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Which is the most difficult era of human life? Infancy? Adolescence? Mature adulthood? Agedness? It probably depends upon where you are as to how you might answer that query.
While many might suggest that one’s sunset years are the hardest, my own judgment would be that the period designated as youth might be the most challenging.
Youth is a frustrating time in life. It is that period when one is hardly old enough to be on his own, and yet he is feeling a sense of independence. Youth ever are attempting to find some sense of identity; that is why they sometimes act and dress so weird. They are bizarre!
But then, so were we.
The Scriptures represent youth as a time both of danger and challenge. Moses said that “the imagination of man’s heart is evil from his youth” (Gen. 8:21), and Paul admonished Timothy to “flee youthful lusts” (2 Tim. 2:22).
By way of contrast, though, the Creator also recognizes the value of youth to the divine cause. Youngsters have energy, they are daring, and their hearts are filled with visions of the future. Indeed, they can be a most valuable component in the service of Jehovah.
Solomon, who wasted much of his life in folly, perhaps thought better of the matter in his declining days. He contended:
“Remember now your Creator in the days of your youth, before the evil days come and the years draw near when you will say, I have no pleasure in them” (Eccl. 12:1).
Again, Paul would say to Timothy:
“Let no man despise your youth; but you be an example to them that
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DEALING WITH YOUR PAST
We all have been faced with issues that has left a scar, a big hole in our heart that cut so deep. Unless the past is dealt with, one is not prepared to live in the present nor to go on into the future. Unless the past is dealt with, it becomes a haunting memory that saps the strength of the believer so he is unable to honor Christ in his daily life.
Someone has said, “The present must forget the past by correction, or else the past will become a moral and spiritual liability for the future.”
Consider some items that need to be forgotten: failures–they keep our faith from advancing; successes–they create pride (see Prov. 16:18); losses–they drag us down so we cannot serve the Lord the way we should; grievances–they produce false attitudes (see 1 Cor. 13:6); sorrows–God can heal all heartaches; discouragements–we need to remember Christ, not disappointments, thwarted hopes and plans.
Joseph, son of Jacob, overcame a painful past. He was raised in what we would call a “dysfunctional family.” Sibling rivalry filled Jacob’s household. Favoritism abounded. Hatred was a regular dish served on the family menu. One day, Joseph’s brothers caught him, threw him into a pit, and discussed killing him. One brother intervened and convinced the rest instead to sell Joseph as a slave to traders headed toward Egypt.
In Egypt, Joseph became the property of a man named Potiphar. Potiphar’s wife had eyes for Joseph, though, and made continual sexual advances toward him. Frustrated by Joseph’s refusal, she falsely charged him with attempted rape and he was imprisoned.
While imprisoned, Joseph made friends with a baker and a cupbearer. Each promised to pull their political strings and secure Joseph’s release, if and when they were freed. In time, the baker was hanged. The cupbearer was freed, but suffered a case of amnesia when it came to
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