What Does Victory in Jesus
Over Cancer Ultimately Look Like?

David Bryant

This blog post is unlike any I’ve ever written.

It is more personal, more intimate. I want to share my “conversation” with a lifelong Christian leader who has battled cancer for many months this year.

Her name is Nancy Wilson. This past Sunday morning, she went ahead of us to join with a multitude of saints who already surround the throne of the Lamb.

However, just a few weeks ago, she wrote a special letter to me (and to hundreds of other friends) that I now want to pass along to you—along with some reflections I wrote back to her. In a sense, this blog post is a “conversation” between the two of us.

Are you perhaps wrestling with cancer right now—or with any other kind of life-defying challenges? Then come. Listen in on my exchange with Nancy. You’ll find it offers encouragement and hope to any believer anywhere who is suffering.

First of all, you need to meet Nancy Wilson.

I’ve known Nancy Wilson for decades. We often served Jesus together—such as the years long ago when we co-led Concerts of Prayer rallies full of high school students.

Over most of those years, Nancy traveled the globe as an “International Ambassador” for the worldwide student ministry, CRU (formerly Campus Crusade for Christ). She also served on the National Editorial Board for ChristNow.com.

Quite honestly, I’ve never known anyone with such a remarkable gift for evangelism. Nancy won thousands to Christ—literally—as she traveled to scores of nations across the earth, sharing Christ everywhere, even among Muslims and Hindus.

Sometime today, take just three minutes to meet her face-to-face with this dynamic video clip she created for us HERE.

You can learn more about her ministry HERE.

During her months-long ordeal with the viciousness of cancer, she kept all of us posted with reports that exploded with the glory of Christ. They were overflowing with her love for him, her commitment to him, her total trust in him, her convictions about his healing power, her complete surrender to his purposes. Reading one of her emails was, in itself, a “worship event” for all of us.

In this post, I want to share what has become her final report—to give you a flavor of her heart and spirit. (This is who she still is!)

That will be followed by two emails that I sent back to my precious friend. In them, you’ll see how I sought to affirm and encourage her in Jesus.

May this exchange bring YOU into a deeper relationship with our Lord Jesus Christ for ALL he is for you and me and Nancy right now.

Nancy’s Final Letter to All of Us

August 28

My beloved friends, family, and precious partners in prayer,

Words cannot express my love and thanksgiving to God for you!!! I have been so blessed by cards, calls, emails, and visits from beloved family and friends—beyond what I can keep up with.

Forgive me for not being able to write personally to you! I have a stack of thank you cards addressed and waiting to write…but mostly, I want you to know YOU ARE A GIFT from God to me!!!

“May they who love you be like the sun
when it rises in its strength.”
(Judges 5:31)

This verse has captured my heart! He gives us strength when we love HIM!!! What a gift from our almighty God and our beloved Jesus!!! I have felt his strength each step of the way, as I have needed HIM in new ways…sometimes needing perseverance or even strength to breathe and walk…but HE has been with me!

Here is an update on how to pray:

  1. Keep my heart fixed on Jesus. He is my strength and song in the midst of the growing symptoms of pain and difficulty!
  2. I had my appointment with Dr. Holloway, who has been such a blessing in my life! He is very honest with me with the progression of the illness (until that is, that Jesus steps in to heal me!!!) This is my main request! He has healed me by His stripes (Isaiah 53:4-5).

    “He Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree,
    that we, having died to sins, might live for righteousness;
    by whose stripes you were healed.”
    (1 Peter 2:24)

  3. Pray I will continue to pray with believing faith for HIS miracle-working Blood that has accomplished our healing, in whatever way HE plans. I am fixing my eyes on JESUS, the author and perfector of our faith! I’m so glad He is my intimate partner in this faith journey!!! I truly love HIM more now than ever, as I cling to HIM for everything. And HE IS FAITHFUL!!!
  4. My breathing is difficult these days since the cancer has spread to my lungs. Pray with me boldly to command this cancer to leave in JESUS’ Name! It has no place in my body, so I am proclaiming HIS Word over my mind, heart, and body—to keep in faith for HIS miracle healing! (like Lazarus…at the perfect time!)

Finally, here is a poem I wrote that expresses my heart during this time.

My New Season with YOU
How could I have known
All that would be shown?
Your will is a mystery,
Calling out my destiny.
Like Apostle Paul, I am unsure,
Your presence is my allure.
More of YOU, My Beloved KING—
This is what makes me sing!
Today I surrender to Your will
As I wait and remain still.
For who am I to know your plan,
I only know I’m in YOUR hand!
What peace and joy is given me
As I wait on tiptoes, soon to see…

—————————————————–

My reflections back to Nancy the next day
about her suffering

August 29

Dear precious Nancy, 

As I read your stirring poem just now—as well as all that you shared today—what struck me so strongly was this:

I’ve never known anyone in my many decades on this earth—anywhere I’ve traveled throughout the world—who has magnified our Lord Jesus as you have during your long journey with cancer. 

And no more so than in what you wrote today—what you poured out to us and into us today.

That’s why I say that the life-giving, triumphant, all-healing, all-transforming, all-consuming, all-loving power of Jesus Christ is being dynamically magnified in you. 

In fact, it is more than that. So much more.

The PERSON of our living Redeemer himself, the victorious Son of God, is being magnified through you in this hour in ways I have never experienced personally from anyone—until now.

“Magnified” means enlarged, exalted, ennobled, expanded, amplified, intensified, glorified.

