Trouble comes in many forms. We certainly cannot cover every kind of hardship here, but let us take a closer look at the four examples that we have already mentioned. Notice how people facing very different problems have found genuine comfort from God.
WHEN FACING UNEMPLOYMENT
“My wife and I lost our jobs at the same time,” recalls Seth. * “For two years we had to survive on family handouts and a few odd jobs. As a result, my wife, Priscilla, became depressed, and I felt worthless.
“How did we cope? Priscilla constantly reminded herself of Jesus’ words at Matthew 6:34. He said that we should not become anxious about tomorrow, since each day has its own anxieties. And her heartfelt prayers gave her the strength to keep going. In my case, Psalm 55:22 comforted me. Like the psalmist, I threw my burden on Jehovah, and I found that he did sustain me. Although I now have a job, we keep our lifestyle simple in line with Jesus’ advice at Matthew 6:20-22. Above all, we have drawn closer to God and closer to each other.”
“I was frightened about the future when our small family business went bankrupt,” confesses Jonathan. “Because of an economic crisis, 20 years of hard work came to nothing. My wife and I started arguing about money. We couldn’t even buy with a credit card, for fear it would not be honored.
“But God’s Word and his spirit helped us to make good decisions. I learned to accept any sort of work, and we cut down on all unnecessary expenses. As Jehovah’s Witnesses, we also got support from fellow believers. They bolstered our self-esteem and lent us a helping hand when times were really tough.”
WHEN A MARRIAGE BREAKS UP
“When my husband suddenly left me, I felt hurt and angry,” recalls Raquel. “And a terrible sadness overwhelmed me. But I drew close to God, and he comforted me. The peace of God protected my heart when I turned to him daily in prayer. It seemed to me that he repaired my broken heart.
“And thanks to his Word, the Bible, I conquered feelings of anger and resentment. I took to heart the words of the apostle Paul at Romans 12:21: ‘Do not let yourself be conquered by the evil, but keep conquering the evil with the good.’
“One wise counselor helped me to see the need to move on. He showed me Ecclesiastes 3:6 and kindly told me that there is a time when we have to ‘give up as lost.’ It was tough advice, but it was what I needed. I now have new goals in life.”
“When your marriage breaks up, you need support,” Elizabeth states. “I had a dear friend who gave me that support, day after day. She cried with me, comforted me, and made me feel loved rather than rejected. I am convinced that Jehovah used her to heal my emotional wounds.”
IN TIMES OF SICKNESS OR OLD AGE
Luis, quoted in the opening article of this series, has a serious heart condition, and he almost died on two occasions. He now needs to be on oxygen 16 hours a day. “I pray to Jehovah constantly,” he says. “And after praying to God, I feel his spirit giving me strength. Prayer gives me the courage to keep going because I have faith in him and know that he cares for me.”
“I want to do so many things, but I just can’t,” explains Petra, who is in her 80’s. “Seeing my strength diminish is very hard. I feel drained and have to rely on medication. I often think of the way Jesus asked his Father to let a certain hardship pass by if it was possible. But Jehovah gave Jesus strength, and he strengthens me. Prayer is my daily therapy. I feel much better after talking to God.”
Julian, who has been battling multiple sclerosis for nearly 30 years, feels likewise. “I have exchanged an executive’s chair for a wheelchair,” he says. “But my life is worthwhile because it is devoted to serving others. Giving can alleviate suffering, and Jehovah does keep his promise to strengthen us in time of need. Like the apostle Paul, I can truly say: ‘For all things I have the strength through the one who gives me power.’”
IN TIMES OF LOSS
“When my father died in a traffic accident, I could not believe it at first,” Antonio recalls. “It seemed so unfair
“During those dreadful days, I kept asking Jehovah to help me control my emotions and to give me peace. And I gradually felt calmer. I remembered that the Bible explains that ‘unexpected events’ can befall any one of us. Since God cannot lie, I am convinced that I will see my father again in the resurrection.”
Robert, mentioned in the opening article, has similar thoughts. He says: “My wife and I experienced the peace of mind spoken of at Philippians 4:6, 7. It came to us through our prayers to Jehovah. This inner peace enabled us to speak to news reporters about our hope of the resurrection. Although the plane crash took the life of our son, we still have many happy memories of times shared together. We try to concentrate on them.
“When fellow Witnesses told us that they had seen us explaining our faith calmly on television, we told them that doubtless it was thanks to so many prayers being offered in our behalf. I truly believe that Jehovah was supporting us by means of their countless messages of comfort.”
As the foregoing examples show, God can provide comfort to people facing a wide range of problems and challenges. What about you? No matter what trouble you may face in life, there is comfort available to help you through the hard times. * So why not turn to Jehovah for help? He is “the God of all comfort.”
God knows what causes depression and how to help sufferers cope. He provides comfort in his Word.