A chronic, life-threatening, or major illness affects our soul and spirit as well as our physical body. We may experience a myriad of emotions, struggle to make the right decisions, and think more about what the future holds. Tending to the health of each part of us will contribute to the quality of our life and to our well-being as a whole during this difficult time.
Some of us are more familiar with how to care for our body and soul than with how to care for our spirit—the part of our being that connects us to God. Below are twelve ways we as Christians can tend to our spirit in the midst of a physical illness. The Bible verses referenced provide insight for further reflection.
- Remember that eternal life comes through faith in Christ Jesus. Accepting Jesus as our Lord and Savior gives life to our spirit. Acknowledging these truths frees us from the fear of death. (Romans 10:9-10)
- Read the Bible to benefit from the healing power of God’s Word. (Psalm 107:20)
- Look to the Lord for help. He knows what we need and how to get it to us when we need it. (Psalm 121:1-2)
- Cry out to the Lord in prayer. He hears and responds to us. (Psalm 102:1-3)
- Ask a mature believer to anoint us with oil and pray for us. The oil is symbolic of the Holy Spirit, who is present with us and at work on our behalf. (James 5:14)
- Sing praises to God for what He has already done for us and what He will do for us in the future. (Psalm 9:10-12)
- Give thanks. While sickness is never God’s will for us, expressing our gratitude is always God’s will. (1 Thessalonians 5:18)
- Worship the Lord with our life (e.g., giving, serving, etc.). This honors who He is and who He created us to be. (Romans 12:1)
- Cleanse our body, soul, and spirit through fasting. (Isaiah 58:6-9)
- Process our emotions and refocus on good, faith-filled thoughts through journaling. (Luke 1:63)
- Fellowship with other believers for support and reassurance that we are not alone. (Hebrews 10:25)
- Meditate on the truth, which strengthens us and renews our health. (Psalm 1:1-3)
Tending to our spirit is essential for life and well-being. A strong spirit can help sustain us in times of sickness. According to 2 Corinthians 4:16, “Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day.” Even when our physical body dies, our spirit—which is alive in Christ—will live forever (John 11:25-27).