The best books on faith and hope during illness

Who am I?

Having practically grown up at the hospital where my dad worked as a medical photographer, I wanted to be a nurse from the age of ten. I worked in ICU for five years and then retired to become a stay-at-home mom and later a homeschool mother. But once a nurse, always a nurse. I continued to care for friends and family, including my one-hundred-year-old mother-in-law, through health crises and long-term illnesses. My book and the others listed here tell stories of God’s healing—physically, mentally, and spiritually—a theme I’m passionate about and hope you are, too!

I wrote...

Health, Healing, and Wholeness: Devotions of Hope in the Midst of Illness

By Tracy Crump,

Book cover of Health, Healing, and Wholeness: Devotions of Hope in the Midst of Illness

What is my book about?

Are you facing a health crisis or battling chronic illness? Do you need a dose of hope? Through her work as an intensive care nurse, Tracy Crump witnessed lifesaving miracles when everyone involved had given up—everyone except God.

Crafted with unique examples of God's miraculous power and saving grace, Health, Healing, and Wholeness blends Scripture-rich meditations with biblical principles highlighting God's mercy in times of medical need. Moving stories of a mother's sacrifice, children overcoming catastrophic accidents, and joy despite traumatic brain injury instill hope. Whether you are experiencing a medical crisis, walking alongside someone who is, or caring for a loved one, these thirty devotions will bring comfort and peace.

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The books I picked & why

Book cover of Fearfully and Wonderfully: The Marvel of Bearing God's Image

Why did I love this book?

This is one of my all-time favorite books! Raised in India by missionary parents, Dr. Brand saw firsthand the effects of leprosy on the body. He trained as a doctor in England and returned to India where he pioneered the concept of the “gift of pain”—the idea that lepers’ “rotting” extremities resulted from the loss of sensation and subsequent infection, not the disease itself. A renowned surgeon, he was the first in the world to use reconstructive surgery on lepers, techniques he later applied to diabetics.

The book goes through the body, system by system, relating the physical body to the body of Christ. My favorite parts are Dr. Brand’s vivid stories of treating the “outcasts” society shuns but God does not.

By Dr. Paul Brand, Philip Yancey,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Fearfully and Wonderfully as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The human body holds endlessly fascinating secrets. The resilience of skin, the strength, and structure of the bones, the dynamic balance of the muscles―your physical being is knit according to a pattern of stunning purpose. Now Gold Medallion winners Fearfully and Wonderfully Made and In His Image have been completely revised and updated to offer a new audience timeless reflections on the body.

Join renowned leprosy surgeon Dr. Paul Brand and bestselling writer Philip Yancey on a remarkable journey through inner space―a spellbinding account of medical intervention, pain and healing, and the courage of humanity. Discover here the eternal truths…

Gifted Hands: The Ben Carson Story

By Cecil Murphey, Ben Carson,

Book cover of Gifted Hands: The Ben Carson Story

Why did I love this book?

Another favorite! Raised by a single mom who spurred him to do his best, Ben Carson rose from a low-income, inner-city upbringing to become director of pediatric neurosurgery at John Hopkins by age thirty-three. He gained worldwide recognition for developing a technique to separate Siamese twins conjoined at the back of the head—the first successful operation of its kind. His strong faith, instilled in him by his mom, influenced every decision he made, making him a more compassionate and sensitive doctor. This book combines fascinating scenes from the surgical suite with a picture of a remarkable yet humble man who is an extraordinary role model for future generations.

By Cecil Murphey, Ben Carson,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Gifted Hands as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This bestselling book reveals the extraordinary life of Dr. Ben Carson--from inner-city kid to renowned neurosurgeon.

Dr. Ben Carson is known around the world for breakthroughs in neurosurgery that have brought hope where no hope existed. In Gifted Hands, he tells of his inspiring odyssey from his childhood in inner-city Detroit to his position as director of pediatric neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions at age thirty-three.

Filled with fascinating case histories, Gifted Hands will transplant you into the operating room to witness surgeries that made headlines around the world, and into the private mind of a compassionate, God-fearing physician…

Book cover of 90 Minutes in Heaven: A True Story of Death & Life

Why did I love this book?

This book spent five years on the New York Times bestseller list. Despite what some see as controversial claims that the author spent ninety minutes in heaven and then came back to life, only five of the eighteen chapters dwell on Piper’s “near-death experience.” The majority of the book chronicles his horrifically painful struggle to survive and then recover the use of his legs which were mangled in an accident. He often begged God to let him die. Instead, God brought people into his life to help him move past self-pity and find a renewed purpose.

By Don Piper, Cecil Murphey,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked 90 Minutes in Heaven as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In the ten years since 90 Minutes in Heaven was published, millions of people worldwide have read the incredible true story of Don Piper's experience with death and life--and in reading they have found their own lives changed.

After a semi-truck collided with Don Piper's car, he was pronounced dead at the scene. For the next ninety minutes, he experienced the glories of heaven. Back on earth, a passing minister felt led to stop and pray for the accident victim even though he was told Piper was dead. Miraculously, Piper came back to life, and the pleasure of heaven was…

Book cover of Strength Renewed: Meditations for Your Journey Through Breast Cancer

Why did I love this book?

As a registered nurse, South African writer Shirley Corder knew cancer from a medical standpoint, but she didn’t really know the disease until she heard the words “you have cancer.” In her book, she walks readers from diagnosis through surgery and cancer treatments to recovery, shedding God’s light along the path. Her subtle humor and genuine faith lighten a heavy subject. Though she never sugarcoats reality or implies that we should “just trust God and everything will turn out all right,” her book provides a shot of needed encouragement at a critical time.

By Shirley Corder,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Strength Renewed as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Nothing can sap a person's strength and hope quite like a cancer diagnosis--unless it is the energy-stealing chemotherapy and surgeries faced in the fight against cancer. But one can find hope and strength in the pages of Scripture and in the experience of someone who has been there.

Strength Renewed is an encouraging devotional for those living in the valley of cancer. Meditations combine Scripture and stories from the author's own experience and can be read in sequential order to move the reader through a typical cancer journey from diagnosis through treatment. Each devotion also stands on its own, so…

Book cover of Laughing in the Dark: A Comedian's Journey Through Depression

Why did I love this book?

Depression can sneak up on anyone, even a Christian comedian such as Chonda Pierce. Her busy schedule and constant pressure to make others laugh ran her own tank empty. Where did she turn? To God, of course. But she found that God often works through friends, family, and yes, even psychologists to haul people back onto their feet. With faith, hope, and humor, she exposes depression from the inside out and leads people from the dark into the light of Jesus. Though I’ve never experienced depression, I feel better armed should I ever meet this foe.

By Chonda Pierce,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Laughing in the Dark as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A refreshingly honest and witty exploration of one woman’s journey through depression.

For many, depression is associated with shame and humiliation—even a lack of faith. But Laughing in the Dark is like getting genuine advice from a kind friend. And in her words you’ll find hope and renewed confidence that will guide you through your own darkness and into the light.

- If you are currently suffering from depression—this book will help you realize you’re not alone.
- If you have a loved one dealing with depression—this book will help you understand.
- If you are a mental health professional—you…

5 book lists we think you will like!

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