Joshua Swanson: Welcome to the walk. A devotionals podcast led by worship leaders. In this episode, Planetshakers worship leader, Joth Hunt talks us through his health crisis and how he treated it with faith. Here we go.
Joth Hunt: Well, Hey everybody, it’s great to be with you today. And, uh, I just. God really blesses you today and helps you whatever journey that you find yourself on. What I’m gonna share with you today is just a great testimony of how God is able to do anything. He’s not bound by time. He’s not bound by natural things.
He can do anything the way he wants to do it. So there’s nothing better to do than put your trust in him.
I wanna share a story with you that happened to me. A couple years ago and. It’s the craziest thing that’s ever happened to me personally, I, um, have never had any health challenge history in my family at all. So what happened to me was really out of the blue was not expecting it at all.
And it really. Grew me in my faith. It grew me in my worship leading. It grew me as a songwriter, but I’ll take you back to end of 2018. I was writing a new song because we were always writing new songs at Planetshakers church. And we were about to go into our, uh, Philippines conference in Manila in January. And I was writing a new song for that.
And it was a song called only way. And it’s a really faith declaration kind of song. The, the lyrics in the song say, Jesus, you are the way. You’re the only way. It doesn’t matter what people say to me. I believe in you doesn’t matter what may come at me, I believe in you. So it was this real aggressive faith declaration.
Um, which was a great song. And at the same time, the same week that I was writing that song, I felt a bit of a pain in my body that I’ve experienced for a few months. And I thought, I really gotta go get this checked out, been prolonging it for a while. And I thought, okay, I’m gonna go to the doctors and get this checked out.
So the doctor suggested I, I need to go get some scans to see what’s going on. And, uh, he called me back in a couple days later when the scan results came back in and he showed me, uh, the results and I ever thought I would experience what he was gonna say when he said that you’ve got cancer.
What do you do with that kind of a diagnosis? What do you do with that kind of declaration over your life? You know, I’ve always had everything pretty good, you know, as a human, you always face challenges, but I’ve never had anything like this. That would cause me to go, what do I do? What do I do in this situation?
Well, at the same time, I’ve got this song of faith that is saying the words you other way, the only way, it doesn’t matter what people say to me, I believe in you. So I’ve got this song in my spirit and I’m like, these lyrics of this song never mean more than right now. Like I’ve just had a doctor tell me I’ve got cancer, but for me to say it doesn’t matter what people say to me.
My faith is in God. I’m gonna believe him. I’m gonna stand on his word by his stripes. I am healed. I’m gonna believe for a miracle. Well, at this same time, we’ve got the conference coming up in Manila in about seven days time. So I go to see a surgeon and he’s like, you know, we need to get this cancer cut out straight away because there’s a danger with cancer that it can spread and all that.
So if you know, you’ve got cancer, you’ve gotta deal with it. So the, the doctor said, look, we need to get this cut out. Even if we get it cut out tomorrow, you’ll be bedridden for three weeks. And I’m thinking, man, like, how am I gonna do this? I, I, in seven days, I’ve gotta go on this trip to Philippines to do our Planetshakers conference.
So I’m, I’m torn. I’m like, well, what do I do? Do I just go, who cares? I’m gonna go on the trip anyway. And, but of, of course not, we, we need to, you. Still trust the doctor’s word as well. We wanna do everything we can to try and get on top of this situation and believe in God for a miracle at the same time.
So we thought, look, we’re not really happy with that. Let’s get a second opinion. So we went to another doctor and this doctor said, yep, you’ve got this cancer. You need to get it cut out, but you should be okay to, to go on a plane in six days. And I was so happy to hear that we thought, yes, we’re agreeing with that.
We, that, that lifted faith in us cuz it’s like, and it’s just a power of words. Some people can declare this kind of stuff over you in a negative way. And then someone can declare positive life on you. So we hang onto that. And we, we said yes and amen. We are gonna stand on that in faith and believe that God will do something amazing in these next six days.
He said, look, you’re. Won’t feel great. You’ll still not be able to move around. And if you know, Planetshakers is music, we really like to be energetic and give it our everything. But we thought let’s just, let’s try this. Let’s trust God for a miracle here. Let’s let’s believe so. The next day came and I went into the hospital and I got, uh, this surgery, got the tumor cut out, and that was a great success.
