The best chronic illness books for Christians who seek wisdom and joy

Christopher Martin Author Of Finding Joy with an Invisible Chronic Illness: Proven Strategies for Discovering Happiness, Meaning, and Fulfillment
By Christopher Martin

Who am I?

I am a school psychologist and Christian who has lived with multiple debilitating chronic illnesses for 25 years. As a result, I am all too familiar with how disruptive and life-changing they can be to our daily lives. Yet few books exist that offer practical guidance for living with chronic illness. And even fewer of these books are for Christian readers. Written with different areas of expertise and angles, my book and the books below fill this gap. I hope you enjoy these books as much as I have!


I wrote...

Finding Joy with an Invisible Chronic Illness: Proven Strategies for Discovering Happiness, Meaning, and Fulfillment

By Christopher Martin,

Book cover of Finding Joy with an Invisible Chronic Illness: Proven Strategies for Discovering Happiness, Meaning, and Fulfillment

What is my book about?

Finding Joy presents a comprehensive, practical guide for living your best life with chronic illness. This psychology self-help book integrates personal and professional insights to give you tools for handling various aspects of living with a chronic illness. There is also a chapter specifically for the loved ones and caregivers of the chronically ill. While this book is designed for anyone with a chronic illness, the spiritual content early in the book suggests the value of sticking to your faith and offers several Bible references.

The books I picked & why

Shepherd is readers supported. When you buy through links on our website, we may earn an affiliate commission. This is how we fund this project for readers and authors (learn more).

When There Is No Cure: How to Thrive While Living with the Pain and Suffering of Chronic Illness

By Craig K. Svensson,

Book cover of When There Is No Cure: How to Thrive While Living with the Pain and Suffering of Chronic Illness

Why this book?

I was drawn to this meticulously written book in part because the author is a professor of pharmacy and my father is a retired pharmacist. I found myself thoroughly enjoying, underlining, and learning from the wealth of insight into living with chronic illness. The author offers excellent tips for navigating relationships, the medical field, and evaluating treatment options. 

While this book (like mine) is written for readers of all faiths, I appreciated and related to the testimony in the final chapter in which the author discusses the importance of his Christian faith and how it has helped him find meaning and purpose through suffering.   


Chronic Illness: Walking by Faith

By Esther Smith,

Book cover of Chronic Illness: Walking by Faith

Why this book?

Licensed Counselor Esther Smith masterfully offers an impressive Christian devotional for chronic illness sufferers that takes only a few minutes per day to read. I find myself referring back to it for strength, wisdom, and biblical insights. The chapter for each day includes a Bible verse pertaining to a topic, a faith-based discussion, reflection questions, and suggested actions.   

There is so much to love about this book: it is practical, relatable, quick and easy to read, and comforting. 


Discovering Hope: Beginning the Journey Toward Hope in Chronic Illness

By Cindee Snider Re,

Book cover of Discovering Hope: Beginning the Journey Toward Hope in Chronic Illness

Why this book?

As part of the Chronic Joy Thrive Series, President and Co-founder of Chronic Joy Ministry Cindee Snider Re offers a very useful book that consists of part devotional and part workbook. This is not a book to be simply read and passively absorbed; it is a book in which you will fill in the blanks on Bible verses, journal your thoughts, and answer reflection questions as they relate to your chronic illness and walk with Christ. Whether you use this alone or in a group setting, I found it comforting that Cindee walks alongside you, sharing experiences, scriptural insights, and pointing you to whom you can trust. No doubt this will strengthen your faith while dealing with the challenge of chronic illness.  


Laughter for the Sick and Tired

By Kimberly Rae,

Book cover of Laughter for the Sick and Tired

Why this book?

As noted in the final chapter of my own book, laughing is something I need to do more. Chronic illness is debilitating as it can (and does) drain my energy and zap my mood. As part of the Sick and Tired series, I thoroughly enjoyed Laughter for the Sick and Tired as it is lighthearted, the humor is clean, the author is a great storyteller, and reading this resulted in several belly laughs.   


Determined: Encouragement for Living Your Best Life with a Chronic Illness

By Mark K. Fry,

Book cover of Determined: Encouragement for Living Your Best Life with a Chronic Illness

Why this book?

Being a “glass is half-full” person myself, I enjoy reading inspiring, actionable books that encourage me to look on the bright side and stretch myself to be the best version of myself.  

In Determined, multiple sclerosis sufferer Mark Fry provides a direct, no-nonsense, forward-looking, Christian approach to living well with a chronic illness.  In each chapter, Fry offers a Bible verse with sage advice such as smile; do things for others to take the focus off yourself and become happier in the process; and use your illness as a means to rely on and glorify God.  I also enjoyed the 21-day devotional at the end of the book.   


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in chronic illness, chronic pain, and Christianity?

5,215 authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about chronic illness, chronic pain, and Christianity.

Chronic Illness Explore 12 books about chronic illness
Chronic Pain Explore 7 books about chronic pain
Christianity Explore 284 books about Christianity

And, 3 books we think you will enjoy!

We think you will like A Grace Disguised: How the Soul Grows Through Loss, How to Be Sick: A Buddhist-Inspired Guide for the Chronically Ill and Their Caregivers, and Undo It! How Simple Lifestyle Changes Can Reverse Most Chronic Diseases if you like this list.