PEOPLE must accept aging as part of God’s plan for their lives, prominent evangelist Billy Graham has said.
In an interview with Christianity Today, 92-year-old Graham, the founder of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, has said: “I can’t honestly say that I like being old—not being able to do most of the things I used to do, for example, and being more dependent on others, and facing physical challenges that I know will only get worse. Old age can be a lonely time also—children scattered, spouse and friends gone.”
However, he draws inspiration from the fact that ‘God has a reason for keeping us here even if we don’t always understand it.
In the interview, he has advised believers to recover the Bible’s understanding of life and longevity as gifts from God—and therefore as something good.
“Several times the Bible mentions people who died ‘at a good old age’—an interesting phrase. So part of my advice is to learn to be content, and that only comes as we accept each day as a gift from God and commit it into His hands. Paul’s words are true at every stage of life, but especially as we grow older: ‘Godliness with contentment is great gain’ (1 Tim. 6:6).
In the interview, he has also touched upon the current day evangelical resurgence witnessed all over the world.
“It truly has been God’s doing. It wasn’t like this when I first started out, and I’m amazed at what has happened—new evangelical seminaries and organizations and churches, a new generation of leaders committed to the gospel, and so forth,” he said.
However, he also has a message of warning.
“…Success is always dangerous, and we need to be alert and avoid becoming the victims of our own success. Will we influence the world for Christ, or will the world influence us,” he asked.
The most important issue that Christians face today, according to him, is the same the church has faced in every century: Will we reach our world for Christ?
“In other words, will we give priority to Christ’s command to go into all the world and preach the gospel? Or will we turn increasingly inward, caught up in our own internal affairs or controversies, or simply becoming more and more comfortable with the status quo? Will we become inner-directed or outer-directed?
He said though the world was witnessing great turbulence in the areas of politics, economics and society the central issues of our time are “moral and spiritual in nature.”
“Our calling is to declare Christ’s forgiveness and hope and transforming power to a world that does not know him or follow him. May we never forget this,” Graham said.