“Find exquisite delight in Jehovah, and he will grant you the desires of your heart.”
1. What must young people decide about their future? What can help them not to be overly anxious? (See opening picture.)
YOU young ones will probably agree that before starting a journey, it is wise to plan where you will go. Life is like a journey, and the time to plan where you want to go is when you are young. Of course, it may not be easy to make such plans. A girl named Heather said: “It’s scary. You have to decide what to do with the rest of your life.” If you feel this way, remember that Jehovah says: “Do not be anxious, for I am your God. I will fortify you, yes, I will help you.”
2. How do you know that Jehovah wants you to plan for a happy future?
2 Jehovah encourages you to plan wisely for your future. (Ecclesiastes 12:1; Matthew 6:20) He wants you to be happy. This becomes clear when you see, hear, and taste the things he created. Jehovah also cares for us in other ways. He gives us advice and teaches us the best way to live. So when people reject his wise advice, he is not pleased. He tells those who do not follow his guidance: “You chose what displeased me. . . . Look! My servants will rejoice, but you will suffer shame. Look! My servants will shout joyfully because of the good condition of the heart.” (Isaiah 65:12-14) When we make wise choices in life, we bring glory to Jehovah.
PLANS THAT WILL MAKE YOU HAPPY
3. What does Jehovah recommend for you?
3 What plans does Jehovah recommend for you? In order to be happy, you need to know Jehovah and serve him. This is the way Jehovah created humans. (Psalm 128:1; Matthew 5:3) Animals just eat, drink, and have babies. But Jehovah wants you to plan your life in a way that will be happy and meaningful. Your Creator is “the God of love,” “the happy God,” who made humans “in his image.” (2 Corinthians 13:11; 1 Timothy 1:11; Genesis 1:27) You will be happy when you imitate our loving God. The Bible says: “There is more happiness in giving than there is in receiving.” (Acts 20:35) Have you not felt this yourself? This is a basic truth about life. So Jehovah wants you to make your plans for the future based on love for others and for him.
You will be happy when you show love
4, 5. What made Jesus happy?
4 Jesus Christ set the perfect example for you young ones. When he was a child, he must have played and had fun. As God’s Word says, there is “a time to laugh” and “a time to dance.” (Ecclesiastes 3:4) Jesus also drew close to Jehovah by studying the Scriptures. When he was 12 years old, the teachers at the temple were amazed by “his understanding and his answers.”
5 When Jesus became an adult, doing what God asked him to do made him happy. For example, God wanted him “to declare good news to the poor” and “a recovery of sight to the blind.” (Luke 4:18) Psalm 40:8 describes Jesus’ feelings: “To do your will, O my God, is my delight.” Jesus enjoyed teaching people about his Father. (Read Luke 10:21.) Once, after talking to a woman about true worship, Jesus said to his disciples: “My food is to do the will of him who sent me and to finish his work.” (John 4:31-34) Jesus was happy because he showed love for God and for others. If you do the same, you will be happy too.
6. Why is it good to talk to others about your plans for the future?
6 Many Christians started pioneering when they were young, and this made them happy. Could you talk to some of them about your plans? “Plans fail when there is no consultation, but there is accomplishment through many advisers.” (Proverbs 15:22) These brothers and sisters will probably tell you that pioneering gives you an education that will help you throughout your life. Jesus learned many things from his Father when he was in heaven. Then, during his ministry on earth, he continued to learn. He experienced joy as he shared the good news with others and kept his integrity in difficult circumstances. (Read Isaiah 50:4; Hebrews 5:8; 12:2) Let us see why full-time service can make you happy.
WHY MAKING DISCIPLES IS THE BEST WORK
7. Why do many young ones enjoy making disciples?
7 Jesus told us to go “make disciples” and teach people. (Matthew 28:19, 20) If you plan to make this work your career, you will have a satisfying life that honors God. As with any career, you need time to become skilled. A brother named Timothy who started pioneering as a teenager said: “I like serving Jehovah full-time because it’s the way I express my love for him. At first, I couldn’t start any Bible studies, but later I moved to another territory, and within a month I started several studies. One student began coming to the Kingdom Hall. After I attended the two-month Bible School for Single Brothers, I received a new assignment where I have started four studies. I love teaching people, as I can see that holy spirit is changing them.” * (See footnote.)
8. What have some young people done in order to preach to more people?
8 Some young people have learned another language. For example, Jacob, from North America, writes: “When I was seven, many of my classmates were Vietnamese. I wanted to tell them about Jehovah, so after a while I made plans to learn their language. For the most part, I learned by comparing the English and Vietnamese editions of The Watchtower. I also made friends in a nearby Vietnamese-language congregation. When I was 18, I started pioneering. Later, I attended the Bible School for Single Brothers. This helped me with my present pioneer assignment, where I am the only elder in a Vietnamese-language group. Many Vietnamese people are amazed that I have learned their language. They invite me in, and often I can study the Bible with them. Some have progressed to baptism.”
