7 Tips for Waging War against Cancer

Dr. Michelle Bengtson
hands up to bright sun bursting through

Cancer is a prevalent disease, and it seems that everyone knows at least someone who has been impacted by this disease. My husband is a three-time (each time different types) cancer fighter, while I am on my second fight.

We’ve learned so much over the years about how to fight this battle and how to stand up against it. The cancer battle is not just a physical fight, but an emotional and spiritual one as well.

Below are seven tips for waging war against a cancer diagnosis:

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1. Realize Cancer Is Not from God

Coffee cup saying Be Strong

For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places. – Ephesians 6:12 NLT

We have to realize we have a very real enemy who seeks to steal, kill, and destroy God’s children. Although God allows trials and infirmities into our life, it is never his desire that his children become ill.

Dear friend, I hope all is well with you and that you are as healthy in body as you are strong in spirit. – 3 John 1:2 NLT

2. Consider Cancer a Little “c,” While Christ Is a Capital “C” 

Scripture says every name must bow to the name of Jesus, and cancer is a name so it must bow!

Therefore, God elevated him to the place of highest honor and gave him the name above all other names, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue declare that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. – Philippians 2:9-11 NLT

Part of waging war against cancer and the enemy of our soul is to decrease focus on the type of cancer diagnosis, because every cancer must bow to the name of Jesus!

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3. Believe That By His Stripes We Are Healed

husband kissing wife in cancer treatment on forehead

It’s important to believe in our hearts, according to His word, that by His stripes we are healed, and just waiting to experience the full manifestation of that healing.

But he was pierced for our rebellion, crushed for our sins. He was beaten so we could be whole. He was whipped so we could be healed. – Isaiah 53:5 NLT

It is God’s desire for His children to be healed and whole: physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. Jesus took not only our sin, but also our infirmities on Himself when He died on the cross. 

4. Armor Up

Until the full manifestation of His healing comes, God has shown us how to fight this and every other battle. So each day, we must armor up.

Therefore, put on every piece of God's armor so you will be able to resist the enemy in the time of evil. Then after the battle you will still be standing firm. Stand your ground, putting on the belt of truth and the body armor of God's righteousness. For shoes, put on the peace that comes from the Good News so that you will be fully prepared. In addition to all of these, hold up the shield of faith to stop the fiery arrows of the devil. Put on salvation as your helmet, and take the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. – Ephesians 6:13-17 NLT

Cancer can be such an isolating disease. No two people, even with the exact same diagnosis, will experience the disease or the treatment in the exact same way. But we can all determine to put on God’s armor as we wage physical and spiritual war against this disease. 

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5. Don’t Allow Worry and Anxiety to Lead

woman praying by husband's hospital bed

We know that God promises to fight for us, so we don’t give worry, fear, or anxiety a place in our lives.

The LORD himself will fight for you. Just stay calm. – Exodus 14:14 NLT

I can think of precious few situations that tempt us into such great worry, fear, or anxiety as hearing the words, “I’m sorry to tell you this, but you have cancer.” In a split second it’s easy to run down the trail of all the possible “what if” scenarios. “What if they misdiagnosed it?” “What if the treatment doesn’t work?” “What if the treatment is worse than the disease?” “What if I die?”

During this journey, while we may listen to the facts doctors present, we want to cling to God’s truth, and be encouraged that this diagnosis didn’t take God by surprise and He already knows how He wants to see us through it. So rather than focusing on the problem, stay ever close to the Problem Solver! 

6. Pray and Believe God Answers

Throughout this journey, we pray believing God will answer.

I tell you, you can pray for anything, and if you believe that you've received it, it will be yours. –  Mark 11:24 NLT

But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind. – James 1:6 ESV

The temptation when given a cancer diagnosis is often to put our faith in doctors, statistics, and best-guess prognoses. While doctors want the best for their patients, our ultimate trust must be in our God who knows all, provides for all, and redeems all—including the hardest parts of our lives.

God can choose to heal in a variety of ways, whether it be from a supernatural touch of His hand, or through modern medicine. But repeatedly in Scripture we see Jesus say that it was someone’s faith that made them well (Mark 5:34; Mark 10:52; Luke 7:50; Luke 8:48; Luke 17:19; Luke 18:42).

By believing that God will answer our prayers, we exercise that same kind of faith…a faith that pleases Him.

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7. Expect God

hope cancer survivor fight sign

Finally, when we have done all we know to do, we stand and we wait expectantly for God to do what only He can do.

Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. – Ephesians 6:13 NIV

Standing and waiting on God are not passive activities. They are active as they exercise faith, expectation, and watching for God to act. As we stand and wait on God, we surrender control which gives Him full reign to act and exercise His perfect plan for our lives, in His perfect way and His perfect timing.

How are you or a loved one standing up and waging war against cancer today?

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