There was no, no complications, but then I had a lot of pain, very sore, and I couldn’t really move around. Could not think at all about getting up on stage and leading people in praise and worship. And again, like the whole thought of just, just stay home, just rest was, you know, that’s, that’s like the easy option I could have just done that, but I think we, and I say we meaning myself and, you know, my pastors, we decided to just really make a choice to believe you know, it, one option is, yeah, we could just rest at home. The other option is let’s believe God for a miracle here, let’s believe that I would be in a position where I could lead people in praise and worship in six days time, which is unheard of, which is crazy.
So I got the surgery I’m bedridden for, you know, day after day. Um, I can’t really walk, let alone stand up with a guitar. So it, it gets to, um, the Wednesday. Uh, just, and, and our scheduled flight is on Thursday. So this is five days after I’ve had a major surgery. Now I hobble into the, the doctor’s room and he’s basically doing a final check to see if I can go or not.
He says, look, you’re gonna be uncomfortable. You’re gonna be sore. You’re not gonna be able to move around, but you have my clearance to go on the trip. So that was awesome to hear that when I was walking out of the surgery, I had to pay the, at the counter in the doctor’s surgery. And I remember. So vividly being in that moment about to pay and then literally at that same time, my results came in from the CT scan. Cuz of course I got the cancer cut out, but there’s the, there’s the fear of it spreading throughout your body, which is a, it’s a massive problem with cancer. And as I’m paying the, um, the results come in and the doctor goes, oh, don’t go yet.
I’ve just got these results. And he reads me out the results from the CT scan saying I’m all clear like that there is literally no cancer that the CT scan is picking up.
And I remember it being at that register in the doctor surgery. Crying just being like, thank you, Jesus. Like not only have I been cleared to go and do what I feel like God’s called me to do, but like, it all looked clear and that is just such a relief. When you’ve been told you have cancer, you’re like, well, how is this gonna affect the rest of my life?
You know? So to hear that. That was clear was, was amazing, but still couldn’t really walk. I still couldn’t move around and I, I, and I don’t feel like I could have led praise and worship, like I normally would. So that whole thing still needed to have God working on it. Thursday morning comes the day of travel.
I get up outta bed. And I can walk like the days before I can hardly stand. I get up outta bed and I can walk. I can still feel I’ve got something I’ve had surgery, but I’m able to walk. I put my clothes on, put my shoes on. I walk into the airport and it, it, to me, it was a massive change. It was a massive miracle that I could do that got on the plane and the whole way along, it was just like, God, I know you’re able to do this.
Even when I had told it to my wife and you know, my rest of my family, we, we just made a choice to be full of faith. So many people who face these situations experience great fear when it comes to cancer or any health challenge. Um, but it is just so important to, to stay in faith, to keep trusting God, even when the situation doesn’t look good.
So we put our faith in God, we kept on believing. We kept declaring. The lyrics of this song. And I think for me as a praise and worship leader, we, we sing these lyrics of the songs and we know there’s probably someone in the congregation going through something like this. So when I lead these songs, I, of course, I believe everywhere they’re saying, but I know that they’re really real for someone in the, in the congregation.
There is people out there battling, you know, life or death, sicknesses. For the first time ever in my life when I’d led this song, um, it was probably the most powerful moment of leading praise in our church for me, as I led this song, which I only wrote seven days before I got diagnosed with cancer. The next Sunday, I’m up on stage declaring that I’m holding on the bridge.
The bridge words say I’m holding on. I keep on believing no matter what I keep on singing. And it was just so real for me. Like I’m not, I’m not gonna stop pressing on in my faith journey. I’m gonna keep on going.
I got on that plane, I was so overcome with emotion. I just began to cry in that plane seat and, and another song came out. Like I wasn’t searching for a song. I wasn’t trying to write a song. Uh, it was just an expression of worship that came out and it’s this song called God is on the throne, which probably for me, feels like a life song for me.
Um, I’ll probably sing it till the day I die and. That statement God is on the throne just kept coming to me. So I just began to sing this melody, recorded it onto my phone. And, uh, when I got back home to the studio, I, you know, fleshed the whole song out, but it’s this just a great victory, uh, statement.
God is on the throne. He’s in control. He’s reigning overall. He’s powerful. It’s just amazing to me to see the journey of it all. Like God knows the journey. He, he knew that I was gonna go through that. He gave me this song before I found out the news, that song sustained me in faith throughout the journey. And then I had this other song, which was just an amazing response to what he had done.
