by Lee Ann Mancini
Beloved, now we are children of God, and it has not appeared as yet what we will be. We know that when He appears, we will be like Him, because we will see Him just as He is. 1 John 3:2 NASB
Does the news scare you? It frequently scares me—especially what I read on the Corona virus pandemic or many other serious illnesses like cancer, diabetes, Alzheimer’s, etc.
In 2021, I will turn 62. While I can no longer be considered young, neither will I be considered that old. After all, isn’t 60 the new 50? But if I can be completely honest, there are many ways in which I am beginning to feel my age. For one, I am starting to experience slight hearing loss along with other typical aches and pains. Sometimes I suffer from insomnia, waking up at 3:00 AM on the dot. Finally, I do not have the strength or endurance that I used to. Not to mention how hard it has become to lose weight!
How can I have hope when my life seems to be on a downward trajectory? Many women in my aging shoes can look to the faithfulness of God in their younger years for encouragement. Maybe He was your strength in bearing children or your wisdom as you raised them. Maybe He used the pain in your life to draw you closer to Him. Maybe He has taught you to forgive more easily and love more deeply, all because it brings glory to Him. If He was all that to us before, why would we not trust Him for what lays ahead?
As we’ve aged, we have also matured in how we set priorities. Outside appearance matters much less than it once did. We now value what is in the heart and mind of a person. Our earnest prayer is that we will continue to grow in our ability to be a living testimony of the love and greatness of our Lord and Savior. We are determined to continue in our faithfulness until our very last breath. This is our living testimony.
Isaiah 40:31 (NIV) declares, “But 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.” That promise is so much more relevant today than it was in our youth, back when we felt invincible. In our weaknesses, we now recognize our complete dependence on Him. He is enough to provide for our need and strengthen us in our older years.
Do you grieve your youth? Think about this: Paul wrote, “Brothers and sisters, we do not want you to be uninformed about those who sleep in death, so that you do not grieve like the rest of mankind, who have no hope. For we believe that Jesus died and rose again, and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him…For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever” (1 Thessalonians 4:11-17 NIV).
Remember that every day we are getting closer to seeing Jesus face to face! That promise alone should give us all the hope we need to endure until the end.
There’s something else we should always remember. John wrote that “Beloved, now we are children of God, and it has not appeared as yet what we will be. We know that when He appears, we will be like Him, because we will see Him just as He is” (1 John3:2 NASB). Not only will the Lord one day give us a brand-new body that will never grow old, but one day we will become his beautiful, eternal bride! What greater hope can we have than that?
Will you praise him through your present pain for the future hope you have? How amazing that day will be when we see the Lord’s face! We can look forward to the day when He will say, “Well done, good and faithful servant.” It will be worth every hard thing we endured on this earth.
About the author: Lee Ann Mancini is an adjunct professor at South Florida Bible College and Theological Seminary. She is the author of the Sea Kids book series and an executive producer of the new Sea Kids animation series.
Lee Ann’s book, Forever with Jesus, teaches children how wonderful heaven is: no more tears, pain, or suffering. When their neighbor passes away, the children in the story learn that they do not have to fear death, because their belief in Jesus guarantees they will live forever with Him.
Join the conversation: What keeps you going in suffering and pain?