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Daily Boost

  • July 11, 2014 - Reflections

    By Jean S. Horner
    The other day while walking down a corridor in a public building, I saw what appeared to be someone walking toward me. On coming closer, I found it was my own reflection in a huge mirror. For a moment it frightened me. Somehow a full-length reflection of one’s self is a startling thing. ...


Daily Boost

Oct. 4, 2010 - Living in Hope

By Virgil W. Illum

Romans 4:18-21 states: “Against all hope, Abraham in hope believed and so became the father of many nations. ... Without weakening in his faith, he faced the fact that his body was as good as dead. ... Yet he did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God, but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God, being fully persuaded that God had power to do what he had promised” (NIV).

For many years this passage has been one of my favorite portions of Scripture. As we have encountered different challenges while serving in ministry, I would always face the facts but had confidence that the Lord would guide us through. When our daughter was killed nearly 17 years ago, as difficult as that was, we did not waiver in our faith. God sustained us.

On Aug. 3, I went in for simple gallbladder surgery, and the surgeon discovered cancer. They did not remove the gallbladder for fear it would cause further spread of the cancer, which had already invaded my liver and abdominal wall.

I had never heard of gallbladder cancer. We learned it is very rare and is often not discovered until it is in an advanced stage. I am at stage 4, the most advanced stage of cancer. There are very few treatments, and the treatments that are out there are not very effective. The best treatment available might give me up to one year. On Aug. 25, I had my first chemo treatment.

I am not afraid of death, nor am I afraid of the process of dying. As Christ’s followers, we have a living hope in the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. We all long to be with Jesus. However, I find myself much like the apostle Paul. I want to go be with the Lord, but there are things in this life that I feel are incomplete. I do not want to leave my wife and our son and daughter-in-law. I believe God has called me to ministry, and my joy in serving Him has never diminished as I connect with our ministers and churches daily.

Some have asked what I plan on doing. We are fighting this battle with faith in our hearts that God will intervene and heal me. I continue to minister in churches, and I want to be faithful to the responsibilities entrusted to me. As chemo treatments continue, there may be some days that I may not be able to do what I would like. But I face facts without wavering in my faith. I am fully persuaded that God will heal me. If that healing comes by moving me from this body into His presence, I will still serve Him and be faithful to my calling, my wife and my family every day that He grants me.

I’m sure you open “Daily Boost” and look for a word of encouragement. Perhaps reading of stage 4 cancer is not encouraging at first glance. But what I’m really wanting to share with you is this unshakeable truth: No matter what you are facing, you can live with the ever-present peace and strength Christ provides. Nothing can separate you from His loving presence. That’s true for cancer, for job loss, when you struggle in your marriage, when your bank account is empty.

Friend, don’t give up. Live in hope!

— Virgil W. Illum serves as secretary-treasurer of the Rocky Mountain District.



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