Isaiah 46:4 NIV Even to your old age and gray hairs I am he, I am he who will sustain you. I have made you and I will carry you; I will sustain you and I will rescue you.
Gray hair is a picture of a life well lived.
Proverbs 16:31 NIV Gray hair is a crown of splendor; it is attained in the way of righteousness.
Gray hair is a sign of wisdom.
Proverbs 20:29 NIV The glory of young men is their strength, gray hair the splendor of the old.
Gray hair is a picture of a life well lived.
Proverbs 16:31 NIV Gray hair is a crown of splendor; it is attained in the way of righteousness.
There is something which everybody wants and yet almost everyone fears: growing old. Old age has many frightening aspects: an aging body which is more susceptible to illness; declining strength; feelings of uselessness (especially after retirement); the loss of friends and loved ones through death; the reality of one’s own death drawing nearer; loneliness; feelings of alienation from one’s children and grandchildren, who are busy with other interests and pursuits; and, very often, financial concerns due to dwindling income.
Sadly, our American culture does not esteem the elderly. Oh we give lip service to it but when it comes right down to it we don’t really give us seasoned Saints the respect that we deserve. The younger generation often views the elderly as a financial burden and, if they require our care, as an interference in the pursuit of pleasure and success.
Today about one out of every five people in the United States is over 65 and one out of every ten over 80. One time Bob Hope said, "You know you're old when the candles cost more than the cake." And Agatha Christie, the novelist, wrote one occasion that she married an archaeologist. And someone asked, “Why would you marry an archaeologist?” to which she replied, "Because the older I get the more he'll appreciate me."
Certainly, God has told us to revere those of us who are older. Who walked with Him.
Leviticus 19:32 (NLT)32 “Stand up in the presence of the elderly, and show respect for the aged. Fear your God. I am the LORD.
Job 12:12 (NLT)12 Wisdom belongs to the aged, and understanding to the old.
A seasoned saint who has walked a long time in the path of righteousness is a treasure, a treasure of wisdom and a treasure of experience and a treasure of understanding, a triumphant Christian who has fought the battle over and over and over and been victorious, who has experienced everything that the young are waiting to experience, become a great treasure to the church.
Quite often when we reach the AARP age, we start to think that we aren’t as useful as we once were. Younger people are taking over, and that’s a good thing, because they usually have more energy than we have as we get older. They have more tools than we had with the latest technologies and other discoveries. Those are good things but when we we releasee responsibility and some of the things we used to do we find that we have more time on our hands and if we can’t fill it we may start to think that we are no longer useful. If we let that go to extremes it can lead to depression. Well perk up, with God age is just a number and He can use you no matter how big the number.
When you get caught up in a culture's view of aging, you lose sight of God’s truth.
Become a “senior” who embraces God’s design for aging.
Colossians 3:2 NIV Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.
When you allow yourself to be ruled by time and its perceived threats, you become guilty of setting your mind on things of the earth. Your eyes are not where they are supposed to be – on Christ.
Conversely when you set my mind on things above, you are reminded of the truth. God is greater than time. His promises extend beyond all time’s limits, and through Christ, time’s curse has been overturned.
With your minds set on God, you will remember that Jesus said that He came so that you may have abundant life. It was never His intention that you spend your “senior” years in life-sapping fear, regret, or sadness. Jesus came to bring life, no matter your season!
John 10:10 NIV The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.
Consider these eight remarkable benefits of aging. Each one bears witness to Jesus’ promise of abundant life in this season. They are worth celebrating, and they are ours for the claiming.
1 Timothy 6:6-10 NIV But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that. Those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.
We spend decades searching for contentment. However, in our busy years of raising a family, earning an income, tending relationships, and figuring out how to navigate life, contentment often remains elusive.
One precious benefit of aging is an abiding contentment – contentment that comes from resting in and trusting in God’s sovereign plan.
2. Increased Wisdom
Proverbs 3:13-14 NIV Blessed are those who find wisdom, those who gain understanding, for she is more profitable than silver and yields better returns than gold.
With age comes a plethora of life experiences. In fact, “seniors” are the one who have truly “been there; done that!”
All this experience helps us develop a broader map of points of view and a deeper reservoir of options for resolution and compromise. Our life-experience also aids in the development of increased social graces, heightened empathy, and better control over our emotions.
Our culture does not place a high value on the wisdom of age, but God places great value on it. You have a lifetime of experience and opportunities that didn’t exist when your primary focus was your children or your career.
3. Unshakable Faith
Psalms 138:8 NIV The Lord will vindicate me; your love, Lord, endures forever— do not abandon the works of your hands.
As we age, the joy of unshakable faith in God can be ours. This benefit is one that must be developed. We don’t get to wake up one day and claim it simply because we’ve aged. God uses all our experiences to grow us and shape us. Nothing is ever wasted. Even the hard and the exceedingly difficult are for our good and for the work He is preparing for us.
Romans 8:28-30 NIV And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters. And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified.
Then as we age, we look back. We see and we know. He was with us. He did it! We enjoy Unshakable Faith.
