Bible Study #1 – Hope Excerpt Bigger Than Cancer Bible Study

What could be bigger than cancer?  Jesus Christ.

What a wonderful relief to know this.  If someone asked you, “What’s bigger than cancer?“ You’d easily answer, “Jesus Christ.”

It’s easy on some days of a cancer walk to see how big Christ is in your life:

  • “My scan was good.”
  • “The tumor has shrunk.”
  • “My doctor is wonderful.”
  • “I’m amazed at how everyone has been taking care of me.”
  • “Did you know that the whole prayer chain is praying for me?”


  • Can you think of a time when you knew Jesus showed up on your cancer walk?

Share your response if you would like.

It’s so true.  There are so many amazing ways that Jesus can show up in the midst of your cancer walk.  This helps us to breathe in our hope in Jesus.  But, on some days, cancer looms so big that it can be hard to remember that Jesus Christ is bigger than the darkness of cancer:

  • “Don’t worry about the money.  We’ll figure something out.”
  • “Why didn’t you go to the doctor sooner?”
  • “The tumor is growing.”
  • “I know I haven’t been in touch, but things are so busy.”
  • “What do you mean, you can’t come to the reunion?”
  • “You’ll be in some type of treatment for the rest of your life.”
  • “It’s stage 4.”
  • “It’s inoperable.”
  • “The treatment’s not working.”
  • “This illness is probably due to the cancer treatment you had 15 years ago.”
  • “You’ll always have to deal with this side effect of your cancer.”
  • “You’ll not be able to have children.”

 Yuck.  It makes my chest hurt just to write that list.  Let’s face it- cancer is BIG.

If you remember only one thing from this study, remember this:

Our hope in Christ comes not only from what He does in your life, but from who He is.

Take a moment to remember:

Cancer cannot move Christ – He is closer than your breath.

Cancer cannot dim His power – He is the endless light in your darkness.

Cancer cannot take you from Him – You are the joy that was before Him on the cross.

You are His.

On the hard cancer days, sometimes the dark thoughts of cancer can block our view of Christ.  On the hard days, we have to learn to see what is unseen.  This is hope.

 For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what they already have?  But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently.  Romans 8:24-25

  • Circle the word “hope” each time it appears in the verses above.
  • How many times does “hope” appear? ____
  • What is the last word in these verses? ________________

I love these verses!  There’s a lot of hope in there!  These verses push me to hope for more than I can see, and to imagine the blessings Christ has in store for me.  They fill me with hope and joy right down until I read the last word – “patiently.”  Patiently?  Are we serious here?

You are probably not surprised to learn that waiting is not one of my strengths, and certainly not when combined with patience.  Here’s a story to share what I mean.

God is Bigger Than Traveling Husbands

There was a season in my life when my husband took a three-week trip every month for work.  I would drop him off at the airport with a combination of smiles, hugs and kisses.  The kids and I then rode home with high hopes that everything would be great until my husband returned.

I am pretty good at hoping, but not so good at waiting.  As the date for my husband to return grew closer, I would get caught up in the joyful hope of his return.  “What would I cook for his first dinner home?”  “What would I wear to the airport?”  “How would I keep the kids clean from the time they dressed in clean clothes until they saw their dad at the airport?”

But somewhere during his trip, day four or maybe day five- it would begin.  The toilet broke, the washing machine died and the milk ran out AGAIN.   (I tell you that toilet never broke when he was in town!)  As the days and the troubles multiplied, my hope turned from a joyful thing to a desperate thing.  “When is that husband coming HOME?”  These desperate thoughts would whirl around the joyful thoughts, to make me a mess.  Being hopeful and desperate is not a good time.  My husband returned as scheduled, to a combination of clinging, exhaustion and kisses.  (Always kisses.)

At the beginning, I could see the thing I was hoping for- having a great time until my husband returned.  But as life began to happen, this became harder and harder to see.  My Christian walk can be a lot like this, too. In times of struggle I raise my head high and proclaim, “Jesus will carry me through this difficulty!”  I can see this with great clarity, and I am filled with joyful hope.  Then stuff begins to happen: discouragement, worry, isolation, and fear, to name a few.  Now don’t get me wrong.  Jesus is STILL carrying me through the struggle; He’s just harder to see through all of the stuff.  Now I need to call on my faith, not in what I can see, but in what is unseen.

Check out this verse again:

For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what they already have?  But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently.  Romans 8:24-25

When I read these verses, I want to change the ending.  I want to change the word “patiently” to something more fun.  Why can’t we wait for what is unseen “happily”, “ecstatically”, “gleefully” or “enthusiastically”?   Wouldn’t that be nice?  But true hope, the hope in the things that are hard to see, takes patience, endurance and perseverance.

Fortunately, the more you hunger to see Christ carrying you through your struggles, the bigger your patience, the longer your endurance and the stronger your perseverance.  You have what it takes to have hope in what is unseen.  How do I know?  Because you have the love of Christ, the sweet, everlasting love of Christ.

About Karen Tripp

Beyond being a Christian Counselor and the President of Cancer Companions, Karen loves to read (she's a great reader) and loves to sing (she's a bad singer) in her home near St Louis, MO. Cancer has personally touched Karen's personal life through her dad - a 23 year colon cancer survivor. Impacting lives for Christ through her speaking, writing and counseling fills Karen with a passion which infuses every task she approaches. (except matching socks. Karen hates matching socks.)
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