2 Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3 because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. 4 Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. 5 If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.
‘…whenever you face trials…’
this sounds like the senior years.
Perseverance and maturity are great words for seniors.
The Seven Joys
1. The joy of being alive
- As we grow older, quite a few friends have died, but we are alive. Life is a gift from God. Be thankful that we can still serve people and win them for Christ. The goals and aims we have can still be fulfilled.
2. The joy of continuing to commune with God
- Every day we can commune with God. He is bigger than sport, football and other good things which fall away for communion with the living God.
- We can pray for others even when we are not well, in bed or in hospital.
3. The joy of looking back
- We can look back on so much. Focus on the positive things of the past.
- Life at its best is filled with sadness—but look at the positives.
4. The joy of being tested
- As we stand on scriptures—those He loves he chastens. He will do that in our senior years because He longs for our maturity.
- Testing is a privilege. Take our stand on the Word of God.
5. The joy of becoming more mature
- We are wiser and more mature but not talking about perfection.
- By God’s grace we have more wisdom and can pass it on to the next generation so they don’t make the same mistakes.
- A lot of us are down on ourselves, especially when we fail, BUT if we sin we have an advocate with the Father… (1 John 2:10). We need to able to live with our sins and deal with them. People are destroyed by perfectionism.
- Why do we struggle to live with each other’s sinfulness? We should be slow to criticise. Love covers a multitude of sins (1 Peter 4:8). But ongoing sin has to be confronted.
6. The joy of giving
- Releasing of funds. Make sure you have your will set up and someone to look after your finances for when you are not able to.
- See Billy Graham’s book ‘Senior Years’.
- Leave as much money as possible to God’s Word and work. Wise counsel needed.
7. The joy of serving
- Think of ways you can serve. Don’t neglect the elderly. When there are lost and lonely people around we should be visiting them.
- One of the saddest things is children neglecting parents. Have a revolution against this.
- Find people older than yourself—it keeps you feeling young too.
The Seven Challenges
1. The challenge of loss of memory
- A daily experience. Memory of names—hard to live with. We can feel like a fool when we don’t remember someone.
- Embrace this. Limitation is an important word in our vocabulary. Write things down. Email people by name.
- Don’t avoid the new ways of communication—email, text, WhatsApp, Twitter. Email the visiting pastor.
- Making changes is a work of God’s grace. Not perfection, reality.
2. The challenge of grief
- Draw upon His resources. In Him are all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.
- We can discover our own fragile-ness and celebrate that. Be a joyful senior.
3. The challenge of illness
- For example, failing eyes. Need to make changes and adjustments.
4. The challenge of pain
- Living with pain. Some pain cannot be solved. Be concerned about those in pain. We should be flowing with love to others in pain.
5. The challenge of disappointment
- This is hard. If we follow the news there are lots of disappointments. We weep.
- In the area of health, for example, cancer which appears to have gone and then it changes again. Pressing on in the midst of it.
6. The challenge of sin
- Our wrong judgement or attitude. We may have become Christians in our younger years when many things were frowned upon. We must be very forgiving of new Christians. E.g. smoking when people are first saved.
- Don’t be a ‘grace killer’.
7. The challenge of misunderstanding
- Misunderstandings are very common in our society. We hear words differently.
- The problem of listening—we can hear some things and not others.
The rest is up to you, but greater is He that is in you than all that can come up against you.