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Jehovah’s Witnesses

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THE WATCHTOWER (SIMPLIFIED EDITION) SEPTEMBER 2016

Young Ones, Strengthen Your Faith

Young Ones, Strengthen Your Faith

“Faith is . . . the evident demonstration of realities that are not seen.”HEBREWS 11:1.

SONGS: 41, 69

1, 2. What may young servants of Jehovah wonder at times, and what advice does the Bible offer?

A CLASSMATE told a young sister in Britain: “You seem to be too clever to believe in God.” A brother in Germany wrote: “My teachers view the Bible account of creation as a myth. And they take it for granted that the students believe in evolution.” A young sister in France said: “Teachers in my school are quite astonished that there are students who still believe in the Bible.”

2 Many people today do not believe that God created us. If you are a young servant of Jehovah or are learning about him, you may at times wonder how you can prove that he is our Creator. The Bible helps us to think carefully about what we hear or read and to reason on it. God’s Word says: “Thinking ability will keep watch over you.” How? It will help you to reject ideas that are not true and to strengthen your faith in Jehovah.Read Proverbs 2:10-12.

3. What will we discuss in this article?

 3 To have strong faith in Jehovah, we must get to know him well. (1 Timothy 2:4) So when you read the Bible and our publications, it is very important to stop and think about what is being said. Try to understand what you are reading. (Matthew 13:23) If you study in this way, you will find much evidence that Jehovah is our Creator and that the Bible is from him. (Hebrews 11:1) Let us discuss how we can do this.

HOW TO STRENGTHEN YOUR FAITH

4. In what way is believing in evolution similar to believing in creation? So, what must all of us do?

4 Someone might say to you, “I believe in evolution because scientists have said that it is true. How can you believe in God when nobody has seen him?” Many people think this way. True, none of us have seen God or observed something being created. (John 1:18) But what about people who believe in evolution? They too believe in something they cannot see. No scientist or any other human has observed one kind of life evolve into another kind. For example, no one has watched a reptile evolve into a mammal. (Job 38:1, 4) So all of us must look at the facts, think about these carefully, and decide what they really prove. Many people have looked at things in nature and “perceived” that there is a God. They have “clearly seen” that he is the Creator, that he is powerful, and that he has many wonderful qualities.Romans 1:20.

Research tools can help you explain what you believe to others (See paragraph 5)

5. What research tools can help us learn more about creation?

5 When we look at nature and think deeply about it, we can see that everything is made in an amazing way. “By faith we perceive” that there is a Creator, even though he is invisible. We realize that he has a beautiful personality and great wisdom. (Hebrews 11: 3, 27) We can learn more about the things he created by reading about what scientists have discovered. Some of that information can be found in research tools such as the video The Wonders of Creation Reveal God’s Glory, the brochures Was Life Created? and The Origin of Life—Five Questions Worth Asking, and the book Is There a Creator Who Cares About You? In the Awake! magazine, there are often interviews with scientists and others who explain why they now believe in God. And the series of articles called “Was It Designed?” includes details about animals and other things in nature as well as examples of how scientists have tried to copy the way these things work.

6. How can research tools help you?

6 A brother in the United States who is 19 years old said about the two brochures just mentioned: “These have been invaluable to me. I’ve studied those brochures about a dozen times.” A sister in France wrote: “The ‘Was It Designed?’ articles amaze me! They show that the greatest engineers may imitate but will never equal the complex designs in nature.” The parents of a 15-year-old girl in South Africa said: “The first thing that our daughter usually reads in Awake! is the ‘Interview’ article.” These publications can help you as well to see proof that there is a Creator, and you will be able to recognize and reject false teachings. Your faith will be so strong that you will be just like a tree that has deep roots and that stays standing in strong winds.Jeremiah 17:5-8.

YOUR FAITH IN THE BIBLE

7. Why does God want you to use your power of reason?

7 Is it wrong to ask questions such as, ‘Why do I believe what the Bible says?’ Not at all. Jehovah does not want you to believe something just because others do. He wants you to use your “power of reason” to get to know the Bible and find proof that it truly is from him. The more you know what it says, the stronger your faith in it will be. (Read Romans 12:1, 2; 1 Timothy 2:4.) One way to get to know the Bible is by studying specific subjects that you would like to know more about.

8, 9. (a) What subjects do some enjoy studying? (b) How did some benefit when they meditated on what they read?

8 Some enjoy studying Bible prophecies. Or they may like to compare Bible accounts with what historians, scientists, or archaeologists say. Take, for example, Genesis 3:15. Jehovah gave that very important prophecy just after Adam and Eve rebelled against him and his way of ruling. It is the first of many Bible prophecies that help us to understand how God’s Kingdom will prove that God’s way of ruling is best and how it will end all suffering. How could you study Genesis 3:15? You could make a list of Bible verses that give more details about how this prophecy would be fulfilled. Next, you could find out when those verses were written and put them in order. Soon  you will realize that those Bible writers lived at different periods of time but that each wrote something that made the prophecy clearer and clearer. This can help you prove that Jehovah’s holy spirit guided them.2 Peter 1:21.

