Our take: Chicago Pastor James MacDonald survived a near-fatal bout with prostate cancer three years ago and has learned a lesson about "active faith" that he now shares with others. Rather than sitting back and waiting for God to act, MacDonald encourages people of faith to move forward with acting on their faith through medical treatments and other means for tough situations and to learn the lessons God wants to teaching during the waiting.

James MacDonald, pastor of the six-campus Harvest Bible Chapel in the Greater Chicago area and a prostate cancer survivor, told participants at the 2012 Southern Baptist Convention Pastors' Conference on Monday that they need to have "active faith" if they want to experience the miracles that God wants to do for them.

MacDonald experienced a miracle in his fight with cancer, but he said he did his own part before God worked. In 2008, the prominent pastor was diagnosed with prostate cancer at the age of 48. He underwent 45 radiation treatments before his PSA levels dropped. At the pastor's conference, he was happy to announce that he will be cancer free for three years as of Friday.

Going to the doctor, said MacDonald, was part of showing active faith.

"Did I pray? Did our church pray? And did people I'll never have the privilege of meeting pray for God to heal me? Yes, they did. But I went to the doctor," he said.