How the Bible Helps Me with Chronic Illness

Jana Carlson

Jana Carlson

The Bible was the key to finding freedom in the midst of my suffering with chronic illness. These verses affected me both spiritually and physically.

When I say God’s Word is life and breath to me, I mean it. I mean it in a physical sense. Countless times I’ve found myself telling others, “I wouldn’t be here without God’s Word”. I honestly don’t know if I could have survived some of the seasons I’ve endured without it. 

One of those seasons was my diagnosis and intense 2-year initial recovery from chronic illness. Treatment for my condition came in the form of complete lifestyle changes – diet, sleep patterns, overall rest and exercise changes, activities I do and don’t engage in. Medication and other therapies became a permanent part of my life – feeling like a full time job at first.

Our physical bodies are affected by our emotions, our ability to handle stress, even our spiritual condition. But the opposite is also true. So, as I went through medical testing and initial treatments and life adjustments, my soul suffered, too. My mind, my emotions, my spirit needed healing along with my body.

The Bible is Good Medicine

The Bible was the key to finding freedom in the midst of my suffering. It’s the reason my chronic illness is now a gift I’m truly grateful for. Beyond the spiritual impact, God’s Word began to affect my physical healing. As my mind was renewed and my heart began to heal, my body was strengthened to do the work necessary to recover and to adapt to the life God has called me to.

Specific Bible verses ministered deeply to me, transforming me from the inside out. They comforted me, answered questions, reminded me of Truth when I was overcome with lies, taught me, convicted me, empowered me and nourished me.

God’s Word Affects Our Physical Bodies

Hebrews 4:12 tells us God’s Word is a living thing, full of energy and power. If we believe that verse to be true, we must also believe that God’s Word must have an impact on our lives. It must affect us. It must make a difference.

Scripture is full of references to how living according to God’s Word affects our physical bodies. For example, God tells us living by His word will be “healing to your flesh, and refreshment to your bones” (Proverbs 3:5-8). It says God will strengthen your body and you’ll be a source of refreshment to others when you allow Him to guide you “in the scorched places” (Isaiah 58:11). These passages mean more to me since chronic illness became a part of my life.

You’ll read more verses like these and how they impacted me in my guest post at The Hallway Initiative – How God’s Word Sustains Me In Chronic Illness. Click over and read the rest of my post there.

Is Chronic Illness a Part of Your Life?

If chronic illness – or even temporary illness – is something you’re familiar with, you might also be interested in reading about The Time God Sidelined Me to Teach Me About Rest.

What Scripture encourages you in your illness? How has God ministered to you in the midst of your suffering? In what ways has your illness become a gift? I would love to hear a bit of your story. Share in the comments. Let’s encourage each other!

Here’s a list of more Bible verses and passages that became medicine to my mind, body and soul. Maybe your own spirit can be renewed, revived, and strengthened, too (Psalm 19:7-8). I pray that, at the very least, your heart would be encouraged today as the Word of God does the work for which He sent it (Isaiah 55:11).

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