Trust in Jehovah as the End Draws Near
“Trust in Jehovah, you people, for all times.”—ISA. 26:4.
1. What contrast is there between God’s servants and people in the world?
WE LIVE in a world where millions no longer know whom or what to trust, perhaps because they have been hurt or disappointed too many times. What a contrast to Jehovah’s servants! Guided by godly wisdom, they know better than to place their trust in this world or its “nobles.” (Ps. 146:3) Rather, they place their lives and their future in Jehovah’s hands, knowing that he loves them and that he always fulfills his Word.—Rom. 3:4; 8:38, 39.
2. How did Joshua attest to God’s trustworthiness?
2 Joshua of old attested to God’s trustworthiness. Toward the end of his life, he said to his fellow Israelites: “You well know with all your hearts and with all your souls that not one word out of all the good words that Jehovah your God has spoken to you has failed. They have all come true for you.”—Josh. 23:14.
3. God’s name reveals what about him?
3 Jehovah fulfills his promises, not just out of love for his servants but especially for the sake of his own name. (Ex. 3: 14; 1 Sam. 12:22) Concerning the divine name, the introduction to The Emphasized Bible, by J. B. Rotherham, states: “[It] becomes a most gracious promise; the Divine capacity of adaptation to any circumstances, any difficulties, any necessities that may arise . . . [It is] a promise, . . . a revelation, a memorial, a pledge. To this Name, God will ever be faithful; of it He will never be ashamed.”
4. (a) What does Isaiah 26:4 exhort us to do? (b) What will we consider in this article?
4 Ask yourself: ‘Do I know Jehovah well enough to have absolute trust in him? Do I face the future with confidence, knowing that God is in full control?’ Says Isaiah 26:4: “Trust in Jehovah, you people, for all times, for in Jah Jehovah is the Rock of times indefinite.” Granted, God does not now miraculously intervene in people’s lives as he did on occasion in Bible times. Nevertheless, as “the Rock of times indefinite,” he can be trusted “for all times.” How does our trustworthy God assist his faithful worshippers today? Let us consider three ways: He strengthens us when we seek his help to resist temptation, he supports us when we have to deal with apathy or outright opposition, and he buoys us up when anxieties weigh us down. As we examine these areas, be sure to reflect on how you can strengthen your trust in Jehovah.
Trust in God When Tempted to Do Wrong
5. As to our trust in God, where may a great test lie?
5 It is one thing to trust in Jehovah when it comes to his promise of Paradise or the resurrection—things for which we yearn. But it may be an entirely different thing to trust in him in moral matters, to be thoroughly convinced at heart that submitting to his ways and standards is right and will lead to the greatest happiness. King Solomon wrote this admonition: “Trust in Jehovah with all your heart and do not lean upon your own understanding. In all your ways take notice of him, and he himself will make your paths straight.” (Prov. 3:5, 6) Note the reference to our “ways” and “paths.” Yes, our whole way of life—not just our Christian hope—should reflect our trust in God. How can we show that trust when temptations arise?
6. How can we strengthen our resolve to reject bad thoughts?
6 Turning away from bad begins in the mind. (Read Romans 8:5; Ephesians 2:3.) How, then, can you strengthen your resolve to reject bad thoughts? Consider these five ways: 1. Seek God’s help through prayer. (Matt. 6:9, 13) 2. Meditate on Bible examples of those who failed to listen to Jehovah and those who listened. Then note how things turned out for them. * (1 Cor. 10:8-11) 3. Reflect on the mental and emotional harm that sin can cause to you and to your loved ones. 4. Think how God must feel when one of his servants falls into gross sin. (Read Psalm 78:40, 41.) 5. Imagine the joy that fills Jehovah’s heart when he sees a loyal worshipper reject bad and do what is right, whether in public or in private. (Ps. 15:1, 2; Prov. 27:11) You too can show you trust in Jehovah.
