Billy Graham

Billy Graham: Faith and hope can help us cope with bad news

Q: I am devastated, because the doctor just told us I have an incurable disease that slowly but surely is going to make it more difficult for me to get around. This is really hard to accept, because I’ve just retired and we’ve always looked forward to lots of travel. Why is God doing this to us? — L.K.B.

A: I don’t know all the reasons why God has allowed this to happen to you, but I do know this: God knows all about your situation, and he has not abandoned you. Nor will he abandon you in the future! God’s promise is true: “Even to your old age and gray hairs I am he, I am he who will sustain you” (Isaiah 46:4).

How, then, should you deal with this challenge? First, deal with it with faith — faith that God loves you, faith that he will be with you, faith that even as your strength fades, he’ll help you face each day with peace. Then deal with it with hope — hope that someday all the limitations of this life will be over, and you will be with Christ in heaven forever.

In addition, deal with this challenge with thankfulness — thankfulness for your family, thankfulness for each day God gives you, thankfulness that you still have a measure of health. I often think of the Apostle Paul’s words: “Pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances” (1 Thessalonians 5:17-18).

How can faith and hope and thankfulness become real to you? They’ll become real as you turn to Christ, asking him to come into your life and cleanse you from all your sins. They’ll become real too as you pray, and read God’s Word, and gain strength from other believers. If you have never asked Jesus Christ to come into your life, do so today.

Write to the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, 1 Billy Graham Parkway, Charlotte, N.C., 28201 or go to