Youthful Vigor Forever!
THE man beside Jesus did not have long to live. “Jesus,” he pleaded, “remember me when you get into your kingdom.” Jesus replied: “Truly I tell you today, You will be with me in Paradise.” (Luke 23:42, 43) True, that unnamed man was not dying from an illness in old age; he was being executed for criminal activity. Nevertheless, aging individuals can derive great encouragement from his desperate situation.
We cannot but admire that man’s extraordinary confidence! Even though Jesus was dying on a torture stake next to him, that man had no doubt that Jesus would certainly rule as King in God’s Kingdom. Also, he reasoned that Jesus could one day remember him favorably. Just imagine—that condemned man will awaken from death in a glorious paradise, with Jesus as King!
Mankind is in a position similar to that of the dying wrongdoer. How so? Regardless of our age, we are all paying the penalty for sin and are in need of salvation. (Romans 5:12) Like that criminal we can turn to Christ Jesus for hope—even hope for relief from the painful problems that occur in later life! To be sure, Jesus has held out to mankind the prospect of everlasting life in physical and mental perfection on a paradise earth.—John 3:16, 36.
All Things New for Old and Young
Under Christ’s Kingdom the inhabitants of the earth “will indeed find their exquisite delight in the abundance of peace.” (Psalm 37:11) No one will say: “I am sick.” (Isaiah 33:24) Any incapacity we may have had to endure will be reversed, for “the lame one will climb up just as a stag does, and the tongue of the speechless one will cry out in gladness.” (Isaiah 35:6) Aged individuals will regain their youthful vigor; their flesh will “become fresher than in youth.”—Job 33:25.
However, is it realistic to nurture such a hope? Well, think of the One who held out the hope of Paradise to that dying man. On many occasions the crowds brought people to Jesus who were lame, maimed, blind, and deaf. He eagerly cured “every sort of disease and every sort of infirmity.” (Matthew 9:35, 36; 15:30, 31; Mark 1:40-42) He demonstrated tangibly what his Kingdom will accomplish. Jesus even brought back to life a number of people who had died. (Luke 7:11-17; John 11:38-44) In doing so, he added authority to his promise that “all those in the memorial tombs will hear his voice and come out.”—John 5:28, 29; Acts 24:15.
Imagine waking up in Paradise with a new body, clear vision, ears filled with the sounds of birds and happy voices, arms and legs free of pain, and a perfectly sound mind. Gone forever will be “the calamitous days” of old age. (Ecclesiastes 12:1-7; Isaiah 35:5, 6) Even death will be “brought to nothing”—it will be “swallowed up forever.”—1 Corinthians 15:26, 54.
Current world events evaluated alongside Bible prophecy indicate that we are rapidly approaching the end of old age as we know it. (Matthew 24:7, 12, 14; Luke 21:11; 2 Timothy 3:1-5) The time is near when the elderly who have exercised faith in God and have served him will once again enjoy youthful vigor—but this time forever!
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Exercise That Brain!
Just as physical exercise strengthens a muscle, mental training conditions the brain. To stimulate the brain, we need to do new things. The following are some ways to establish and strengthen brain-cell connections.
▪ Cultivate interests in fresh new areas, such as art, sculpture, word games, or jigsaw and crossword puzzles; learn another language.
▪ Interact with a variety of people; socialize and converse to avoid monotony and sharpen the mind.
▪ Cultivate spirituality. “Do not be anxious over anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication along with thanksgiving let your petitions be made known to God; and the peace of God that excels all thought will guard your hearts and your mental powers by means of Christ Jesus.”—Philippians 4:6, 7.
▪ Read appropriate material; tell someone about what you have read.
▪ Recall and relate news items from radio or TV newscasts to exercise your short- and long-term memory.
▪ Use your nondominant hand (left hand if you are right-handed, or vice versa) to operate the TV remote control, to use the telephone, or to brush your teeth.
▪ Use all your senses as much as possible through the day.
▪ Learn about and travel to places of interest near or far.
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Jesus’ promise is that painful old age will soon disappear, replaced by youthful vigor forever