Trust in God When Facing Apathy and Opposition
7. What tests did Jeremiah face, and how did he at times feel?
7 Many of our brothers serve in territories where endurance is a special challenge. The prophet Jeremiah served in such an environment—the kingdom of Judah during its tumultuous last days. Daily he was buffeted by tests of faith because he obediently announced God’s judgment messages. At one point, even his loyal secretary, Baruch, complained of weariness. (Jer. 45:2, 3) Did Jeremiah give in to discouragement? Well, on occasion, he did feel depressed. “Cursed be the day on which I was born!” he exclaimed. “Why is it that I have come forth from the very womb in order to see hard work and grief and that my days should come to their end in mere shame?”—Jer. 20:14, 15, 18.
8 Yet, Jeremiah did not give up. He continued to trust in Jehovah. As a result, this faithful prophet experienced the fulfillment of Jehovah’s own words recorded at Jeremiah 17:7, 8: “Blessed is the able-bodied man who puts his trust in Jehovah, and whose confidence Jehovah has become. And he will certainly become like a tree planted by the waters, that sends out its roots right by the watercourse; and he will not see when heat comes, but his foliage will actually prove to be luxuriant. And in the year of drought he will not become anxious, nor will he leave off from producing fruit.”
9 Like a luxuriant fruit tree “planted by the waters” or in an irrigated orchard, Jeremiah never ‘left off from producing fruit.’ He refused to be influenced by the wicked ridiculers around him. Rather, he stuck to the Source of life-sustaining “water” and took to heart everything Jehovah told him. (Read Psalm 1:1-3; Jer. 20:9) What a fine example Jeremiah is for us, especially those of us who serve God in difficult territories! If that is your situation, continue to rely heavily on Jehovah, who will grant you endurance as you “make public declaration to his name.”—Heb. 13:15.
10. What blessings do we have, and what should we ask ourselves?
10 To help us cope with life during these last days, Jehovah has given us a truly verdant spiritual estate. Among other things, he has provided the complete Word of God, which is being accurately translated into more and more languages. He has made available an abundance of timely spiritual food through the faithful and discreet slave class. And he has given us the supportive companionship of a vast throng of fellow believers at meetings and assemblies. Do you take full advantage of these provisions? All who do “will cry out joyfully because of the good condition of the heart.” However, those who fail to listen to God “will make outcries because of the pain of heart and . . . will howl because of the sheer breakdown of spirit.”—Isa. 65:13, 14.
Trust in God When Dealing With Anxieties
11, 12. In view of the world’s problems, what is the course of true wisdom?
11 As foretold, a rising flood of woes is affecting mankind. (Matt. 24:6-8; Rev. 12:12) When literal flooding occurs, a common reaction is to run to higher ground or to climb onto the roof of a building—anywhere of higher elevation. Similarly, as the world’s problems mount, millions seek refuge in seemingly lofty financial, political, or religious institutions, as well as in science and technology. But none of these give real security. (Jer. 17:5, 6) Jehovah’s servants, on the other hand, do have a sure refuge—“the Rock of times indefinite.” (Isa. 26:4) The psalmist stated: “[Jehovah] is my rock and my salvation, my secure height.” (Read Psalm 62:6-9.) How do we make this Rock our refuge?
12 We cling to Jehovah when we heed his Word, which often runs contrary to human wisdom. (Ps. 73:23, 24) For instance, people influenced by human wisdom may say: ‘You have only one life; make the most of it.’ ‘Pursue a good career.’ ‘Make a lot of money.’ ‘Buy this, buy that.’ ‘Travel; enjoy the world.’ Godly wisdom, on the other hand, is in line with the advice: “[Let] those making use of the world [be] as those not using it to the full; for the scene of this world is changing.” (1 Cor. 7:31) Likewise, Jesus exhorts us always to put Kingdom interests first and thereby store up “treasures in heaven,” where they will be absolutely secure.—Matt. 6:19, 20.
