2 Corinthians 4: 16 + 17
We never give up. Our bodies are gradually dying, but ourselves are being made stronger each day. These little troubles are getting us ready for an eternal glory that will make all our troubles seem like nothing.
"How old we want to be?" a health insurance company asked their members. The company writes: the dream of never ending youth is as old as humanity. But now we are very nearly realizing this dream. Peter Thiel, a Silicon Valley billionaire, supports this with "transhumanism", a controversial philosophy that wants to reshape people. They want endless life. Thiel says "I see no sense in death and have therefore decided to fight against it." (KKH aktiv 2/2018).
God, too, sees no sence in death. That's why HE wants eternal life for all people. But for God, eternal life has another meaning as endless life. Eternal life is a quality term. It's not about shaking off the biological shackles. Or tripping up the death with genetic improvements. Or even a fusion of brain and computer, of man and machine.
The health insurance also told about Wilhelmus Couwenbergs (81). He says: "Endless youth and endless life are of no interest to me, because the Lord God creates and takes us, if HE considers it necessary." (KKH aktiv 2/2018 p. 25).
Endless life is not interesting, but eternal life is very interesting for me. It is my hope. Paul writes (1 Cor 15:19): If our hope in Christ is good only for this life, we are worse off than anyone else.
The apostle Paul knows that death is not a part of life, because death is the enemy of God. Christ will rule until he puts all his enemies under his power and forces, and the last enemy he destroys will be death. (1Cor.15:25+26) On Easter morning, Jesus Christ brought a new creation into the old, transient world. HE is the FIRST of God´s new world.
As long as we humans still have to live in the old order of creation, our existence is limited. After the great breach of trust in paradise, God set Adam and Eve a life limit. Gen. 3, 22 + 23: The LORD GOD said: “The man has now become like one of us, knowing good and evil. He must not be allowed to reach out his hand and take also from the tree of life and eat, and live forever.” – So the LORD GOD banished him from the Garden Eden ..” Eternal life is a thing of the past!
Then God sets the "running time" for man (Gen. 6: 3): The LORD said: My Spirit will not contend with man forever, for he is mortal; his days will be 120 years.” Nothing has changed until that day. A few centenarians are said to live in Japan, Sardinia, Costa Rica, Greece and California. Ok, but today most people in our latitudes have arrived there, which Psalm 90 has soberly stated (Psalm 90:9 f) “Our anger is a burden each day we live, then life ends like a sigh. We can expect seventy years, or maybe eighty, if we are healthy, but even our best years bring trouble and sorrow. … Teach us to be wisely all the time we have.”
Remembering our transience, Ecclesiastes 12, 1 - 5: “Think of your Creator as a young man, before the difficult days come and bring the years closer, in which you no longer have any joy in life. Then even the light gets darker and darker for you: the sun, the moon and the stars darken, and after a shower of rain, the clouds move up again. Your hands, with which you could protect yourself, quarrel; your strong legs become weak and crooked. The teeth are falling out, you can barely chew, and your eyes are cloudy. Your ears can no longer perceive the noise on the street, and your voice becomes ever quieter. Early you wake up while chirping the birds, although you can barely hear their singing. You are afraid of any incline and are afraid when you are on the move. Your hair turns white, you drag yourself through the day with difficulty, and your joy for life dwindles. Then you are carried to your eternal home, and your friends are mourning through the streets.”
Cataracts and osteoarthritis can be treated today. Dentures and hearing aids are part of aging. But astonishing how less it has changed in the last thousands of years.
Faith in God gives me a new perspective on getting old. Anyone who can say "YES" to Jesus Christ and his resurrection can confidently say “YES” to the limit of his lifetime. He or she can also find a “YES” at times we doesn´t like. With Jesus Christ new life is beginning, eternal life starts. Not an extension of the old life - that would not be desirable. But it starts the new life in God's community. God gives us His Holy Spirit, who refreshes our soul day by day like an oasis in the desert. The presence of Jesus every day gives hope and comfort. So we can be grateful.
Our hearts should even rejoice with joy because we may spend our eternity with God, the Creator of life. I do not know how that will look like. It is the journey at the end of life into a new future. Who lives here with Jesus Christ will find the open door to eternal life in the light of God.
(2 Corinthians 4: 16 + 17) We never give up. Our bodies are gradually dying, but ourselves are being made stronger each day. These little troubles are getting us ready for an eternal glory that will make all our troubles seem like nothing.
God bless your coming week, he may help you!