Advancing Age & Weary Saints
It is so difficult for us to imagine the following events happening. Think about a boxer who had thrashed his opponent in every round and is far ahead on the scoring cards of all the judges, then he refuses to fight the last round. Think about a marathon runner who has spent years in training for the Olympics and is far ahead of all other competitors in the final race, then she simply stops one hundred feet short of the finish line, refusing to finish the race.
Your response would be, “Such could never happen,” but almost all of us have seen people doing this spiritually. Far too many Christians draw back in their devotion to the Master in their latter years. They were faithful to the Lord for many years, but for unexplained reasons they quit. Look at the following words from heaven encouraging us to never quit.
Jesus spoke to the church at Smyrna and told them, “Be faithful until death” (Rev. 2:10), and then gave the motivation for faithfulness—”…and I will give you the crown of life.” We must run the entire race and never think about stopping short of the finish.
Jesus said, “He who endures to the end shall be saved” (Matt.24:11). These words are surrounded by descriptions of adversity—famine, earthquakes, lawlessness, wars and false prophets. They describes the worst tribulation of all times which His disciples would soon face. His message? Do not give up! Endure! Endure to the end! Regardless of what it costs, finish the race!
Paul repeatedly urged Christians to endure whatever may come for the reward awaiting them is so great. “Be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing your labor is not in vain in the Lord” (1 Cor. 15:58). Pay special notice to the contrast he makes between the labor and the reward. “The sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us” (Rom. 8:18).
The writer of Hebrews described the end of those who give up. “We are not of those who draw back to perdition, but of those who believe to the saving of our souls” (Heb. 10:39). The reason we cannot give up? Because Jesus, our forerunner, waits in heaven to give us eternal rest (Heb. 4:11; 6:19-20). Keep your focus on all that awaits you. The events of the past do not really matter! What matters is that which lies ahead! Don’t give up!
Make application of this to your life. As long as God gives you breath, give yourself to Him even, though advancing years rob you of the energy you once had. Be determined that the zeal which burned in your heart to serve Him when you were baptized will be the zeal you have at your final breath.