8 Ways to Trust God in Times of Illness

Carrie Lowrance

Crosswalk Contributor
Published Jun 25, 2024
8 Ways to Trust God in Times of Illness

Getting sick is one of the worst things that can happen to us. Depending on how ill we are, it can cause us to miss work days or take us out for weeks or even months at a time. In times like these, we want to get better as fast as possible so we can get back to our lives, and trusting God during this time can be difficult. We usually feel our worst when we're sick, and that is when we need God the most. If it's hard for you to trust God when you're sick, here is how to trust him when you aren't feeling your best.

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1. Accept That You're Sick

1. Accept That You're Sick

First, we need to accept that we're sick. We all put off symptoms like fatigue, fever, a runny nose, etc. Sometimes, we ignore more serious symptoms that could indicate a disease or a source of pain in our body that we don't consider damaged. For example, we may dismiss it as just a sprain when, in reality, it could be a broken bone. If you're feeling anxious or depressed, it's easy to think you'll just get through it even though you know it may need to be addressed with a professional. It's easy to do this because we don't want to interrupt our lives or simply can't interrupt our lives. However, we need to accept that we're sick and seek the help we need.

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Woman taking prescription medication medicine for mental health

2. Question God

Sickness can hit at the most inopportune time. Before you go on vacation, while you're on vacation, the night of your son's soccer game or your daughter's dance recital. The day of a huge deadline at work or an important meeting. Finding out you have a disease or struggling with a mental illness are also causes of frustration. It's okay to question God. Some things you may ask are:

-Why me? (There is nothing wrong with asking this, it's normal.)

-What is your plan?

-What are you trying to teach me?

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3. Confess Your Unbelief

I didn't realize this until recently, but worry is unbelief. Although it's normal to worry, when we do this, it's like saying we don't trust God. When we're sick, it's especially easy to worry about things. How will I catch up at work? Who can I call to take the kids to school? Can I stand to sit at the computer and order groceries? Instead of worrying, we should confess our unbelief to God and ask for his forgiveness and for him to help us trust him. Here is what the Bible says about worry.

"So don't worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today's trouble is enough for today." (Matthew 6:34, NLT)

"So refuse to worry, and keep your body healthy. But remember that youth, with a whole life before it, is meaningless." (Ecclesiastes 11:10, NLT)

"That is why I tell you not to worry about everyday life-weather you will have enough food or drink, or what clothes you will wear. Isn't life more than food and your body more than clothing? Look at the birds. They don't plant harvest, or store food in barns, for your heavenly Father feeds them. And aren't you far more valuable to him than they are? Can all your worries add a single moment to your life?" (Matthew 6:25-27, NLT)

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4. Read Scripture

Get into the scriptures and read about what the Bible says about sickness. You can also read some of your favorite books of the Bible or verses to help comfort and encourage you. Some verses to help you get started include:

"We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our hope of salvation." (Romans 5:3-4)

"Are any of you sick? You should call on the elders of the church to come and pray over you, anointing you with oil in the name of the Lord. Such a prayer offered in faith will heal the sick, and the Lord will make you well. And if you have committed any sins, you will be forgiven." (James 5:14-15)

"The Lord nurses them when they are sick and restores them to health." (Psalm 41:3)

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A woman seated in a wheelchair prays fervently before a window

5. Pray

Pray often about your sickness and ask for God's will to be done. It is also important to pray for those who are helping to take care of you.

Share Your Concerns

Gather with your friends and family and share your concerns. Make an appointment to talk with your pastor about what you are thinking and feeling. Depending on the severity of the illness, it can be airing your frustrations or talking about your fears and the future if it's a more serious illness. Having a serious illness is difficult, so don't bottle up your thoughts and feelings and keep them to yourself. Be open and honest with your inner circle of friends and family and the influential people in your life.

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Woman with chronic illness

6. Spend Time with God

Take time every day to spend time with God. This can be daily prayer, Bible reading, and worship, or silencing everything around you and having a discussion with God out loud. Listen closely to discern what he may be telling you. He cares about all of us and our worries, both big and small.

Look around for things to be grateful for in your life. This could be something big or something small. There are always things to be grateful for. Here are some examples.

-If you have the flu, maybe your symptoms aren't as bad as they could be.

-Your friends stop by with food so you don't have to cook for a few nights.

-Maybe you're getting "Get Well" cards in the mail, or flowers are being delivered.

-If you have a pet, be grateful for their presence in your life. They haven't left your side since you've been sick.

-Be grateful for your spouse or boyfriend or girlfriend that is helping take care of you and other things that need done.

-Being glad that the medicine the doctor prescribed is working.

-Your friends are taking the kids to school and their extracurricular activities.

-There is an opportunity for you to get some extra sleep.

-It is possible to go to the doctor via tele-health and avoid having to always go into the office.

-Delivery of your prescriptions is available.

-You can order groceries online and have them delivered.

We live in an amazing time where we can get just about anything we need with a few keystrokes and choosing a time for delivery. This is fantastic in times of illness.

Ask the Holy Spirit for Comfort

Pray and ask the holy spirit for comfort and to help you have peace of mind during your illness.

"But when the Father sends the advocate as my representative, the Holy Spirit-he will teach you everything and remind you of everything I have told you." (John 14:26)

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7. Wait on the Lord

Even though it can be difficult, waiting on the Lord during your illness is important. He knows your situation and what your body and mind need. It's normal to want to jump right back into things as soon as we start to feel better and push ourselves to our limits, but it only causes issues later. While we are down, God is working in the background, and you never know what he's up to. Taking the time to rest your mind, body, and soul is important and will lead to greater things down the line.

"Wait patiently on the Lord. Be brave and courageous. Yes, wait patiently on the Lord." (Psalm 27:14)

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senior woman on couch eyes closed in thoughtful prayer

8. Thank God

We are to thank God in every circumstance, even when it's hard. He doesn't want us to worry and stress about things; he wants us to trust him. Although it's hard to see the good when we don't feel good, we should still thank God for what he has done in our lives, what he is doing, and what he will do in our future. Who knows, the sickness that you are dealing with may lead to your restoration and great things to come.

"Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you who belong to Jesus Christ." (1 Thessalonians 5:18, NLT)

Becoming ill is never fun and can mess up the whole flow of our lives. Instead of being upset about it, we should be thankful for it and what God is trying to teach us from it. We should strive to get the best rest we can, physically, mentally, spiritually, and emotionally, so we can get strong again to carry on with the mission God has given each of us. By keeping our eyes on God, friends, family, and modern technology, we can come out triumphant on the other side, healthier, happier, and ready to move forward.

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Originally published Thursday, 04 July 2024.