5 Bible Characters Who Had Major Impacts Later in Life
- Emma Danzey Contributing Writer
- Updated Jan 18, 2023
Many adults retire or get into their later years in life and wonder what their purposes are in this season. It can be tempting to sit back, coast, and be self-focused. After all, you have worked for so many years and saved and are finding freedom in the later years.
However, God teaches us that we are not on this earth for ourselves, we are here for His glory. Today, we are going to look into Bible characters who had major impacts in their later years.
Anna was an elderly woman who was a prophetess in the New Testament. She had the drive to serve the Lord. She was a prayer warrior, fasted, worshipped all day, and was dedicated to being in the temple of God. Although she had been a widow for many years, Anna delighted in being purposeful in ministry. She could easily have checked out and mourned the rest of her life, but Anna decided to take steps to make a difference in the kingdom of God. She even had the privilege of seeing baby Jesus with Mary and Joseph.
Luke 2:36-37 says, “There was also a prophet, Anna, the daughter of Penuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was very old; she had lived with her husband seven years after her marriage, and then was a widow until she was eighty-four. She never left the temple but worshiped night and day, fasting and praying.”
Paul, formerly known as Saul was a Pharisee and a persecutor of Christians. Jesus met him on the road to Damascus and his life was forever changed. Paul grew so much in his faith and dedicated his entire life to missionary work. He took three missionary journeys and shared the gospel with many. He took time to mentor a man younger than him named Timothy, wrote letters to encourage various churches, and helped equip leaders. Paul did not waste his time on earth; he ministered and shared the hope of Christ no matter what age he was. He ended up being martyred for his faith.
Philippians 4:11-13 says, “Not that I speak in regard to need, for I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content: I know how to be abased, and I know how to abound. Everywhere and in all things I have learned both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”
To be honest, Sarah made some pretty sinful decisions in her lifetime. She did not trust God and made hasty and ungodly choices out of her lack of faith in the Lord. After giving her maid to her husband Abraham to conceive a child, she then emotionally abused Hagar and was jealous of her. However, Sarah finished well. Towards the end of her life, she had Isaac just like God had promised and she even laughed about it with joy. Sarah had her dream of being a mother. She was able to fulfill the calling the Lord had for her in His time and was even mentioned in the Hall of Faith found in Hebrews 11:11.
Hebrews 11:11 says, “By faith Sarah herself received power to conceive, even when she was past the age, since she considered him faithful who had promised.”
Peter was one of Jesus’ 12 disciples. He is known for many wonderful moments such as walking on water and being the one on whom Jesus said He would build his church. However, during Jesus’ arrest, Peter rejected Christ out of fear. He denied Jesus three times, but we later see Peter reaffirmed three times by Jesus after his resurrection. Peter goes on to be a church elder and leader, he established the foundations of the church, and likely did a mission to Rome where he was eventually martyred for his faith.
Matthew 81:17-19 says, “Jesus replied, ‘Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah! For this was not revealed to you by flesh and blood, but by My Father in heaven. And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades will not prevail against it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven. Whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.’”
Moses was a man who was called to go back to Egypt later in life. He went before Pharaoh at the age of 80 (Exodus 3). Instead of ignoring this call from God through a burning bush, he obeyed the Lord; he went to set his people free. Moses was used as a voice for the Israelites, then after 10 plagues, Moses was able to bring the people out through the Red Sea and into the wilderness.
It was there that he went to Mt. Sinai to retrieve the 10 commandments. He established leaders, and was involved in the construction of the tabernacle. Unfortunately, he sinned against God and was not able to take the people into the promised land. However, he prepared Joshua, and the Lord graciously showed him the land on Mt. Nebo where Moses died. Moses was a faithful servant of God and a leader throughout his entire lifetime.
Hebrews 11:24-25 says, “By faith Moses, when he was grown up, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter, choosing rather to be mistreated with the people of God than to enjoy the fleeting pleasures of sin.”
No matter what your age, these are just a few examples of men and women who lived their lives for the glory of God. Your calling, vocation, or type of ministry may change with age, but you are still a super valuable member of the kingdom of God. You have a place and a purpose. Live it out each day confidently knowing that you make a difference.
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Emma Danzey’s mission in life stems from Ephesians 3:20-21, to embrace the extraordinary. One of her greatest joys is to journey with the Lord in His Scriptures. She is wife to Drew and mom to Graham. Emma serves alongside her husband in ministry, she focuses most of her time in the home, but loves to provide articles on the Bible, life questions, and Christian lifestyle. Her article on Interracial Marriage was the number 1 on Crosswalk in 2021. Most recently, Emma released Treasures for Tots, (Scripture memory songs) for young children. During her ministry career, Emma has released Wildflower: Blooming Through Singleness, two worship EP albums, founded and led Polished Conference Ministries, and ran the Refined Magazine. You can view her articles on her blog at emmadanzey.wordpress.com and check out her Instagram @Emmadanzey.