CANCER! Just the sound of the word has the ability to strike fear in the hearts of many of us. I’m sure most of us know someone who has dealt with cancer or someone who is dealing with it now. We even read about it in the Bible. 2 Timothy 2:16-17 says, “But shun profane and idle babblings, for they will increase to more ungodliness. And their message will spread like cancer. …” (NKJV) This is the only time in the Word of God that we read the word cancer (canker in the KJV). Yet, they identified it and dealt with it in their day.

The Apostle Paul was a tentmaker. What did he know about cancer? Luke, a traveling companion of Paul, wrote the book of Luke. He also wrote the book of Acts. What was Luke’s occupation? He was a doctor! In Colossians 4:14, he is referred to as “Luke, the beloved physician.” Perhaps, in all their travels together, Luke taught Paul a few things about medicine. In comparing cancer to vain babblings, we learn the character of cancer. Cancer “will increase” and it will “eat” away at the one with the disease. Thankfully, most cancers can be treated or cured when diagnosed correctly and early.

I recently read an obituary where the deceased was described as having LOST THEIR BATTLE with cancer. I did not like that language when, in fact, a believer on the Lord Jesus NEVER loses his battle with cancer. Either the Lord (who is in control) will see fit to heal someone of their cancer (or any other disease) or He will allow the cancer to take that person’s life. Does that mean we have lost the battle? Absolutely not! We read in Philippians 1:21, “For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.” Verse 23 describes departing to be with Christ as “far better.” We read in 2 Corinthians 5:8, “We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be ABSENT FROM THE BODY, and to be PRESENT WITH THE LORD.” When a believer dies from cancer or any other reason, that person goes immediately into the presence of the Lord in Glory. What blessed gain! It is indeed, FAR BETTER than anything we will ever have on the earth.

Hebrews 9:27 teaches us that, “…it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment.” Unless the Lord should come soon and take His church to Heaven, we will all die. We all have that same appointment. But as we just read, for the believer, “to die is gain.” We leave behind this world of evil, sorrow, and disappointment to live with the Lord. The Lord Jesus said in John 14:3, “And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, THERE YE MAY BE ALSO.” Isn’t it an amazing thought that the Lord wants us to live with Him in Glory? We read in Psalm 116:15, “Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of his saints.” The Lord delights to welcome each one of His children home…home in Glory in a place that was prepared especially for us.

I’m sure your friend is grieving over the loss of her husband. We should not belittle that grief, but realize it does hurt to lose a loved one. I hope these words regarding where her husband is now might be used to help comfort her. When our loved ones go to be with the Lord, we know that we “sorrow not, even as others which have no hope.” (1 Thessalonians 4:13) We do sorrow, but it’s not like those who have no hope of seeing their loved one again. We do have hope. We know that we will see our loved one again when we are called home to be with the Lord. (230.10)