Perhaps the most important lesson I have learned is that chronic illness can take away many things, but it can never take away God’s presence. This doesn’t mean we will always feel God’s presence. It does mean that even when you feel forgotten and alone, God is with you. When you are overwhelmed with sorrow, God invites you to tell him how much it hurts. When life doesn’t offer any answers, God offers you himself. The first lesson is this: Draw near to God, because he is your only certainty.
– Esther Smith
About the Episode
In this episode of the Hope + Help Podcast, Christine Chappell interviews Esther Smith about her book, Chronic Illness: Walking by Faith. During the conversation, Esther shares some of the emotional and spiritual challenges of living with a chronic illness, explores why talking to God about our pain can be so difficult, and sheds light on how the Scriptures inform the way we care for our broken bodies. She also gives biblical wisdom for responding to the "ups and downs" of physical suffering and offers insights as to how to helpfully walk alongside someone diagnosed with a chronic illness. 
About the Guest
Esther Smith has an MA in Professional Counseling and has completed biblical counseling training through CCEF. She lives in Maryland where she works as a counselor. Esther blogs at
About the Podcast
A production of the Institute for Biblical Counseling & Discipleship, the Hope + Help Podcast offers compassionate biblical conversations about life's challenging problems. The podcast accomplishes this by offering a mix of interviews with seasoned biblical counseling professionals and ministry leaders on a variety of topics. Listeners can expect to receive biblical wisdom as well as practical steps for facing suffering, struggling, and sin with courage and grace. Hosted by author/writer Christine M. Chappell
About the Book
CHRONIC ILLNESS: WALKING BY FAITH • Is chronic illness taking over your heart as much as your body? Physical symptoms and limitations change all aspects of life, leading to losses and to unique challenges that are difficult to navigate. Writing from her own experience with these issues, Esther Smith focuses heavily on encouragement and practical application, showing you how to release guilt and shame, ask for help, balance work and rest, and get through days of difficult symptoms. Each day, you will be encouraged as you consider how God uses illness in sanctifying, kingdom-advancing ways to display his glory and work in your heart.
*Disclosure: Bear in mind that some of the links in this post are affiliate links and if you go through them to make a purchase I will earn a small commission. Keep in mind that I link to these resources because of their quality and not because of the commission I receive from your purchases. This does not affect the cost of the resource, and the decision is yours whether you choose to purchase them from my link or not. Thanks for your support!
About Your Host
Christine M. Chappell
Author • Writer • Podcast Host
Christine Chappell is the author of Clean Home, Messy HeartHelp! My Teen is Depressed, Help! I've Been Diagnosed with a Mental Disorder (forthcoming with Shepherd Press early 2021), and Midnight Mercies: Hope for the Dark Hours of Motherhood (forthcoming with P&R Publishing in fall 2021.) She acts as the host of IBCD's Hope + Help Podcast as well as the organization's Outreach Director. Christine is passionate about advocating for biblical one-another care and discipleship in the context of the local church, and her writing has been featured at Desiring God, The Gospel Coalition, Risen Motherhood, and other Christian platforms. Christine blogs regularly at and lives in South Carolina with her husband and three children.
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