“He remembered us when we were low.”—PS. 136:23.
SONG 33 Throw Your Burden on Jehovah
1-2. What situations do many of Jehovah’s people face, and what effect could that have on them?
CONSIDER the following three scenarios: A young brother is diagnosed with a debilitating disease. A hardworking middle-aged brother loses his job and, despite his earnest efforts, cannot find another. A faithful elderly sister becomes increasingly limited in what she is able to do in Jehovah’s service.
2 If you are experiencing something like one of the scenarios just described, you may feel that you are not useful anymore. Those situations can rob you of joy, destroy your self-respect, and interfere with your relationships with other people.
3. How do Satan and those influenced by him regard human life?
3 This world reflects Satan’s view of human life. Satan has always treated humans as if they were of little value. He heartlessly offered Eve a path to freedom, knowing full well that the penalty for disobeying God was death. Satan has always controlled the commercial, political, and religious systems of this world. So it is not surprising that many businessmen, politicians, and religious leaders reflect his lack of respect for human life and dignity.
4. What will we discuss in this article?
4 Jehovah, on the other hand, wants us to feel good about ourselves, and he supports us when we face situations that could make us feel worthless. (Ps. 136:23; Rom. 12:3) This article will discuss how Jehovah helps us in the following situations: (1) When we suffer illness, (2) when we experience economic hardship, and (3) when old age makes us feel as though we had nothing useful to offer in Jehovah’s service. First, however, let us see why we can be confident that each of us is valuable to Jehovah.
JEHOVAH VALUES US
5. What proves to you that humans are valuable to Jehovah?
5 Even though we are made from the dust of the earth, we are worth far more than a handful of dirt. (Gen. 2:7) Consider just some of the reasons why we know that we are valuable to Jehovah. He created humans with the ability to reflect his qualities. (Gen. 1:27) In doing so, he elevated us above the rest of physical creation, putting us in charge of the earth and the animals.—Ps. 8:4-8.
6. What other proof do we have that Jehovah values imperfect humans?
6 Even after Adam sinned, Jehovah continued to value humans. He values us so highly that he gave his beloved Son, Jesus, as a ransom for our sins. (1 John 4:9, 10) Applying the benefits of the ransom, Jehovah will resurrect those who have died as a result of Adam’s sin, “both the righteous and the unrighteous.” (Acts 24:15) His Word shows that we are precious to him no matter what our health condition, financial situation, or age may be.—Acts 10:34, 35.
7. What added reasons do God’s servants have for believing that Jehovah values them?
7 We have added reasons for believing that Jehovah values us. He has drawn us to him and taken notice of how we responded to the good news. (John 6:44) As we began to draw close to Jehovah, he drew closer to us. (Jas. 4:8) Jehovah also invests time and effort in educating us, showing that we are precious to him. He knows the kind of individuals we are now and the kind we can become. And he disciplines us because he loves us. (Prov. 3:11, 12) What powerful evidence that Jehovah values us!
8. How can the words recorded at Psalm 18:27-29 affect the way we view our challenges?
8 Some considered King David to be worthless, but he knew that Jehovah loved and supported him. That thought affected David’s view of his situation. (2 Sam. 16:5-7) When we feel low or face challenges, Jehovah can help us see things differently and he can help us climb over any obstacle. (Read Psalm 18:27-29.) When we have Jehovah’s backing, nothing can stop us from serving him with joy. (Rom. 8:31) Let us now consider those three specific situations when we especially need to remember that Jehovah loves and values us.
WHEN DEALING WITH ILLNESS
9. How might illness affect the way we view ourselves?
9 Illness can take an emotional toll on us, making us feel as if we were no longer useful to anyone. We may feel embarrassed when people notice our limitations or when we must rely on others for help. Even when others are not aware of our illness, we may fight feelings of shame because of how limited we have become. At such distressing times, Jehovah lifts us up. How?
10. According to Proverbs 12:25, what can help us when we are sick?
10 When we are sick, “a good word” can lift our spirits. (Read Proverbs 12:25.) In the Bible, Jehovah has stored up good words that remind us that we matter to him despite our sickness. (Ps. 31:19; 41:3) If we read and even reread those inspired words, Jehovah will help us to deal with the negative emotions that our illness brings.
11. How did one brother experience Jehovah’s help?
11 Consider Jorge’s experience. As a young man, Jorge contracted a debilitating disease that progressed rapidly and made him feel worthless. “I was not prepared for how my illness made me feel or the shame I felt because of the attention it attracted,” says Jorge. “As my condition declined, I thought of how my life would change. I was devastated, and I pleaded with Jehovah for help.” How did Jehovah sustain him? “Because I had trouble concentrating, I was encouraged to read short passages from Psalms that express Jehovah’s care for his servants. I reread those few scriptures each day, and I found them to be comforting and reassuring. In time, other people began to see that I was smiling more. They even said that my positive attitude encouraged them. I realized that Jehovah had answered my prayers! He had helped me to change the way I looked at myself. I began to focus on what his Word says about how he views me despite my illness.”
