“Come to Me, . . . and I Will Refresh You”
‘Preaching the Word’ Brings Refreshment
HE WAS a perfect man on an important mission. So effective were his methods of instruction that “the crowds were astounded at his way of teaching.” (Matthew 7:28) He was also a tireless preacher. His time, energy, and resources were directed primarily toward preaching about God’s Kingdom. Indeed, Jesus Christ traveled the length and breadth of his homeland as an incomparable preacher and teacher.—Matthew 9:35.
Jesus’ urgent mission was to preach “the good news of the kingdom” to his contemporaries and to groom his disciples for the same work on a global scale. (Matthew 4:23; 24:14; 28:19, 20) Would the weight of their preaching commission and its urgency as well as the sheer immensity of such activity crush his imperfect and limited followers?
Absolutely not! After instructing his disciples to pray to “the Master of the harvest,” Jehovah God, for more workers, Jesus sent them out to educate the people. (Matthew 9:38; 10:1) He then offered his assurance that the responsibility of being his follower—including the commission to preach—would bring genuine relief and comfort. Said Jesus: “Come to me, . . . and I will refresh you.”—Matthew 11:28.
A Source of Joy
How compassionate, loving, and kind that invitation is! It expresses Jesus’ sensitive concern for his followers. His disciples do find refreshment in fulfilling their responsibility to preach “the good news” of God’s Kingdom. This brings them real joy and satisfaction.—John 4:36.
Long before Jesus was on the earth, the Scriptures stressed that joy must be a feature of sacred service to God. This was made clear when the psalmist sang: “Shout in triumph to Jehovah, all you people of the earth. Serve Jehovah with rejoicing. Come in before him with a joyful cry.” (Psalm 100:1, 2) Today, people of all nations exult in Jehovah, and their expressions of praise are like the triumphant shout of a victorious army. Those truly devoted to God come into his presence “with a joyful cry.” And that is fitting, indeed, for Jehovah is “the happy God,” who wants his servants to find joy in carrying out their dedication to him.—1 Timothy 1:11.
How is it possible that hard work in the field ministry does not wear us down but is actually refreshing? Well, doing Jehovah’s work was like reinvigorating food for Jesus. He said: “My food is for me to do the will of him that sent me and to finish his work.”—John 4:34.
Similarly, zealous Christian preachers today find joy as they “preach the word.” (2 Timothy 4:2) Connie, a middle-aged Christian woman who spends more than 70 hours a month in the preaching work, states: “After engaging in the ministry, I have a feeling of satisfaction and a sense of well-being, even if I am tired at the end of the day.”
What if the Kingdom message is not favorably received? Connie continues: “Regardless of the response, never has there been a time when I have regretted sharing in the ministry. Besides knowing that I am doing what pleases Jehovah, I consider it a pleasure to speak about the truth because as I do so, the marvelous hope from the Bible is reinforced in my heart.”
Others find that helping people to acquire accurate knowledge of God gives meaning to their own life. Meloney, a young woman who regularly spends more than 50 hours a month in the preaching work, remarks: “The ministry is refreshing because it gives my life direction and purpose. Personal problems and everyday stresses fade into the background when I share in the service.”
Millicent, another zealous minister of Jehovah’s Witnesses, comments: “The ministry gives value to each day I spend talking to others about God’s purpose for mankind and explaining how Paradise will be restored on earth. It makes Jehovah real to me on a daily basis and gives me peace and a measure of inward happiness that cannot be attained by any other means.”
Kingdom preachers certainly are refreshed by the Christian ministry, and those who accept the life-giving message are comforted by it. Although a schoolteacher in Portugal had been trained by nuns and priests, she felt that her spiritual needs were not filled by her church. Her Bible questions remained unanswered. A regular Bible study conducted by one of Jehovah’s Witnesses brought her one Scriptural insight after another. The schoolteacher was excited. “I eagerly awaited my study every Wednesday,” she said, “as my questions were answered one by one with convincing Bible proof.” Today, this woman is a dedicated servant of Jehovah, and she too is refreshing others with Bible truth.
It is clear, then, that Jehovah’s Witnesses are not overwhelmed by the seriousness of their preaching commission or the vastness of their global territory. Neither apathy nor opposition dampen their spirits. They have vigorously applied themselves to fulfill their Kingdom-preaching commission. They share the good news with people wherever they may be found—at a truck stop in the United States (1), at a Korean airport (2), in the Andes (3), or at a London market (4). Jesus’ present-day followers joyfully carry on their rewarding work worldwide. And true to his promise, he has refreshed them and has used them to refresh many others.—Revelation 22:17.