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Faith in Old Age

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Staying Faith

Psalm 71

Introduction

- Runners World - Jack Kirk - 7.1 mile race held every year in Mill Valley California for 66 years. Jack is 94 years old.

- Some people manage to go into old age with health, mental energy and full of life.

- not always the case.

- our bodies and sometimes our minds give out.

- Psalm 71 - talks about the challenge of old age.

- 9 - “Do not cast me away when I am old; do not forsake me when my strength is gone.”…

- 18 - “Even when I am old and gray, do not forsake me…”

- How can we keep a strong faith as we grow older?

I. The Trials Of Old Age

- Why is it a concern to him that God might forsake him in old age?

- The text suggests several things.

- weakening physical strength.

- Caleb, - Joshua 14:10,11, “So here I am today, eighty-five years old! I am still as strong today as the day Moses sent me out…”

- not something that usually happens.

- physical strength and agility begins to decrease.

- diseases.

- medication

- become discouraged because of all the aches and pains.

- Peter Wiebe

- face to face with our mortality.

- throughout life,  know that we are going to die,

- far in the back of our mind.

- reality comes suddenly to the front

- Each friend that dies,

- move to a smaller apartment, to a senior’s residence - loss

- next move will be over the threshold of life.

            -is it all true?

- other spiritual questions.

- God may forsake him.

- a follower of God from youth 5,6, 17.

- Why after a lifetime of following God?

- at one time I wondered about such intense questioning in old age, I no longer do.

- many faith related questions

- will I be acceptable to God?

- Many examine their life and are afraid that there may be something in their life that will prevent them from entering into heaven.

           

- why such questions?

- several reasons

- an assault of the enemy.

- only a few chances to take faith away from us.

- life is lived by faith, it must be lived by faith until the end.

- tempted to think that we can do it by ourselves.

- God allows us to struggle so we will trust Him

- We can never leave the posture of trust

- reality - As we approach old age, the fear may increase that God will forsake us.

II. Faith in Old Age

- Spurgeon - “the utterance of struggling, but un-staggering faith.”

- What did the writer do so that he would not stagger.

- How can faith stay strong in old age?

A. Remembrance

-  recall what God has done.

- verse 5 -  “For you have been my hope, O Sovereign LORD, my confidence since my youth.”

- next verse - “From birth I have relied on you…”

- verse 19 - “you who have done great things.”

- Reading the Bible on a regular basis

- recall our experiences with God.

- Top of the list -the work of Jesus on the cross

B. Prayer

- opening four verses are, in fact, a prayer.

- verse 12 when he says, “Be not far from me, O God; come quickly, O my God, to help me.”

-  “The Safest Place On Earth” by Larry Crabb. He says, “Brokenness, the heartfelt admission that without Christ we can do nothing, enjoys prayer.”

- Dick Eidse - we will have to receive help graciously - from others, from God.

- Spurgeon said, “Sharp sorrows soon put an end to procrastinating prayers.”

- as we get older - we know we need help.

- learn to ask God for help.

- as we pray, God reveals himself to us.

C. Praise

- Verse  6- “I will ever praise you.”

- Verse 8 - “My mouth is filled with your praise.”

- Verse 14 - “I will praise you more and more.”

- Verse 15 - “My mouth will tell of your righteousness, of your salvation all day long, though I know not its measure.”

- concluding verses are also a song of praise which is given with the harp, with singing, with lips that shout, and a tongue that tells.

- content of praise

- verse 8 - the splendor of God,

- verse 15 - God’s righteousness and salvation,

- verse 16 - His mighty acts

- verse 17 - God’s marvellous deeds.

- 18 speaks of his power

- verse 21 of the specific things that God

- An amazing thing happens when we begin to praise God. We will soon find that there is no room for other things like gossip, complaining, slander and so on. A heart that praises is a heart whose eyes are focused on the one who has the ability to meet our needs.

- Praise increases our faith as we keep our eyes on God.

D. Proclamation

- closely related to praise,

- adds  the dimension that the person is telling others

- Verse 8 - “declaring your splendor all day long.”

- Verse 16, “I will proclaim your mighty acts.”

- Verse 17, “I declare your marvellous deeds.”

- verse 18, “Even when I am old and gray, do not forsake me, O God, till I declare your power to the next generation, your might to all who are to come.”

- grandparents to tell their grandchildren

- speak of what God has done.

- reading the stories of my grandmother on my mother’s side and of my great grandfather on my father’s side has had an impact on me.

- not only good for the next generation, it also helps us to be strong in faith.

- When we tell others about God, we are reminded and encouraged.

Conclusion

- Rushing River Provincial Park - rock.

- verse 3 the Psalmist refers to God twice as a rock.

- If God is our rock, we can rest in Him knowing that he is solid and secure.

- canoe trip,

- How vulnerable we felt.

- a place of shelter,

- verses 1 & 3 the Psalmist speaks about God as a refuge.

- our shelter from all that life brings to us.

- Faith is the confidence that

- God is a rock - a place to rest upon

- and a shelter -a place to rest in.

Poem:

Faith came singing into the room,

And other guests took flight:

Fear, anxiety, grief and gloom

Vanished into the night.

I wondered how such peace could be,

But faith said gently, “Don’t you see

They really cannot live with me.”

- remember God’s works,

- pray to Him,

- praise Him

- proclaim his deeds,

- a growing confidence in God.

- faith will see us through to the very end of life.

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