If you believe enough or are righteous enough, will God take away your suffering?

When my 24-year-old daughter discovered she had Hodgkin’s Lymphoma and a tumor the size of a man’s fist pressing against her lungs and trachea affecting her every breath, one of her friends told her that she didn’t even want to know the name of the cancer because it was going to disappear. The friend declared that she was praying for her, and if my daughter would just believe enough, God would heal her.

The friend meant well enough, but she put the burden of being healed upon my daughter, that it would be her own fault if she weren’t healed.

God doesn’t guarantee to heal our every wound on this earth, and He doesn’t promise us a life without trials.

A quick look at the biblical Hall of Fame shows us that. For example, Joseph, who was sold into slavery by his brothers and then imprisoned for a crime he didn’t commit, probably wondered if his life would ever amount to much, before God opened the doors for him to be second in command to Pharaoh. In the midst of the shackles and the cell, Joseph couldn’t see God’s ultimate plan.

The Apostle Paul was beaten, stoned, hungry, thirsty, shipwrecked, imprisoned, etc., and it had nothing to do with a lack of faith or a lack of righteousness. God never promised our paths would be easy, but He promised to work it all for the good. He will turn the ashes to beauty.

Romans 8:28 tells us “And we know in all things that God works for the good of those that love him and who are called according to his purpose.”  God doesn’t say that we’ll be immune to suffering and loss. He promises to work everything out for the best and for His glory.

Our lives with our brokenness and tears blended with our faith, joy, and hope in Him are His masterpieces. He can use the bad that comes into our lives to make us stronger and grow us deeper than we ever imagined possible. We can comfort others with the comfort we ourselves receive from the Lord (2 Corinthians 1:4).

One of my favorite things about flying in an airplane is being 25,000 – 30,000 feet above the earth and seeing the sun above thick swirls of white clouds. It reminds me that the sun is always there, even when I’m earthbound, and  storms block my view.

We do not know His plans. We cannot see above the clouds.

God sees the whole picture. The wonders of His plans are beyond our comprehension.

He is there with us every step of the way, even in the darkest of nights. He will never fail us.

And for those of you who are wondering, God worked through the chemo and His healing power to remove every trace of cancer from my daughter’s body. She has been in remission for 18 months, and she now leads a cancer support group Bible study seeking to support and comfort others.

By guest author Sherry Shindelar










  1. Amre, thank you for making this fact so clear. Not only does God not do for us what we can do for ourselves, He also allows things into our lives that either bring us to Him, or closer to Him. Sometimes we don’t know why God allows things like this to happen, but we can always trust that He is using it for good somewhere. So glad your daughter was healed.

    A friend of mine was recently diagnosed with cancer. She already has more physical problems than anyone I’ve ever known. She’s saved, Jewish, and serves God as much and in every way she can. So why did God allow this to happen? We don’t know, but we have faith that He has used it and will continue to use it for good. She’s already given the Gospel to someone who needed it in the hospital and encouraged others.

    If worse comes to worse (in our human thinking), she will see Him Face to face. In the meantime, we knows He’s there for her every step of the way to healing or heaven.

    God bless you, Amre.

  2. Sherry, thank you for sharing this deeply personal and inspiring story. Yes, we have to leave it all up to God. He truly does see clearly when we sometimes have to view circumstances through the clouds. Praise God your daughter is in remission.

  3. To this post, I say a hearty “Amen!” I loved the sentence that reads, “Our lives with our brokenness and tears blended with our faith, joy, and hope in Him are His masterpieces.” Well said!

  4. Thanks so much for these precious words, Sherry.

    I’ve had my share of well-meaning people who try to comfort me with kooky ideas, some similar to your friend’s.

    The only true comfort I know is what John Wesley expressed as he lay dying. “The best of all is, God is with us.” Then he raised his arm and repeated, “The best of all is, God is with us!”

  5. Amen. God sees the whole picture. We do not. I am thankful to trust in Him and His plan. I’m praising God that your daughter is in remission. How wonderful she leads a cancer support group Bible study. Her journey will help others.

  6. Thank you for this post and the spiritual truth you share. Praise God your daughter is healthy and whole.

    The interview on my blog with Christine Dillon highlights her first book, Grace in Strange Disguise, which addresses the topic you mentioned about putting the burden of healing on the sick person having enough faith or not. She shares some great truths in the book from scripture.

    1. This is a much needed message – rather than tearing each other down as Job’s friends had done, let’s build each other up in the faith! To God be the glory!! 🙂

      1. Agree,God is Good,God is Great. Sometimes he sends Angels to do his Best. Life is s Polaroid it takes time to develop. Sit back and relax think of the Past, and the big picture finally develops.

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