Below is a video of Dave Benton announcing to his audience that he has brain cancer and doctors have given him 4 to 6 months to live. Dave’s testimony is he is a born again believer. He has been an anchor at WCIA Channel 3 News in Champaign, Illinois for 9 years. Take a moment to watch this video and I will share some thoughts on Dave Benton’s example of Christian courage.
Allow me to point a few things about Dave Benton that is true for every believer who is facing the possibility of death.
- We are in God’s hands. Dave said as a born again believer he is in the hands of God. John 10:28 and 29 teach the Lord’s sheep are in Jesus’ hands and in the Father’s hands and no one can snatch us from their hands. Paul said in Romans 8:38 that even death cannot keep us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus. I am impressed with the peace that God provides as a believer faces death. It is described as the peace that passes all understanding. I have no idea what Dave Benton’s family situation may be. I do not know if he has small kids or grown kids or grandchildren. I do know that God’s children can trust God even if we were to die and leave our families behind. One of my favorite verses from the Old Testament is Job 13:15 “Though He slay me, yet will I trust in Him.” When a Christian draws their last breath they can trust God is in control of all that we leave behind.
- As believers we are always to make an attempt to focus on others. When one is diagnosed with cancer, especially terminal cancer, it is difficult not to focus on yourself. One may wonder what will my last days be like, will I hurt, will I suffer, will I be conscious. Dave Benton exemplified the Christian mindset when he told his viewers there were others who had cancer and need support. This is the mindset that is described in Philippians 2:3 when Paul says in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than themselves. I have witnessed ministries damaged because men of God could not stop focusing on their own diseases and problems.
- Christians should not use any excuse to be less than our best. I am fully aware that daily I am less than my best. My point is that we can’t make excuses for being less than our best. Dave Benton wants to do good work as long as he can in spite of his sickness. Ephesians 2:10 says the Christian is created to do good works. We have been saved to do good works in the name of Jesus. We will never be more effective in our service to the Lord than when we are faithful through sickness, pain and death. A pastor friend of mine, Johnny Harold Breazeale was dying of brain cancer. I stopped by the hospital to pray with him one afternoon. He asked me to pull my chair close to his bed and pray for him. As I was about to begin my prayer he stopped me. He instructed me how to pray. He instructed me to pray that between then and the time he died he would never say a word or do a thing that would hurt the name of Jesus and His work. Maybe more than all the sermons he preached that single moment impacted my life. He could have used his sickness as an excuse to be less than his best but he didn’t. Dave Benton appears to have the same resolve.
- Christians should be bathed in prayer by other believers. Intercessory prayer should be a big deal to believers. James 5 describes intercessory prayer and commands that believers should practice it. I ask you to join me in praying for Dave Benton that God will heal him from cancer to bring glory to the name of Jesus and that regardless of what happens Dave Benton will continue to demonstrate the peace that the power of God provides in the life of a believer regardless of the circumstances.