9. What does the work of making disciples teach us?
9 The work of making disciples teaches you good work habits, how to communicate well, and how to be confident and tactful. (Proverbs 21:5; 2 Timothy 2:24) But this work is especially joyful because you learn how to prove what you believe from the Scriptures. You also learn how to work closely with Jehovah.
10. How can you find joy in the disciple-making work even when your territory is difficult?
10 You can find joy in the disciple-making work even if few people in your territory want to study the Bible. To make disciples, the whole congregation works together as a team. Although only one brother or sister may find a person who becomes a disciple, we all are happy because we all shared in the search. For example, Brandon, who pioneered for nine years in an area where few people studied the Bible, says: “I like preaching the good news because it is what Jehovah asks us to do. I started pioneering soon after finishing school. I enjoy encouraging the young brothers in our congregation and seeing their spiritual progress. After I attended the Bible School for Single Brothers, I received a new pioneer assignment. It’s true that I have never found anyone in the territory who progressed to baptism, but others have. I’m glad I planned to share fully in the disciple-making work.”
WHERE YOUR PLANS MAY LEAD YOU
11. What form of service to Jehovah have many young people enjoyed?
11 There are many opportunities to serve Jehovah. For example, many young people help in construction work. Hundreds of new Kingdom Halls are needed. These places honor Jehovah, so helping to build them can make you happy. You can also have the joy of working with your brothers and sisters. And you can learn many things, such as how to do a good job in a safe way and how to cooperate with your overseers.
12. How may pioneer service lead to other opportunities?
12 A brother named Kevin says: “Ever since I was a little boy, I have wanted to serve Jehovah full-time someday. Finally, I started pioneering when I was 19. I supported myself working part-time for a brother who was a builder. I learned to install roofs, windows, and doors. Later, I spent two years with a hurricane relief team, rebuilding Kingdom Halls and homes for the brothers. When I heard about the construction needs in South Africa, I applied and was invited to go. Here in Africa, I move from one Kingdom Hall project to another every few weeks. My construction group is like a family. We live together, study the Bible together, and work together. I also enjoy preaching with the local brothers each week. The plans I made as a boy have made me happy in ways I did not foresee.”
“The plans I made as a boy have made me happy in ways I did not foresee”
13. Why are many young ones happy serving Jehovah at Bethel?
13 Some who were pioneers are now serving at Bethel. Bethel service is a happy way of life because everything you do there is for Jehovah. The Bethel family helps to provide Bibles and publications so that people can learn the truth. A Bethelite named Dustin says: “I made full-time service my goal when I was nine years old, and I started pioneering when I finished school. After a year and a half, I was invited to Bethel, where I learned to operate printing presses and later to do computer programming. At Bethel, I enjoy hearing firsthand about the progress of the disciple-making activity worldwide. I love serving here because what we do helps people to draw close to Jehovah.”
WHAT PLANS WILL YOU MAKE FOR YOUR FUTURE?
14. What can you do now to prepare for the full-time ministry?
14 How can you prepare yourself for the full-time ministry? To serve Jehovah in the best way you can, you need to develop Christian qualities. Study God’s Word regularly, meditate deeply on it, and try to express your faith at congregation meetings. During your school years, you can improve your ability to speak to others about the good news. Learn to show interest in people by tactfully asking their opinion and listening to their answers. Also, you can offer to do things in the congregation, such as helping to clean and repair the Kingdom Hall. Jehovah is pleased to use those who are humble and are willing to work. (Read Psalm 110:3; Acts 6:1-3) The apostle Paul invited Timothy to serve as a missionary because “he was well-reported-on by the brothers.”
During your school years, you can improve your ability to speak to others about the good news
15. What can you do to get a job that will help you pioneer?
15 Most full-time servants need to have a job. (Acts 18:2, 3) Perhaps you could take a short school course that will help you to get a part-time job that is available in your area. Talk to your circuit overseer and to other pioneers about your plans, and ask them for suggestions. Then, as the Bible says, “commit to Jehovah whatever you do, and your plans will succeed.”
16. How can full-time service prepare you for other responsibilities in the future?
16 You can be sure that Jehovah wants you to “get a firm hold” on a happy future. (Read 1 Timothy 6:18, 19.) Full-time service helps you to become a mature Christian as you work with other full-time servants. Also, many have found that being in full-time service when they were young later helped them in their marriage. Often, those who pioneered before marriage continue pioneering together as a married couple.
17, 18. How does making plans involve your heart?
17 Psalm 20:4 says about Jehovah: “May he grant you the desires of your heart and give success to all your plans.” As you plan for your future, think about what you really want to do with your life. Think about what Jehovah is doing in our time and what you could do in his work. Then plan to do what is pleasing to him.
18 When you use your life to serve Jehovah fully and honor him, you will be very happy. You will “find exquisite delight in Jehovah, and he will grant you the desires of your heart.”
^ par. 7 This school has been replaced by the School for Kingdom Evangelizers.