Psalm 103:1-5 “Praise the Lord, my soul; all my inmost being, praise his holy name. Praise the Lord, my soul, and forget not all his benefits . . . who satisfies your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.”
Job 33:25 “let their flesh be renewed like a child’s; let them be restored as in the days of their youth.”
What’s in it for me? That’s a common question one might ask about any pursuit in life. Why get involved? What’s the benefit? Why change anything in my life? Why upset the apple cart? Is it really worth it? Those are certainly questions one might ask – and questions one should ask before becoming a Christian. This is the single most impactful decision anyone will ever make in life – to leave the life they know and become “born again” with a completely new start. Why in the world would anyone do this, particularly if they are living a comfortable life, with a good family, good job, good friends, etc., etc.?
Psalm 103 talks about our desires being satisfied with good things, good things that only God can give us. Earlier, the psalmist exults in the God who “forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion.” These are all things that are not only good, but also only available from God as gifts. But they are only available to those who would put their trust in Him and the death of His Son who was crucified to pay the debt for their sin so that they could receive eternal life.
The world and Satan entice all of us with promises of “good things.” However, once one tastes these things and indulges in them, they often become bondages that weigh a person down with sin and guilt. The enticement to cheat on a spouse for an exciting relationship with some other person will inevitably lead to lies, secrecy, pain, and guilt, not to mention divorce, a broken home, angry and hurting children, and other negative things that are anything but satisfying. The highs of drugs and alcohol can lead to deep bondages, physical illnesses, mental anguish, and pain to that person and all the relationships that person has with others. Sin always leads to pain, guilt, and burdens that are carried throughout life. All the “benefits” of these things are but short-lived, unsatisfying, and deceptive.
However, when someone, anyone, turns to Christ, the immediate and eternal benefits begin with sins forgiven, guilt pardoned, a clean conscience, and a slate wiped clean. The believer is blessed with the satisfaction that “though (their) sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall become like wool (Isaiah 1:18).” This forgiveness cleanses us from the sinful burdens that weigh a person down and age them before their time. They truly can have their youth renewed and their souls restored. They are given a completely new start.
As Paul tells us in 2 Corinthians 5:17 “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” And Paul spoke from experience. This man, who in his past life had persecuted Christians to their death, had every reason to be guilt-ridden for the rest of his life. Incredibly, when the actually met the Christ Whom he had been persecuting, he found forgiveness, rather than the condemnation he deserved.
What about you? Have you found that a new start is really what you need? Do you feel like you are in a situation where there is no turning back and are you weighed down under a burden that is consuming your life? There is hope for such a person, for there truly is a “fountain of youth.” It is the cleansing fountain of the blood of Christ, shed for the remission of sin.