Hope as a Strategy for Cancer

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Hope as a Strategy to Defeat Cancer

Would you describe yourself as a Type A or Type B person?  

Our world loves to provide us with categories to categorize ourselves.  Which are you? 

I have certainly always had my type B tendencies.  I’m quite happy to go with the flow and just go where life takes me.  But recently I have been taken by the power of being strategic. 

Following my cancer diagnosis and treatment as I have worked to write, blog, podcast to help others I have learned and studied and have been struck again by the power of being strategic…Of planning ahead and being intentional to stick to the plan.

That is why I was so struck this week when my husband showed me an article from the Stanford University Medicine’s website with that very title:  ‘Hope as a Strategy for Cancer’.  Those words caught my attention. 

As the article’s authors (Earnest Rosenbaum, M.D and David Spiegel M.D.) make clear that hope has long since been proven to make the difference to those suffering through any difficulty. As they conclude they say ‘Hope is what keeps us alive to fight another day, a month, a year and to return to better health’.  Yes that is what we want!

In our spirits we all know hope is key and yet it is also fragile.  In the depths of treatment when you are tired…hope seems to wane.  When the pain is seemingly too much to bear hoping almost seems like a day dream.  When the prognosis is bleak hope can seem like a dead end…as if cancer isn’t bad enough when we are robbed of hope those are the most bitter moments…maybe you’ve been there

So this article got me thinking, what if we could be strategic about hope? What if we could be intentional and plan ahead of time to be able to walk in hope…so that when those times come we’re covered and we are not staring our situation in the face feeling hopeless with no idea how to pull ourselves out of it.  What if we could do this and Hope never left our side?

The answer is that YES we can.  That is why this article caught my attention – so today I’m diving into how we can make Hope our strategy no matter what cancer throws our way. 

As Christians hope is ONE of the things God has given us which simply cannot be taken away…it is meant to be immovable, unshifting and the rock on which we stand. 

As president Snow in the hunger games film so famously said “Hope, it is the only thing stronger than fear. A little hope is effective, a lot of hope is dangerous”

I want us, I want you to have dangerous hope in God.



Jeremiah 29:11 says God has plans to prosper us, plan for good and not for evil, plans to give us hope and a future.  But here’s the frustration: that kind of verse is fine when the going is good, but it is much harder when this are going hard.  This fits in the category of verses not to quote to me straight after chemo.

The truth is hope can be hard to lay hold of in the midst of the darkness.  But we need to remember this verse was spoken by God through Jeremiah to the people of Israel, not when life was good, but when it was hard, really hard. They were in captivity, suffering under the Babylonians and couldn’t see a time when they wouldn’t be. Their hope was draining out of them, they couldn’t see a way forward, and they were spiraling into hopelessness. The couldn’t see a way out or way forward. Sound familiar?

It’s into this nightmare situation that God says I have plans for you! Plans to give you hope and a future – but when we read on, we see the strategy God lays out.

Verses 13 and14 say “When you come looking for me, you’ll find me.  Then we learn HOW – the STRATEGY – stop waiting and start living and finding hope right where you are. 

If hope makes such a difference, we need to feed our hope.  That is why I loved this idea of us being strategic about hope.  When I look at the Bible I see people facing hard times and getting through because hope was their strategy.

Daniel – Facing being thrown in the Lions den if he didn’t stop praying.  Why did he do that?  Hope was his strategy.  

Moses – As he stood on the banks of the Red Sea with the Egyptian army bearing down and all the people of Israel panicking and blaming him for leading them out.  Moses didn’t panic.  Why? Not because he had a better army…hope was his strategy.

Jesus – As he knelt in the Garden of Gethsemane and felt the sheer terror of what was to come…the full weight of sin on His shoulders.  Could have run, could have called down army of angles, could have done miracle but, He didn’t – Because hope was His strategy!

I was there.  Like I said – many times life felt hopeless. It’s so easy to spiral. But the times I looked back to God’s faithfulness and chose to trust him no matter what – hope rose. Hope filled me up. 

As I often say – trusting God doesn’t just happen the moment we meet Jesus; it’s a daily choice as we face the world head on. It’s a simultaneous letting go of what we think will make everything better and holding onto the promise that with him everything is better.

The more I realized it wasn’t about me and what I could do, but about Him and what He can do, hope rose.

Here is my hope Strategy: a five point plan for Strategic about hope.

Hope rises when we trust:

  • H: He hears us and sees us…
  • O: He is our offensive line
  • P: His Plans are Best – Even If we can’t see how
  • E: He equips us for the battle ahead

Let’s take a moment to pray using our simple guided prayer format that uses the acronym TRUST.

Thanking Him for who he is and what he’s done.  Resting in his love.  Unburdening our hearts.  Surrendering our hopes, fears and needs.  Taking Him at His word.

Make it your own.  Take time between to pause and pray your own prayers, journal, simply sit in the Lord’s loving arms.  If you haven’t gotten your TRUST prayer bookmark yet – grab it below!

As always I like to leave you with a practical exercise you can do right now or in the week to come. 

Put a cross or stone or anything in pocket – every time you touch it you remember – I am seen/heard, He fights for me and His plans are good.

Lastly, Write out the hope strategy and put it with your TRUST bookmark – write it on the back. When you find yourself spiraling into hopelessness take it out and remind yourself of the steps. Read them, recite them, remember them, live them. 

Grab a copy of my book, Breathe Again, so you can dive into the 7 practical tools and questions for yourself! 

Do something to enter into the full, abundant life Jesus came to give you.

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Do you need hope in your cancer journey?  I have an invitation for YOU!

Trusting God Through Cancer Summit

Register to save you free seat for the Trusting God Through Cancer Summit! Join hundreds of people just like you and overcome the fear, overwhelm, and massive impact cancer’s had on every part of your life.  Build unshakable hope, faith, and trust –  no matter what.


If you haven’t already, download your TRUST prayer book mark HERE so you can pray along with me and pray with more confidence and less doubt in the week ahead.

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