Dear fellow believer:
As you know, the Bible is largely a book about people. Many were faithful men and women who faced challenges similar to our own. They had “feelings like ours.” (James 5:17) Some were weighed down by troubles and anxiety. Others were deeply hurt by family members or fellow worshippers. And a number were plagued with guilt over their own mistakes.
Had such individuals left Jehovah completely? No. Many were like the psalmist who prayed: “I have strayed like a lost sheep. Search for your servant, for I have not forgotten your commandments.” (Psalm 119:176) Can you relate to those sentiments?
Jehovah never forgets his worshippers who stray from the fold. On the contrary, he reaches out to them—often doing so through their fellow believers. Consider, for example, how Jehovah helped his servant Job, who experienced a number of calamities—including financial setbacks, the loss of loved ones, and a severe health problem. Job also endured hurtful words from those who should have been there to support him. But he never turned his back on Jehovah, although he did go astray in his thinking for a time. (Job 1:22; 2:10) How did Jehovah assist Job to regain his balance?
One way that Jehovah helped Job was through a fellow believer named Elihu. When Job expressed his concerns, Elihu listened and was moved to speak. What would he say? Would he criticize Job or try to motivate him by using guilt or shame? Did Elihu view himself as superior to Job? Far from it! Moved by God’s spirit, Elihu said: “I am just like you before the true God; from the clay I too was shaped.” Then he reassured Job: “No fear of me should terrify you, and no pressure from me should overwhelm you.” (Job 33:6, 7) Rather than adding to Job’s burdens, Elihu lovingly offered the counsel and encouragement that Job needed.
Please know that it is in a similar spirit that we have prepared this brochure. First we listened, carefully considering the circumstances and expressions of a number who drifted away. (Proverbs 18:13) Then we turned to the Scriptures, prayerfully examining accounts of how Jehovah helped his servants in the past when they faced similar circumstances. Finally we combined those Scriptural accounts with modern-day experiences to produce this brochure. We warmly invite you to examine this material. Please be assured of our sincere love for you.
Governing Body of Jehovah’s Witnesses