THE FUNDAMENTALS OF FAITH
He left. We sat silently, stunned. Cancer! How can this be? Except for babies, Eva had never been sick. Neither one of us said it, but we both knew we could be staring a painful death in the face. Now, my new hospital experience with Jesus served us well.
We decided to review the fundamentals of our faith before the operation. There was no need for her to make the mistake of ignoring God’s help as I did.
Fundamental 1: Jesus said: “I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also.”
John 14:2-3, NKJV
For the Christian, the other side of death is heaven. It is a good idea to drop that thought into your mind before stressful conditions swirl around you. I only advise this process for the Christian, however; for the non-Christian, thinking about the other side of death will possibly increase stressful feelings.
Fundamental 2: God instructed His people: “This day is sacred to our Lord. Do not grieve, for the joy of the LORD is your strength.”
Nehemiah 8:10, NIV
This was a precious promise given to the Israelites as Nehemiah repaired the wall and gate in spite of continuous harassment from Israel’s enemies and resistance and criticism from many of his own people. We rested our meager faith on this promise. There would be as much strength as needed in a day, enough to joyfully endure the daily demand.
Fundamental 3: [God will comfort] us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God. For as the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also aboundeth in Christ.
2 Corinthians 1:4-5 KJV
We needed to look to God for comfort, which is not the same as the reassurance that comes from being surrounded by skilled professionals, loving family and friends, good equipment, and medicine. We deeply appreciated human help, but humans could not do what only God could do.
As we prepared to take my wife to the hospital, she decided not to trust her memory. She wrote these verses on three-by-five cards and took them with her:
“As thy days, so shall thy strength be.” (Deuteronomy 33:25, KJV)
“For as the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also aboundeth by Christ.” (2 Corinthians 1:5, KJV)
“That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings.” (Philippians 3:10, KJV)
“This day is sacred to our Lord. Do not grieve, for the joy of the LORD is your strength.” (Nehemiah 8:10, NIV)
“Let the peace of God rule in your hearts, . . . and be thankful. (Colossians 3:15, NKJV)