Hold on to Hope When Our Chronic Illness-Related Fears Come

“Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness” (Lamentations 3:22-23).

A few weeks ago, I got up one morning with severe pain in the middle finger of my left hand. There’s been mild osteoarthritis in my fingers and wrists for many years, but with little pain, except occasionally with extra impact on specific joints. That generally hasn’t lasted long. So the intrusive persistence of this particular pain terrified me.

My thoughts quickly went to other people I’ve known who’ve suffered terribly with joint pain, and have had surgery–perhaps several times–to improve their condition.

What would something like that mean for my future? How long would I be able to continue preparing meals, or playing the piano? Would my busy, unwell husband have to help me even more than he already does? What if there’s no medication capable of managing the pain? (I have several drug allergies.)

Well, since that day I have not experienced any severe pain, and the Lord has reminded me yet again to live in the present and look with hope to the days ahead. And what exactly is “hope”? My husband uses the following definition for biblical hope that is rooted in the promises of God: the joyful certainty of future blessing. How we need that! Let’s cling to the hope that comes from the Lord, and hold on to Him. By His grace, we can face the challenges of each day.

Thomas Chisholm, who wrote the words of the hymn “Great is Thy Faithfulness,” knew the basis for our hope. The refrain of his song is based on the verses from Lamentations. And here is one stanza’s comforting message: “Pardon for sin and a peace that endureth, / Thine own dear presence to cheer and to guide; / Strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow, / Blessings all mine, with ten thousand beside! / Great is Thy faithfulness!”

Prayer: Thank You, Lord, for the joyful certainty of future blessing that we have in You.

About the Author:
Beth Cottrill lives in a small town in rural Saskatchewan, Canada, with her “retired” pastor/teacher husband, Bob, an avid football fan. She finds living with Attention Deficit Disorder, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, depression, osteoarthritis and a stroke of several years ago a challenge, but also training for a ministry to others. She loves nature, animals, music, making cards and, last but not least, being a grandma. For her husband’s blog post on this “Great is Thy Faithfulness” see http://wordwisehymns.com/2012/03/09/great-is-thy-faithfulness/.

You can now read this on your Kindle. Find out more at http://TodaysDevotionOnKindle.com

What helps you hold onto hope when you get more bad news about your health? Is the Lord teaching you to live one day at a time?

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