[Today, let me (Josh Samuel) introduce you to my wife’s cousin, Alex Philip. He’s a thoughtful, considerate, strong Christian leader–someone I respect. Take a moment to read Alex’s testimony below of his cancer diagnosis.]

On June 23, 2013 – I was diagnosed with brain cancer. Everything else that was true about me was pushed to the margins and I began to restructure my identity around this medical diagnosis. Hoping to redress this, I began to take an inventory of all that I possessed that was of more significance and more value than brain cancer. In this inventory, I turned to Ephesians 1. Here are some of the things that I have today besides a brain cancer diagnosis:

1. I have been blessed in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places. (vs.3)

2. I have been chosen in Christ before the foundation of the world. (vs. 4)

3. I have been chosen to be holy and blameless before Christ. (vs. 4)

4. I have been predestined for adoption as a son through Jesus Christ. (vs. 5)

5. I have been predestined for adoption as a son through Jesus Christ according to the purpose of his will. (vs. 5)

6. I have been predestined for adoption as a son through Jesus Christ according to the purpose of his will to the praise of his glorious grace. (vs. 6)

7. I have been predestined for adoption as a son through Jesus Christ according to the purpose of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed me in the Beloved. (vs. 6)

8. I have redemption through the blood of Jesus. (vs.7)

9. I have the forgiveness of my trespasses. (vs. 7)

10. I have been lavished with grace. (vs. 8)

11. I have the mystery of God’s will made known unto me. (vs. 9)

12. I have obtained an inheritance. (vs. 11)

13. I have been sealed with the promised Holy Spirit. (vs. 13)

“Hallelujah, all I have is Christ!”

In outlining this inventory from Ephesians 1, I am by no means seeking to minimize the medical facts regarding my diagnosis. Instead, it is my aim to magnify God’s truth. There are medical facts which accompany a diagnosis like brain cancer. But I desire to consider those facts in the light of and through the lens of God’s word.

If you or someone you love is going through a challenge such as an illness, you need not feel like you have to ignore medical facts. But I want to encourage you to see those facts through the lens of God’s truth. I can be reached at aphilip@pca.ca

[Alex Philip is a husband to Elaine and father to a 7 year old son and 5 year old daughter. He is a teacher at the Peoples Christian Academy in Markham.]