That’s what Paul is talking about when he writes this from a Roman dungeon:

“I eagerly expect and hope that I will in no way be ashamed,
but will have sufficient courage so that now as always
Christ will be magnified in my body,
whether by life or by death.
For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.”
(Philippians 1:20-21, emphasis mine)

The reality of our reigning King in his capacity to fully heal and restore the entire universe is being displayed through your weakness—through YOU, dear Nancy—right here and now! Displayed before many. To his everlasting praise.

Dear friend: Do you see what is happening? Do you see how fully our Lord Jesus Christ IS—at this very moment—extending his victories for you and through you? Do you see how miraculous this is? 

The miracle? Your own passion for Christ in this hour has made me see my Lord and love him and desire him and give myself to him like never before. 

Yes, that’s what you’ve done—that’s what the Spirit of God has done through you—even in the midst of your great physical suffering. How can I ever sufficiently thank you, sweet sister of mine!

—————————————————–

My follow-up reflections to Nancy two days later

August 31

Hello again, Nancy!

I just read your latest post, in which you wrote: 

I just remembered this video with a wonderful testimony for my vision for the next generation. I wanted to share it with you because YOU have been so important in my life—YOU are someone who has invested in this next generation. I love you so much and am forever grateful that God brought you into my life. View my video HERE.

I’m so glad we filmed that video back in 2015. Your testimony in that single clip—your heart for Jesus that came through so powerfully six years ago—truly stands the test of time. 

And that’s mainly because YOU and your decisive devotion to the King of Glory have stood the test of time—and even more, at this hour, the “test of cancer.”

In fact, as I wrote you two days ago, the essence of the testimony revealed in that video is now actually being magnified by how you are walking out the current journey you are on.

Robyne and I are standing with you, dear one. I truly feel as if we are “there” with you in the hospice. Why? Because what you’ve been sharing with us in your prayer reports reached out and drew us and wrapped us up in the undiminished vibrancy of your trust in the Father in the thick of all that’s happening with you right now.

We, too, feel the extraordinary tension you are feeling and writing about—which Paul also experienced, as he wrote in Philippians 1:

I know that through your prayers and God’s provision of the Spirit of Jesus Christ, what has happened to me will turn out for my deliverance. I eagerly expect and hope that I will in no way be ashamed but will have sufficient courage so that now as always Christ will be exalted in my body, whether by life or by death. For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.

Look at Paul’s own struggle in the face of possible death. Scheduled for execution, he greatly desired freedom from prison in order to press on with his mission. Therefore, he wanted everyone to join him in asking for such a miraculous “deliverance” (his term). Paul felt so confident God would grant that request because there was still much more mission to fulfill. 

But at the same time—notice in the very next sentence—he also confesses that whatever lies ahead for him, whichever way things turn, it is his assurance that he will have no reason to be ashamed or disappointed. Thus, with boldness, he declares that “now as always Christ will be magnified in my body, whether by life or by death.” Whether by life or by death.

Just as you have done, he comes at his threatening circumstances with a dynamic, triumphant faith because what he was most confident about was this: that whatever the outcome—life or death—HE WOULD NOT BE ASHAMED!

In other words, he was certain that God would work in such a way—in spite of the life-defying challenges he faced—that everyone who knew him and followed his “journey,” however it turned out, would have only one reaction. They would PRAISE GOD for Paul because of:

his undying passion for the glory of Jesus;
his faithfulness to God’s calling on his life;
how he spread the gospel (even in prison);
his focus on the promises of all that eternity holds for us.

In addition, they would praise God for Paul’s unwavering and certain hold on the manifest VICTORY IN JESUS—a victory that would be obvious to all when his journey was finally all done and said, no matter how it was all finally done and said.

As Proverbs 4 puts it—so beautifully fulfilled in Paul’s ministry for Christ: 

The path of the righteous is like the dawning of the morning sun,
shining ever brighter and brighter until it becomes the full light of day (vs. 18).

Look carefully at that verse. That’s you, Nancy. That’s YOU! 

More accurately, that’s Christ shining through you. That’s the ultimate victory over cancer and every other force arrayed against us.

Christ shining in you and through you more and more with each passing day—shining on everyone from every corner of the globe who knows you. 

Shining on us here as we send you all our love in Jesus.

David and Robyne

=====================

Would you like to spend more time with this amazing woman of God? You can! “Being dead, yet still she speaks.” I encourage you to read her latest book:

The author of life-changing books and seminars, Nancy based her latest work on interactions with Jesus followers in many countries. She brings all she learned from them to help you deepen your own life in Christ.

My endorsement inside the book says

For years, I’ve defined Christian discipleship as “intimacy with Christ in his supremacy filling us with expectancy” (based on Colossians 1:27). There is no Christian leader I’ve met anywhere on planet earth who understands what biblical “intimacy” with King Jesus looks like the way Nancy Wilson does. She lives it. She teaches it. She inflames it in others. Now she digs into it with us in this powerful but practical, life-giving, Christ-exalting book. Let Nancy show you the way into a deeper love relationship with your living, Reigning Redeemer that will change you forever. David Bryant

Is this book right for YOU? 

Take one minute to read her dedication page. It’s unlike any you’ve ever read before. Then, decide for yourself. You can order the book here.

Read Nancy’s unusual dedication page here.


About the Author

Over the past 40 years, David Bryant has been defined by many as a “messenger of hope” and a “Christ proclaimer” to the Church throughout the world. Formerly a minister-at-large with the InterVarsity Christian Fellowship, president of Concerts of Prayer International (COPI), and chairman of America’s National Prayer Committee, David now provides leadership to ChristNow.com and Proclaim Hope!, whose mission is to foster and serve Christ-awakening movements. Order his widely read books at DavidBryantBooks.com. Enjoy his regular CHRIST TODAY podcast.


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