“[I have] thoughts of peace, and not of calamity, to give you a future and a hope.”—Jeremiah 29:11.
“HOPE IS . . . AN ESSENTIAL ELEMENT OF OUR SPIRITUAL LIFEBLOOD,” states the book Hope in the Age of Anxiety. “And it is the best medicine for overcoming feelings of helplessness, alienation, and fear.”
Our need for hope is reflected in the pages of the Bible, which also cautions us against false hopes. “Do not put your trust in princes, nor in a son of man, who cannot bring salvation,” says Psalm 146:3. Instead of trusting in human efforts to save us, we are wise to trust in our Creator, who has the power to fulfill all his promises. What has he promised us? Consider the following.
WICKEDNESS WILL END; LASTING PEACE FOR THE RIGHTEOUS WILL FOLLOW: “Just a little while longer, and the wicked will be no more . . . But the meek will possess the earth, and they will find exquisite delight in the abundance of peace,” states Psalm 37:10, 11. Verse 29 adds that “the righteous . . . will live forever” on the earth.
AN END TO WARFARE: “Jehovah . . . is bringing an end to wars throughout the earth. He breaks the bow and shatters the spear; he burns the military wagons with fire.”—Psalm 46:8, 9.
NO MORE SICKNESS, SUFFERING, OR DEATH: “The tent of God is with mankind . . . He will wipe out every tear from their eyes, and death will be no more, neither will mourning nor outcry nor pain be anymore.”—Revelation 21:3, 4.
AMPLE FOOD FOR ALL: “There will be an abundance of grain on the earth; on the top of the mountains it will overflow.”—Psalm 72:16.
A JUST RULERSHIP BY ONE WORLD GOVERNMENT—CHRIST’S KINGDOM: “To [Jesus Christ] there were given rulership, honor, and a kingdom, that the peoples, nations, and language groups should all serve him. His rulership is an everlasting rulership that will not pass away, and his kingdom will not be destroyed.”—Daniel 7:14.
How can we be sure of those promises? When on earth, Jesus publicly confirmed his credentials as King-Designate. He healed the sick, fed the poor, and raised the dead. Even more important were his teachings, for they include principles that will enable people to live together forever in peace and unity. Jesus also foretold future events, including those that would mark the final days of the present world.
THE STORM BEFORE THE CALM
Jesus foretold that the last days would be marked, not by peace and security, but by the very opposite! His composite sign of “the conclusion of the system of things” includes international warfare, food shortages, pestilences, and great earthquakes. (Matthew 24:3, 7; Luke 21:10, 11; Revelation 6:3-8) Jesus also said: “Because of the increasing of lawlessness, the love of the greater number will grow cold.”—Matthew 24:12.
That coldness is evident in many ways, which another Bible writer specifically foretold. At 2 Timothy 3:1-5, we read that in “the last days,” people in general would be obsessed with self, money, and pleasures. They would be arrogant and fierce. Families would lack natural affection, and children would be disobedient to parents. Religious hypocrisy would be commonplace.
Those stormlike conditions confirm that this world is in its last days. They also confirm that the calm of Kingdom rule is near. Indeed, Jesus included the following assurance in his prophecy about the last days: “This good news of the Kingdom will be preached in all the inhabited earth for a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come.”—Matthew 24:14.
That good news gives fair warning to wrongdoers and hope to the righteous, assuring the latter that the promised blessings will soon become reality. Would you like to learn more about those blessings? If so, please turn to the back page of this magazine.