Faith in Old Age
- 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.
- 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?
- 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
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
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.