4. Spiritual Strength
2 Corinthians 4:16-18 NIV Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.
As we age, we experience a loss of physical strength. Changes take place. Our bodies deteriorate. Unable to do the things we used to do, and full of aches and pains, we are prone to grieve this earthly loss of a strong, healthy body.
Once again, we need to be reminded to turn our gaze to things above. Instead of focusing on our loss, this is a time for setting our minds on things above and celebrating the spiritual strength that can be ours.
Our inner self is being strengthened day by day and that our strength comes through faith, faith in the Lord.
Psalms 73:23-26 NIV Yet I am always with you; you hold me by my right hand. You guide me with your counsel, and afterward you will take me into glory. Whom have I in heaven but you? And earth has nothing I desire besides you. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.
Aging changes one’s perception of time. Increasingly more aware of our nearness to the “finish line,” our outlook tends to shift. We have a keener sense of what is important and where our focus needs to be.
No longer feeling the need to rush through life. Seniors take fewer things for granted, are less likely to procrastinate, and seek out positive ways to spend their time. We embrace family and tighten up our circle of friends.
We hold on to what is most important by living lives that are purposeful and full of intent.
6. Eternal Perspective
Ephesians 3:10-12 NIV His intent was that now, through the church, the manifold wisdom of God should be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly realms, according to his eternal purpose that he accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord. In him and through faith in him we may approach God with freedom and confidence.
In the younger seasons of life, we talk about eternity. We even sing about eternity. But if we are honest, we’d have to admit that it’s often difficult to think beyond the next task, or day of work.
One precious benefit of aging is that God “gifts” to us have an eternal perspective. It is in this season that we are better able to think beyond this life. Our eyes are more open to God’s plan, His purpose, and His vision.
Instead of saying "it's me time" seniors know that it time to get to know God better and make an investment in future generations.
John 17:3 NIV Now this is eternal life: that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent.
Psalms 145:3-7 NIV Great is the Lord and most worthy of praise; his greatness no one can fathom. One generation commends your works to another; they tell of your mighty acts. They speak of the glorious splendor of your majesty— and I will meditate on your wonderful works. They tell of the power of your awesome works— and I will proclaim your great deeds. They celebrate your abundant goodness and joyfully sing of your righteousness.
Seniors live for God’s glory and the advancement of His kingdom.
7. New Roles
For many of us, this season of aging also brings with it the dreaded empty nest. We don’t lose our children, but our relationship with them does change. No longer the caregiver, commander, and coach, we take on the role of consultant. Free from the responsibility of calling the plays, we now parent from a place of wisdom that was gained through a lifetime of experience.
We take on the new role of grandparent. Having grandchildren in our lives allows us to experience the joys of young children again without having to carry the heavy weight of daily responsibility.
Grandparenting offers us an opportunity to build deep, new relationships, share our knowledge and expertise, pass along family traditions, and help point our grandchildren to Jesus. It’s one of the best gigs around!
And in this season, our reach can even go beyond our own children and grandchildren. Embracing the role of mentor, our involvement in the form of conversation, discipleship, and teaching can help to point members of the next generation to Christ. Our investment gives them the chance to have their own encounters with God and learn to lean into Him.
8. Additional Time
Psalms 90:9-12 NIV All our days pass away under your wrath; we finish our years with a moan. Our days may come to seventy years, or eighty, if our strength endures; yet the best of them are but trouble and sorrow, for they quickly pass, and we fly away. If only we knew the power of your anger! Your wrath is as great as the fear that is your due. Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.
No, seniors are not granted a supply of extra hours to add onto each day, but retirement does help to free up some of the hours we already have. And one of the benefits of aging is that we have a deeper appreciation for that time and seek to use it well.
We have more time to spend with our loved ones, and we embrace that time with family and friends tightly. If we’re married, this season affords us more time to do things together and to draw even closer in our relationship.
In addition to enjoying more time with others, our senior years offer us time to get involved in things that were once no more than fantasy. We have greater opportunity to seek adventures, chase dreams, and pursue passions.
It’s a time to be creative and to appreciate the creativity of others. And if we’re not sure about our dreams or passions or creative bent, it’s a time for rediscovery.
And most importantly, this benefit means we have more time to spend with God. More time in prayer, Bible study, praise, thanksgiving, and worship. More time in His presence, beholding His glory, and becoming more like Christ.
The choice is ours. We can choose to spend this season of aging mourning the fleeting time, bemoaning the changes to our physical frame, and trying to hold on to what used to be, or we can choose to celebrate the remarkable benefits of aging.
Anyone who has lived a while and walked with God can testify to his faithfulness. Living longer just means you have had more opportunities for God to prove and demonstrate his faithfulness to you. Let the gray hairs be a reminder of how many times God has honored his word in your life. He has promised to be faithful, and he has lived up to his promise.
Deuteronomy 31:6, 8 NIV Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.” The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.”
Joshua 1:5, 9 NIV No one will be able to stand against you all the days of your life. As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you. Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”