Faith Is Not always Easy!
God blesses those who patiently endure testing and temptation. Afterward they will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him. (James 1:12 NLT)
Riches in Christ
The older I get, the more I am convinced that I simply have to accept all of my aches and pains as a part of life. The other day, someone about my age, reminded me, “Growing old isn’t for sissies.” We both laughed, but we’ve come to look on old age as something to be dreaded—and it’s true that it isn’t easy.
I discovered it is important for me to learn to be content, and that only comes as I accept each day as a gift from God and commit it into His hands. I really enjoyed my 42 years as a preaching pastor and minister of education, but because of my health, I can no longer actively serve in a church. I do enjoy my new ministry of encouragement and prayer.
Paul’s words are true at every stage of life, but especially as we grow older: “Godliness with contentment is itself great wealth” (1 Timothy 6:6 NLT). I’m reminded daily that I don’t have a lot of money, but I have “great wealth” in God.
Everything was clicking right along until I got cancer in 2012. Surgery, months of chemo, and weeks of brain radiation helped me realize I will not live forever in this life! Several times the Bible mentions people who died “at a good old age”—an interesting phrase. God has a reason for keeping us here (even if we don’t always understand it), and we need to recover the Bible’s understanding of life and longevity as gifts from God—and therefore as something good.
As I grow older I focus not only on the present, but more and more on Heaven. This world, with all of its pains, sorrows, and burdens isn’t my final home. Since Christ is my Savior and Lord, I know I have “an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade—kept in heaven for you” (1 Peter 1:4).
I know I have already lived a lot longer than I have left, and I look forward to that day. Heaven gives me hope, and makes my present burdens easier to bear. I’m glad I belong to Him!