Friday comes, I stand on that stage in Manila. And we go for it. Like you can watch the video on YouTube. The song called only way, which is the song I wrote seven days before we record it in Manila. And, and the footage that you see of me standing on stage is literally six days after the major surgery.
And you, you probably can’t really tell, like, I’m not, I’m not jumping up and down, like I normally would, but, um, God gave me strength. He, he made a way where there seemed to be no way. And the miracle for me in this whole thing is, is the timeline. God can do anything in, in an amazing time. In his time.
Joshua Swanson: It is always encouraging to hear stories of faith healings. For those of you dealing with something health related. I just wanted to encourage you to continue to stand in faith that God will heal you. Not every healing story is instantaneous, but that doesn’t mean God isn’t working. Be encouraged and stay faithful.
A special thanks to all of you who have shared our podcast on social and reviewed us on your favorite podcast platform, the response has been really encouraging, and we hope that those of you who are new listeners will also help us get the word out about the walk. Okay. Now back to Joth for some takeaways.
Joth Hunt: the takeaway like of all this for me was these songs that we sing as worship leaders. They’re so power. They’re not just songs of music. These songs have the word of God in them. They, they have the ability to lift people’s faith, to create an atmosphere for, for people to experience breakthrough. And, you know, like I said before, I always believe in, in the lyrics of these songs, but I guess my eyes were just opened again to the reality that these lyrics, these, these truths in the word of God, when we sing them to.
Make it authentic in our worship to be people who don’t just get up and sing a song, but go up and minister the word of God in the form of singing. Um, every time we do these songs, now it takes me back to what I went through and. I praise God. I thank God for these incredible moments, um, that I’ve been able to go through.
And I feel like, you know, coming out the other side, um, it’s, it’s a new dimension of authority in my worship, leading a new level of anointing, cuz I’ve been there. I I’ve done it. I’ve come out. The other side of victorious. Not victorious because I don’t have cancer victorious because in the testing and in the fire, I kept my faith in God.
I kept trusting in God. That’s the real victory, I think. But then, you know, I got back from the, the trip and there was one last hurdle. And the last hurdle was the blood test because from the CT scan, they couldn’t see that there was anything, uh, there in my body, but there’s the whole fear, I guess, of it spreading throughout the blood as well.
And so I got back from that trip, got back to the doctors and he delivered the news from the blood test that I was a hundred percent clear free of any type of cancer. And I didn’t even need to get chemotherapy, which is just amazing. Um, because you know, most doctors will still recommend it just to make sure.
Um, but the fact like I didn’t even have to do that is just incredible. So it, it was a great testing, a great journey of faith for me. And I feel like it enriched me as a leader and as a songwriter, and just makes me even more aware now of the songs that we’re singing and leading people in to really see the power of the word of God in these songs and what they’re actually doing in people’s lives.
There’s people in every congregation all over the world, doesn’t matter how big or how small the church is. Someone is going through something. And the, the lyrics of their songs have the ability to help bring breakthrough to that person and help lift their faith. And so I just wanna encourage everyone listening today to.
Really mindful of that and really authentic in our, in our worship, uh, because it, it is doing amazing things around the world. It’s just providing great atmospheres for God to move. And, you know, let’s not just view it as doing some music on a Sunday, but really view it as, as a spiritual thing. Worship Bible says worship in spirit and in truth.
Um, which is just probably the perfect scripture talking about authenticity, you know, when we come to God worshiping in spirit and in truth, not just viewing it in the natural, but really viewing it in the spirit and asking God for the keys, uh, to unlock people’s breakthrough in a, in an environment of worship.
Joshua Swanson: I just wanted to reread that scripture so we can meditate on it for a second. John 4:21 to 24. “Woman,” Jesus replied, “believe me, a time is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem. You Samaritans worship what you do not know; we worship what we do know, for salvation is from the Jews. Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth.”
Thanks to Joth Hunt for sharing his story with us. We’ve put the video link to only way in the show notes on worshipleader.com. And Joth wasn’t kidding. When he said their songs are energetic. We’ll also play out this episode with his song. God is on the throne.
Thanks to Matt McCarty for producing and editing today’s episode. Jacob Farlow produced our theme song. The walk is brought to you by Worship Leader Magazine, which is an Authentic Media Brand. I’m Joshua Swanson. Thanks for listening.