Rev. Dr. Julie Berndt of the Good Samaritan Society and Sanford Health shares Scripture verses to bolster your spiritual health if you are living with a long-term illness or caring for someone who is.
This doesn’t mean giving up. Instead of expending energy resisting your circumstances, just experience them, even if you can’t predict the outcome. As Paul notes in Romans, “we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose” (8:28)—in all things, including suffering (Romans 8:18).
Believe that you are not alone in your journey
In the same chapter, Paul tells us that when we are so weak “we do not know what we ought to pray for” the Holy Spirit himself intercedes for us (Romans 8:26). He ends with the powerful message that nothing can separate us from God’s love (Romans 8:38-39).
Look to grow
The theme of James is endurance. He tells us that whenever you face trials, consider them an opportunity for growth, as the testing of your faith produces perseverance and developing perseverance makes you “mature and complete” (James 1:2-4).
Be intentional about rejoicing
In Philippians, Paul writes to people who are struggling. He himself is in prison. A dark time, yet there is great hopefulness in his letter. In verses 4:4-9, Paul links joy and worry, reminding us that they can happen at the same time. He urges us to see God’s presence in all situations and take joy in it. “Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!” (Philippians 4:4).
Make prayer your antidote to worry
“Do not be anxious about anything,” Paul further challenges us, “but in every situation…present your requests to God” and you will find peace (Philippians 4:6-7).
Your journey with an illness may give you a deeper understanding of other people’s troubles. Let the Lord comfort you so that you can comfort them (2 Corinthians 1:4-7).
Focus on quality of time, not quantity
Our life on earth is short; make the most of it. As Psalm 90:12 says, “Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.”