old age is not to be dreaded

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For the Christian, old age is not the end, not to be dreaded, not to be feared. Old age, rather, is to be embraced and moved into with purpose:

“How should we view the onset of old age? The common assumption is that it is mainly a process of loss, whereby strength is drained from both mind and body and the capacity to look forward and move forward in life’s various departments is reduced to nothing. … But here the Bible breaks in, highlighting the further thought that spiritual ripeness is worth far more than material wealth in any form, and that spiritual ripeness should continue to increase as one gets older.” (J.I. Packer, at age 90)

Whether you’re 29 or 79, as you approach your next decade, have the lies of the culture around you confused you? Because much of what you see in your world would tell you that you must do whatever you can to stay looking and feeling young, do you fear older age? Do you fear being reduced to nothing? Or fear losing your health and mind? Or your place and importance? Or the love of those who no longer need you?

Don’t listen to the lie that growing older means the end of all that’s worthwhile! God, who created you, who knows your fears, and who cannot lie, proclaims differently.

And because God proclaims differently, you can believe and also proclaim differently. You can proclaim that each moment is precious, and that each day of your 20s, 40s, 60s and 80s is kept by Him (Is. 46:4). The world doesn’t have it right. Your fading beauty and diminishing health are purposeful, meant to point your thoughts toward your coming eternal life; toward God, the Imperishable One.

No matter your age, plan to proclaim until your last breath. Proclaim to the next generations all God’s wondrous deeds! Your witness of His faithfulness to you is of immeasurable importance! With roots dug deep into God’s word, declare that He is upright, the rock, the holy One:

“O God, from my youth you have taught me,
and I still proclaim your wondrous deeds.
So even to old age and gray hairs,
O God, do not forsake me,
until I proclaim your might to another generation,
your power to all those to come.”

“They still bear fruit in old age;
they are ever full of sap and green,
to declare that the Lord is upright;
he is my rock, and there is no unrighteousness in him.”

(Psalm 71: 17-18, 92: 14-15)

You’ve been given truth a hope-less world needs desperately. You’re able to proclaim that they should set their hope in God. He’s revealed to you that there is no other hope! So do not dread old age. For you who know Him, older age is, rather, to be moved into with divinely-decreed purpose:

We will not hide them from their children,
but tell to the coming generation
the glorious deeds of the Lord, and his might…that the next generation might know them, the children yet unborn,
and arise and tell them to their children,
so that they should set their hope in God…

(Psalm 78: 4,6-7)

Not dreaded. Rather, purpose-filled. Unique. A time of continuing spiritual increase. Until your last breath is breathed on this earth, until that moment when you waken in the Lord’s presence, proclaim. Proclaim that they should set their hope in God!

Related posts: this is all there is and fading beauty’s purpose.

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About Jill

I'm a wife, mom to three beautiful children, and currently work at two jobs for which I'm very grateful -- part-time at my kids' school, and as children's ministry director at Redeemer PCA in Athens, GA, a place our family treasures as our church home. It's been thirty years since the Lord saved me, and to this day I'm astounded at His steadfast love shed upon unfaithful me. My hope would be that I might speak and write in ways God would use to soften hearts toward Him, that we would together be enamored by the glorious beauty of Jesus and awakened to His love unimagined. Thanks so much for reading!
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