12. When dealing with an illness, how can you experience Jehovah’s support?
12 If you are dealing with an illness, be assured that Jehovah knows what you are going through. Beg him for help so that you can develop a wholesome view of your situation. Then use the Bible to retrieve the good words Jehovah has stored up for you. Focus on passages that show how much Jehovah values his servants. As you do, you will see that Jehovah is good to all those who serve him faithfully.—Ps. 84:11.
WHEN DEALING WITH ECONOMIC HARDSHIP
13. How could the loss of a job make a family head feel?
13 Every family head wants to be able to provide the necessities of life for his family. But suppose that, through no fault of his own, a brother loses his job. He diligently tries to find another one but has no success. Faced with those circumstances, he may feel worthless. How can focusing on Jehovah’s promises help him?
14. For what reasons does Jehovah keep his promises?
14 Jehovah always keeps his promises. (Josh. 21:45; 23:14) He does so for a number of reasons. First, his name, or reputation, is at stake. Jehovah has given his word that he will care for his loyal servants, and he feels obligated to fulfill that promise. (Ps. 31:1-3) In addition, Jehovah knows that we would be devastated if he did not care for those who are part of his family. He promises to provide for us both materially and spiritually, and nothing will stop him from fulfilling that promise!—Matt. 6:30-33; 24:45.
15. (a) What challenge did the first-century Christians face? (b) What confidence does Psalm 37:18, 19 provide?
15 When we remember why Jehovah keeps his promises, we can face economic challenges with confidence. Consider the example of the first-century Christians. When great persecution arose against the congregation in Jerusalem, “all except the apostles were scattered.” (Acts 8:1) Think what that would have meant. Economic hardship! Christians likely lost their homes and businesses. Yet, Jehovah did not abandon them; neither did they lose their joy. (Acts 8:4; Heb. 13:5, 6; Jas. 1:2, 3) Jehovah supported those faithful Christians, and he will support us.—Read Psalm 37:18, 19.
WHEN COPING WITH THE LIMITATIONS OF OLD AGE
16. What circumstance could make us wonder if Jehovah values our worship?
16 As we get older, we might begin to feel that we have little to give to Jehovah. King David may have been plagued by similar feelings as he grew older. (Ps. 71:9) How can Jehovah help us?
17. What can we learn from the experience of a sister named Jheri?
17 Consider the experience of a sister named Jheri. She was invited to attend a maintenance training session at the Kingdom Hall, but she did not want to go. She said: “I’m old, I’m a widow, and I don’t have a single skill Jehovah can use. I’m useless.” The night before the training session, she poured her heart out to Jehovah in prayer. When she arrived at the Kingdom Hall the next day, she still wondered whether she should really be there. During the program, one of the speakers emphasized that our most important skill is our willingness to be taught by Jehovah. Jheri recalls: “I thought, ‘I have that skill!’ I started crying as I realized that Jehovah was answering my prayer. He was assuring me that I do have something of value to give and that he was willing to teach me!” Looking back, Jheri says: “I walked into that session feeling nervous, discouraged, and low. But I walked out of it feeling confident, encouraged, and valued!”
18. How does the Bible show that Jehovah continues to value our worship as we get older?
18 As we get older, we can be certain that Jehovah still has work for us to do. (Ps. 92:12-15) Jesus taught us that no matter how limited our abilities or how small our efforts seem to us, Jehovah treasures whatever we can do in his service. (Luke 21:2-4) So focus on what you can do. You can, for example, speak about Jehovah, pray for your brothers, and encourage others to stay faithful. Jehovah considers you to be his fellow worker, not because of what you accomplish, but because of your willing obedience to him.—1 Cor. 3:5-9.
19. What assurance does Romans 8:38, 39 give us?
19 How grateful we are to worship Jehovah, a God who truly values those who serve him! He created us to do his will, and it is true worship that adds real meaning to our lives. (Rev. 4:11) Though the world may view us as worthless, Jehovah is not ashamed of us. (Heb. 11:16, 38) When we feel weighed down by illness, economic hardship, or old age, let us remember that nothing can separate us from the love of our heavenly Father.—Read Romans 8:38, 39.
^ par. 5 Have you faced situations that made you feel worthless? This article will remind you of just how much Jehovah values you. It will discuss how you can keep your self-respect no matter what happens in your life.
SONG 30 My Father, My God and Friend