway step, I’m going to explain what this relationship looks like, and how you can have it. There are many benefits.
Imagine going to your next oncologist appointment, or even a scan, with the peace and confidence—that you are not facing this alone, that a loving God stands ready to help you at every step.
“God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.” 1
For those who have a relationship with him, God is a “refuge” or shelter from danger and threats.
Maybe you are thinking, well, I have prayed to God in the past, and he did not answer my prayer, therefore he doesn’t exist. Or even if he does, he’s unreliable. The issue is sometimes that we don’t want God as he is. Instead, we want a “god,” one that does exactly what we want in our timeline. This is not a relationship, but more like a genie.
In a real relationship, we take the risk of allowing someone else to come through for us, meanwhile not controlling the result. It’s hard, because we place our hearts in a vulnerable position. We prefer control and the guarantee of not being hurt, but that is not a relationship. In a relationship, there is an element of risk and waiting, learning to trust and releasing control.
This is what a relationship with God is like. Are you willing to risk a relationship with him?
Every day he comes through for people, giving them “immeasurably more than we could ask or imagine.”2
But he’s not a genie. He’s in it for the long haul, as we need to be. Too often, we want our prayers answered immediately, so we can go on our way. But the paradox is that freedom is found in a commitment to him.
You might be thinking, “sounds great, but what’s the cost?” Yes, in a relationship, any good one, you give a lot of yourself. But one key aspects of walking with God is receiving—knowing him and receiving a constant supply of blessings. No need to pay him back (because we never could anyway). Just enjoy him.
Yet following God is also costly. He asks for a total commitment—to surrender our life to him. In fact Jesus said, “Whoever loses their life for me will find it.”3
Yet by committing to him, he is also committing to you!
And through him you gain wisdom and power beyond measure. How would you like him to help you? There is much we stand to gain by knowing him. The God of the universe stands ready to walk with you through cancer or whatever difficulty you face.
He will give you hope, strength and peace beyond measure.
The hope I am referring to endures not just for the present—but for eternity, for what comes after this life. When you think about your “forever,” wouldn’t you rather meet God as a friend, than a stranger?
You don’t have to wait until eternity to know him. He generously gives himself to any who choose him. Right now. Are you ready to commit to him? If so, perhaps this prayer expresses the desire of your heart:
Lord Jesus, I want to know you personally. Please forgive me for my brokenness and going my own way in this life. I am ready to follow you as my Savior and Lord. Thank you that you are my refuge and an ever-present help. I trust you to help me through my cancer journey and to give me hope now and for eternity. Amen.
Is there anything stopping you from saying this prayer right now?
I urge you to make this decision and do not delay. Once you seize this hope, your life—and your cancer journey—will never be the same.
If you still need more info about how to make this decision, read Knowing God Personally.
Or perhaps, you already know God, but this journey has challenged your beliefs like never before. You may be dealing with intense anger or sadness, feeling that somehow he has let you down. Perhaps the following prayer expresses the desire of your heart:
Lord Jesus, I confess that amidst this journey with cancer, I have felt separated from you. I pray you would forgive me of my brokenness and my part in that separation. Help me to reconnect with you, and be joyful in hope—and to experience your hope, strength and peace at a deeper level then I ever knew was possible. Amen.
Regardless of your story, God’s hope will not disappoint you. Come and experience the hope that he freely offers.
Yours for hope found in God,
Founder of Hope Has Arrived
Three action steps:
Ponder: If you have made this decision to know God, what are some ways you would like him to help you? If you have not made the decision, what questions or concerns do you still have? Ask a question here.
Remember: Walking in hope requires an ongoing commitment.
Consider: These words of hope…“You will show me the path of life.”
P.S. I just made this decision to know God. Now what?
As always, feel free to ask us a question, or even to just share with us the good news about how you connected with God.
We also wanted to point you to a fantastic resource that will help you take the next step in your relationship with God, called Starting With God.
You can return to the previous Pathway here.