If I were to ask a follow up question, does having a faith in God make any difference in this season of life? How would you answer?
For those of us who have walked by faith for many years, we might think that as we grow older, we grow more confident; our faith over time becomes stronger. But sadly that’s not always true; for many our confidence fades. Because of the emotional, physical and spiritual shifts that occur later in life, we often experience a profound sense of uncertainty, disconnection, loneliness or fear. Many who have had a strong faith, disconnect from the community of faith; they fade at the very time when their faith can provide incredible strength.
God knows how frail we are as human beings. These days I’m finding in my own journey, and as I talk with others who are seeking to walk by faith, the one thing we most need is assurance. The good news is that God has given us such assurance in His Word.
The LORD is my light and my salvation—whom shall I fear?
The LORD is the stronghold of my life—of whom shall I be afraid? (Psalm 27:1)
In Revelation chapter 4 as John is given a glimpse into heaven, he sees a wonderful picture that reminds us of a powerful truth; a truth that is incredibly reassuring…there before me was a throne in heaven with someone sitting on it. (Revelation 4:2).
There is a throne and the One who sits on it is the sovereign Ruler of this world; the Ruler of all of history and all eternity; and we are secure in Him!
The Bible tells us He is abundantly good (Psalm 145:7). He is gracious and compassionate – slow to anger and abounding in love. He wants us to rest in / abide in that love. The Psalmist tells us that God is our refuge and strength (Psalm 46:1); He is mighty and strong.
In Isaiah 40:31 we have the sure promise of God: Those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.
There are days that we do not feel like we are soaring; there are days that we do not feel like we are running very fast, if at all and there are days when it’s hard to just put one foot in front of the other. But, when I am weak – He is strong. And above all, He is faithful.
When I am afraid, I put my trust in you.
In God, whose word I praise—in God I trust and am not afraid. (Psalm 56:3-4)
Surely God is my salvation; I will trust and not be afraid.
The Lord, the Lord himself, is my strength and my defense. (Isaiah 12:2)
He made a promise to Noah and he kept that promise. He is a covenant-making, covenant-keeping, true-to-His-Word, ever faithful God. He established His covenant with Abraham, Moses and David. All through their lives, even when they doubted and were afraid; God was faithful. He was faithful to Joshua and Elijah and Jeremiah and Nehemiah; to Peter and Paul and to John, who as an old man, exiled to the Island of Patmos, still held tightly to the One who had been faithful all his life.
John was the one who wrote at the end of the Gospel that bears his name: These are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name. (John 20:31) For John and for you and me these are words of comfort and encouragement and reassurance; words of life – life eternal.
May God’s reassuring Word give you confidence and courage, that you will be better equipped to deal with the challenges of living his this fallen world and the realities of growing older and, the inevitability of death. One day, we will cross from death to life eternal in Christ. This is our hope; we need not be afraid but rather we simply need to continue to trust and to rest in His promises and lean into His strength; until He comes or calls us home.