I have been suffering from a deteriorating disease. I feel this illness is taking away my faith in God. I cannot live with the guilt this has caused. I desperately call out to him and love him so much. Please, how can I strengthen my faith in God during this time? I feel like he does not love me.
I am sorry to hear about your health situation. Be assured that our physical health can be quite different from our spiritual health. Struggles in life, including diseases, do not mean that God’s love has diminished. The Bible’s promise to Christians is that nothing can separate them from God’s love in Christ: “For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 8:38-39). Sickness and disease are among those items that cannot separate us from God’s love in Christ.
Satan would love for us to conclude that problems in life are signs that God does not love us. Satan is a liar (John 8:44). As we tune out Satan’s voice, we want to listen to the voice of our God in Scripture. God always speaks the truth (Numbers 23:19).
Consider some of the things God says to you in his word: “Though the mountains be shaken and the hills be removed, yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken nor my covenant of peace be removed,” says the LORD, who has compassion on you” (Isaiah 54:10). Your God assures you: “I have loved you with an everlasting love” (Jeremiah 31:3). God promises you: “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you” (Hebrews 13:5).
To strengthen your faith at this time and throughout life, continue to go to the means the Holy Spirit uses to deepen and nurture our faith: the gospel in word and sacraments. Remember your Baptism. Recognize that in Baptism God made you his own dear child. Read the Bible and other devotional materials you might have. Be a frequent guest at the Lord’s Supper. Through these means, God assures you of his forgiving, unending love.
Finally, speak to your pastor or other trusted Christian friend about your situation in life. God bless you!