9 A brother in Germany thought about how each book of the Bible contains details about the Kingdom. He said: “That is so, even though about 40 men wrote the Bible. And many of them lived at different times and did not know one another personally.” A sister in Australia was studying an article in The Watchtower and learned how the Passover is connected to Genesis 3:15 and the Messiah. [1] (See endnote.) She wrote: “That study opened my eyes to how wonderful Jehovah is. For someone to have thought of this arrangement for the Israelites and for it to be fulfilled in Jesus really impressed me. I literally had to stop and contemplate how incredible that prophetic Passover meal was!” Why did this sister feel that way? She thought deeply about what she read and understood it. This helped to strengthen her faith and drew her closer to Jehovah.Matthew 13:23.

10. How does the honesty of Bible writers strengthen our faith in the Bible?

10 Think, too, about the honesty of the men who wrote the Bible. They always told the truth and were not afraid to do so. Writers at that time often wrote only good things about their nation and their leaders. But Jehovah’s prophets wrote not only about the good things but also about the bad things that the people of Israel and their kings did. (2 Chronicles 16:9, 10; 24:18-22) They even mentioned their own mistakes and those of other servants of God. (2 Samuel 12:1-14; Mark 14:50) “Honesty like that is rare,” said a young brother in Britain. “This adds to our confidence that the Bible truly is from Jehovah.”

11. How can the guidance we find in the Bible convince us that the Bible is from God?

11 When people let the Bible guide the way they live, they see the good effect it has. This convinces them that the Bible is from God. (Read Psalm 19:7-11.) A young sister in Japan wrote: “When my family applied Bible teachings, we were truly happy. We experienced peace, unity, and love.” The Bible has helped many to realize that some of the things they believed were not true. (Psalm 115:3-8) It guides people to rely on Jehovah, who is the almighty God, and it promises a better future. On the other hand, some who say that there is no God actually make nature into a sort of god. Others say that humans can provide a better future, but when we look at what they have done so far, they have not been able to solve the problems in the world.Psalm 146:3, 4.

HOW TO REASON WITH OTHERS

12, 13. How can we talk to others about creation or the Bible?

12 When you talk about creation or the Bible with others, first find out what they really believe. Remember  that some who believe in evolution also believe that God exists. They say that he used evolution to create all living things. Others believe that evolution must be true because it is taught in schools. And some stop believing in God because they are disappointed with religion. So first ask the person what he believes and why he believes that. Then listen carefully to what he says. If you do, he may be more willing to listen to you.Titus 3:2.

Respectfully ask people what they believe, and then listen carefully to what they say

13 If someone says that you are foolish to believe that there is a Creator, how could you reply? Respectfully ask the person to explain to you how he thinks life began. You could mention that if life had evolved, the first living thing would have needed to be able to make copies of itself. In fact, one professor of chemistry said that it would have needed, among other things, (1) something like a skin to protect it, (2) the ability to get energy and use it, (3) information to control its appearance and growth, and (4) the ability to make copies of that information. He added: “One is struck by the complexity of even the simplest form of life.”

14. What simple reasoning could you use when discussing creation?

14 When discussing creation, you could use the simple reasoning that the apostle Paul used. He wrote: “Every house is constructed by someone, but the one who constructed all things is God.” (Hebrews 3:4) Of course, a literal house is designed and built by someone. Surely, living things, which are much more complicated than a house, must have been designed and made by someone. You could also use our publications. One sister spoke with a young man who did not believe that there is a God. She gave him the two brochures mentioned earlier, and about a week later, he said, “Now I believe in God.” The young man started to study the Bible and later became one of our brothers.

15, 16. What should we do before we explain to someone that the Bible is from God? And what should we always remember?

15 If someone has doubts about the Bible, how can you reason with him? As mentioned before, first ask him what he believes. Also, find out what he is interested in. (Proverbs 18:13) If he likes science, give him examples from the Bible to show that what it says about scientific matters is always correct. If he likes history, you could mention an event described in history books and show him how the Bible foretold the event many years before it happened. Other people may listen to you if you show them something in the Bible that can improve their life, such  as the advice found in the Sermon on the Mount.

16 Remember, we do not want to argue with people. We want them to enjoy talking to us and learning about the Bible. So ask questions respectfully, and then listen carefully. When you express what you believe to someone, be polite, especially if the person is older than you are. If you respect others, they will likely respect you too. And they will be impressed that you have thought deeply about what you believe even though you are still young. Of course, if someone just wants to argue or make fun of you, you do not need to answer him.Proverbs 26:4.

DISCOVER BIBLE TRUTHS AND STRENGTHEN YOUR FAITH

17, 18. (a) What can help you to strengthen your faith in the Bible? (b) What question will we consider in the next article?

17 We may know the main teachings of the Bible, but we need more than that to have strong faith. We need to search for and discover the deeper truths in it, as if we were looking for hidden treasures. (Proverbs 2:3-6) One of the best ways to strengthen your faith is to read the entire Bible. Perhaps you could try to read it in one year. That helped a circuit overseer draw closer to Jehovah when he was young. He said: “One thing that helped me to appreciate that the Bible is the Word of God was reading it right through. The Bible stories that I had learned from when I was very young finally made sense to me.” Also, use the research tools that you have in your language to help you understand what you read. You might have Watchtower Library on DVD, Watchtower ONLINE LIBRARY, Watch Tower Publications Index, or the Research Guide for Jehovah’s Witnesses.

18 Parents, more than anyone else, you can teach your children about Jehovah. So how can you help them to have strong faith in him? The next article will discuss some ways you can do this.