13. With 1 John 2:15-17 in mind, what should we ask ourselves?
13 Does your attitude toward “the world” and “the things in the world” reflect your complete trust in God? (1 John 2:15-17) Are spiritual riches and privileges of Kingdom service more desirable and important to you than the things the world offers? (Phil. 3:8) Do you strive to maintain a ‘simple eye’? (Matt. 6:22) Of course, God does not want you to be imprudent or irresponsible, especially if you have a family to care for. (1 Tim. 5:8) But he does expect his servants to trust fully in him—not in Satan’s dying world.—Heb. 13:5.
14-16. How have some benefited by maintaining a ‘simple eye’ and keeping Kingdom interests in first place?
14 Consider the example of Richard and Ruth, parents of three young children. “My heart was telling me that I could do more for Jehovah,” says Richard. “I had a comfortable life but felt that I was just giving God my surplus, as it were. After praying about the matter and counting the cost, Ruth and I agreed that I would ask my supervisor for a reduced work schedule of four days a week—even though the country was in the middle of an economic crisis. My request was approved, and I started working the new schedule within one month.” How does Richard feel now?
15 “I get 20 percent less pay than before,” he says, “but now I have an extra 50 days a year to be with my family and train the children. I have been able to double my time in field service, triple my number of Bible studies, and take a greater lead in the congregation. And because I am more available to help with the children, Ruth has been able to auxiliary pioneer from time to time. I am determined to maintain this schedule for as long as possible.”
16 Roy and Petina, who still have a daughter at home, were able to cut back their secular work so as to share in the ministry full-time. “I work three days a week,” says Roy, “and Petina works two. Also, we moved from a house to an apartment, which is much easier to care for. We pioneered before we had our son and daughter, and we never lost the desire to pioneer. So when our children had grown up, we got back into the full-time ministry. No amount of money can compare with the blessings we have received.”
Let “the Peace of God” Guard Your Heart
17. In view of life’s uncertainties, how have the Scriptures comforted you?
17 None of us know what tomorrow may bring, for “time and unforeseen occurrence” befall us all. (Eccl. 9:11) However, uncertainty about tomorrow need not rob us of peace of mind today, as it often does those who lack the security of a warm relationship with God. (Matt. 6:34) The apostle Paul wrote: “Do not be anxious over anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication along with thanksgiving let your petitions be made known to God; and the peace of God that excels all thought will guard your hearts and your mental powers.”—Phil. 4:6, 7.
18, 19. In what ways does God comfort us? Illustrate.
18 Many brothers and sisters in trying situations have experienced inner calm and peace from Jehovah. Says one sister: “A surgeon repeatedly tried to intimidate me into accepting a blood transfusion. ‘What’s this nonsense about no blood?’ was one of his first ‘greetings.’ Then and at other times, I prayed silently to Jehovah, and his peace came over me. I felt like a rock. Despite weakness from my low blood count, I was able to give clear Scriptural reasons for my stand.”
19 God may at times provide needed support by means of a comforting fellow believer or by spiritual food at the right time. You have likely heard a brother or a sister say: “This article is just what I needed. It was written just for me!” Yes, no matter what our circumstances or need may be, Jehovah will prove his love for us if we trust in him. After all, we are his “sheep,” and he has placed his name upon us.—Ps. 100:3; John 10:16; Acts 15:14, 17.
20. Why will Jehovah’s servants reside in security when Satan’s world comes to its end?
20 During the rapidly approaching “day of Jehovah’s fury,” everything in which Satan’s world puts its trust will come crashing down. Gold, silver, and other valuable things will provide no security whatsoever. (Zeph. 1:18; Prov. 11:4) The only refuge will be our “Rock of times indefinite.” (Isa. 26:4) So let us demonstrate our full trust in Jehovah now by walking obediently in his righteous ways, by proclaiming his Kingdom message despite our having to face apathy or opposition, and by rolling all our anxieties on him. As we do these things, we truly will “reside in security and be undisturbed from dread of calamity.”—Prov. 1:33.
Can You Explain?
How can we trust in God
• when tempted to do wrong?
• when facing apathy or opposition?
• when dealing with anxieties?
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Holding to God’s standards leads to happiness
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“Jehovah is the Rock of times indefinite”