Soon—A World Without Despair
LIFE is getting increasingly demanding, and the reasons for despair are many. When frustrated, we may find it hard to control our emotions. Why, even people who love life can become desperately unhappy! Consider a few examples.
In ancient times, the prophet Moses got so discouraged that he said to God: “Please kill me off altogether, if I have found favor in your eyes, and let me not look upon my calamity.” (Numbers 11:15) Fleeing from his enemies, the prophet Elijah exclaimed: “It is enough! Now, O Jehovah, take my soul [life] away.” (1 Kings 19:4) And the prophet Jonah said: “O Jehovah, take away, please, my soul from me, for my dying is better than my being alive.” (Jonah 4:3) But neither Moses, Elijah, nor Jonah committed suicide. All of them knew God’s commandment: “You must not murder.” (Exodus 20:13) Having strong faith in God, they were aware that no situation is hopeless and that life is a gift from God.
What about the problems we now face? In addition to emotional distress or physical problems, we may at times have to put up with ill-treatment from family members, neighbors, or colleagues. The Bible speaks of people who are filled “with all unrighteousness, wickedness, covetousness, badness, being full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, malicious disposition, being whisperers, backbiters, haters of God, insolent, haughty, self-assuming, inventors of injurious things, disobedient to parents, without understanding, false to agreements, having no natural affection, merciless.” (Romans 1:28-31) Being surrounded by such people day after day may make life seem like a burden. How can we help those who need comfort and relief?
Willingness to Listen
Adversities and suffering can cause an individual to lose his mental balance. The wise man said: “Mere oppression may make a wise one act crazy.” (Ecclesiastes 7:7) So a person who talks about suicide should be taken seriously. The problems he is having, whether emotional, physical, mental, or spiritual, may require prompt attention. Of course, professional treatments and therapies vary, and a personal decision must be made regarding forms of therapy.—Galatians 6:5.
Whatever the reason for suicidal feelings, having a discerning, sympathetic, and patient person to confide in may well make a difference. Family members and friends who are willing to listen may be able to help. In addition to fellow feeling and kindness, upbuilding thoughts from God’s Word can be very helpful to those who have lost hope.
Spiritual Help for the Distressed
You may be surprised to learn how encouraging Bible reading can be. Although it is not a mental-health manual, the Bible can help us to value life. Said King Solomon: “I have come to know that there is nothing better for them than to rejoice and to do good during one’s life; and also that every man should eat and indeed drink and see good for all his hard work. It is the gift of God.” (Ecclesiastes 3:12, 13) Besides satisfying work that gives meaning to life, simple things—such as fresh air, sunlight, flowers, trees, and birds—are God-given gifts that we can enjoy.
Even more uplifting is the Bible’s assurance that Jehovah God and his Son, Jesus Christ, care about us. (John 3:16; 1 Peter 5:6, 7) Appropriately, the psalmist said: “Blessed be Jehovah, who daily carries the load for us, the true God of our salvation.” (Psalm 68:19) Although we may feel insignificant and unworthy, God invites us to pray to him. Rest assured that no one who humbly and sincerely asks for his help will be despised.
No one can rightly expect a problem-free life today. (Job 14:1) Yet, the truth from God’s Word has shown many people that suicide is not the right way to solve their problems. Just consider how the apostle Paul helped a desperate jailer who, “being awakened out of sleep and seeing the prison doors were open, drew his sword and was about to do away with himself, imagining that the prisoners had escaped.” In an instant, that jailer had concluded that suicide was better than a humiliating and perhaps protracted death for his failure. The apostle called out: “Do not hurt yourself, for we are all here!” Paul did not stop with that statement. In fact, he and Silas comforted the jailer and responded to his question: “Sirs, what must I do to get saved?” They answered: “Believe on the Lord Jesus and you will get saved, you and your household.” Then they spoke Jehovah’s word to him and his household, with the result that “he and his were baptized without delay.” That jailer and all his household rejoiced greatly and found new meaning in life.—Acts 16:27-34.
Today, what a relief it is to know that God is not responsible for wickedness! His Word identifies a wicked spirit, “the one called Devil and Satan,” as the one who is “misleading the entire inhabited earth.” But his time is running out. (Revelation 12:9, 12) Soon, all the distress that Satan and his demons have brought upon earth’s inhabitants will end by divine intervention. Then God’s promised new world of righteousness will bring about a permanent end to the causes behind hopelessness and suicide.—2 Peter 3:13.
Consolation for Those Crying for Help
Even now, those who are despondent can draw comfort from the Scriptures. (Romans 15:4) The psalmist David sang: “A heart broken and crushed, O God, you will not despise.” (Psalm 51:17) True, we inescapably meet with some trials and feel the effects of imperfection. But taking in accurate knowledge of our kind, loving, and reasonable heavenly Father will give us reassurance that we are precious in his eyes. God can become our foremost Friend and Instructor. If we cultivate an intimate relationship with Jehovah God, he will never disappoint us. “I, Jehovah, am your God,” says our Creator, “the One teaching you to benefit yourself, the One causing you to tread in the way in which you should walk.”—Isaiah 48:17.
Reliance on God has helped many people. To illustrate: Mara had already been weakened by prolonged depression when she lost her only son in a traffic accident. * She panicked and tried to take her own life. Now, however, she wakes up early every day to care for her housework. She enjoys listening to music and helping others. The hope that “there is going to be a resurrection of both the righteous and the unrighteous” has taken some of the sting out of the tragic death of her dear son and has strengthened her faith in God. (Acts 24:15) Since Mara never had the desire to become like an angel in heaven, the words of Psalm 37:11 have touched her heart: “The meek ones themselves will possess the earth, and they will indeed find their exquisite delight in the abundance of peace.”
Another Brazilian woman, Sandra, worked very hard at being the perfect mother to her three children. She admits: “I was so busy that when my father suddenly died and I, at the same time, discovered that my husband was having an affair with another woman, I did not even think about praying to God for help.” In despair Sandra attempted to kill herself. What has helped her to recover? Her appreciation for spiritual things. “Every night before I go to sleep, I read the Bible, and I try to identify with the people I read about. I also read the Watchtower and Awake! magazines, and I am especially fond of the life stories because they help me to be content with my lot in life.” Knowing that Jehovah is her best friend, she has learned to be specific in her prayers.
A Future Without Despair
What a comfort it is to know that human suffering is temporary! Under the rule of God’s Kingdom, children and adults who are now victims of crime, injustice, or prejudice will rejoice. As foretold in a prophetic psalm, Jehovah’s appointed King, Jesus Christ, “will deliver the poor one crying for help, also the afflicted one and whoever has no helper.” Moreover, “he will feel sorry for the lowly one and the poor one, and the souls of the poor ones he will save.” Indeed, “from oppression and from violence he will redeem their soul, and their blood will be precious in his eyes.”—Psalm 72:12-14.
The time for the fulfillment of those prophetic words is near. Does the thought of enjoying everlasting life on earth under such conditions appeal to you? If so, you have reason to be joyful and to cherish life as a gift from God. And if you share these comforting Scriptural promises with others, you may bring great happiness into the lives of those who cry for help in this unfeeling, loveless world.
^ par. 15 Some names have been changed.
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There are many occasions for happiness today
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Do you look forward to a world without despair?