Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Bridging the Faith Gap Between Old and Young

I live in a time when many young people seem desperate and hopeless. What can I say to them?
Who am I to tell them anything?

I am not young, but I have a God who has kept me from becoming desperate when I confronted challenges I never anticipated, challenges that scared me.

How can I communicate to much younger people the reality, hope, and welcoming spirit of Jesus Christ?

One way I can communicate Christ is having joy and peace when confronting the constraints and trials of old age. This joy and peace is only supplied by Christ himself; it is not something I can conjure up.

When I lack peace and joy I can pray for the same assurance that God gave Joshua, the leader of ancient Israel, when he succeeded Moses:

“Just as I was with Moses, so I will be with you. I will not leave you or forsake you … Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.” * 

God gave this assurance to Joshua. I am a successor in faith to Joshua. I have inherited this assurance.

I remember a young nurse I met at church. She was working in the ICU** of a local hospital. She said, when describing how she came to believe in Jesus Christ, that she had noticed a difference in the way Christians die.

I ask myself, who has fewer powers of persuasion, fewer ways of influencing people to believe in the reality and goodness of Christ than a person who is living their last moments? Yet Christians surrendering life in the ICU had pointed this young woman to Jesus Christ by the manner of their dying.

If Christians can influence people to seek Christ by the way they live their final moments, then surely I can exhibit the goodness of Christ while I am still up and on my feet, living out old age.


*   Joshua 1, verses 5–9
**  ICU-intensive care unit

Doug Smith, Jan. 23, 2019

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