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 STUDY ARTICLE 34

How We Can “Taste” Jehovah Goodness?

How We Can “Taste” Jehovah Goodness?

“Taste and see that Jehovah is good; happy is the man who takes refuge in him.”​—PS. 34:8.

SONG 117 The Quality of Goodness

PREVIEW *

1-2. According to Psalm 34:​8, how we can learn about Jehovah goodness?

IMAGINE being offered something to eat that you have never tried before. You could learn something about it by looking at it, smelling it, getting the recipe, or asking others for their opinion about it. However, the only way to know for sure whether you like it is to taste it for yourself.

2 We can learn something about Jehovah’s goodness by reading the Bible and our publications as well as by hearing others talk about the blessings they have received from Jehovah. But we will gain a real understanding of how good Jehovah is when we “taste” his goodness for ourselves. (Read Psalm 34:8.) Let us illustrate one way we can do that. Suppose we want to engage in some form of the full-time ministry, but in order to reach that goal, we will need to simplify our life. Perhaps we have often read Jesus’ promise that if we put Kingdom interests first, Jehovah will provide the things we really need, but we personally have never experienced the fulfillment of that promise. (Matt. 6:33) Nevertheless, with faith in Jesus’ promise, we reduce our expenses, cut down on our secular work, and focus on our ministry. As we do so, we learn through our own experience that Jehovah really does care for our needs. We “taste” Jehovah’s goodness personally.

3. According to Psalm 16:​1, 2, who Jehovah can do good for?

3 Jehovah is “good to all,” even to those who do not know him. (Ps. 145:9; Matt. 5:45) But especially  those who love Jehovah and serve him with their whole soul receive many blessings from him. (Read Psalm 16:1, 2.) Note just some of the ways that we benefit from Jehovah’s goodness.

4. What good things Jehovah can do for those who start getting close to him?

4 Each time we apply what we learn from Jehovah, we see the good effects in our life. As we learned about him and came to love him, he helped us overcome thinking and practices that once separated us from him. (Col. 1:21) And when we dedicated ourselves to Jehovah and got baptized, we experienced his goodness even more as he gave us a good conscience and drew us into a close friendship with him.​—1 Pet. 3:21.

5. How Jehovah can show that he good to us when we start preaching?

5 We continue to experience Jehovah’s goodness as we engage in the ministry. Are you a shy person? Many of Jehovah’s people are. Perhaps before you became one of Jehovah’s servants, you could never have imagined yourself knocking on the door of a perfect stranger and sharing an unpopular message with him. Yet, today you do that on a regular basis. What is more, with Jehovah’s help, you have learned to enjoy the preaching work! You have felt Jehovah’s support in a number of ways. He has helped you to keep calm when faced with an opposer. He has also helped you to recall just the right scripture to share with an interested householder. And he has given you the strength to continue when you have been met with indifference in the territory.​—Jer. 20:7-9.

6. How the training we can get from Jehovah show that he good?

6 Jehovah has also shown us his goodness by training us for the ministry. (John 6:45) At our midweek meeting, we listen to well-thought-out sample conversations, and we are encouraged to use them in the ministry. At first, we may be a bit apprehensive about trying something new, but when we do, we may find that the new approach appeals to those in our territory. We are also encouraged at meetings and conventions to engage in forms of the ministry that we might never have tried before. Once again, that will mean leaving our comfort zone, but when we do, we give Jehovah something to bless. Let us consider some of the blessings that result when we explore new ways to give Jehovah our best, regardless of our circumstances. Then let us review ways in which we might expand our ministry.

JEHOVAH CAN BLESS THOSE WHO TRUST HIM

7. What blessing we can get when we work hard to do more in the preaching work?

7 We draw even closer to Jehovah. Consider the example of an elder named Samuel, * who serves with his wife in Colombia. This couple enjoyed pioneering in their home congregation, but they wanted to expand their ministry by helping a congregation that had a greater need. To reach that goal, they had to make some sacrifices. “We applied Matthew 6:33 and stopped making unnecessary purchases,” says Samuel. “But the hardest step was leaving our apartment  behind. It was designed just for us, and it was mortgage-free.” In their new assignment, the couple found that they were able to live on just one-sixth of their former income. “We have seen how Jehovah guides our steps and answers our prayers,” says Samuel. “We feel his approval and love in ways that we never experienced before.” Are you able to expand your ministry in some way? If so, you can be sure that you will draw closer to Jehovah and that he will care for you.​—Ps. 18:25.

8. Wetin you learn from what Ivan and Viktoria say?

8 We find joy in our service. Note the comments from Ivan and Viktoria, a married couple who serve as pioneers in Kyrgyzstan. They kept their life simple so that they could volunteer for any assignment, including construction projects. Ivan says: “We got fully absorbed in each project. Even though we were tired at the end of the day, we had a sense of peace and satisfaction, knowing that we had spent our energy in the Kingdom work. We also found great joy in the friendships and the warm memories we gained.”​—Mark 10:29, 30.

9. Wetin help one older sister who was sick to do more in the preaching work, and what was the result?

9 We find joy in Jehovah’s service even when we have challenging circumstances. For example, Mirreh, an elderly widow in West Africa, retired from working at her medical practice and started pioneering. Mirreh has advanced arthritis and can only spend an hour at a time in the house-to-house ministry. But she is able to spend more time in public witnessing. She has many return visits and Bible studies, some of whom she contacts by telephone. What motivated Mirreh to reach out? “My heart overflows with love for Jehovah and Christ Jesus. And I frequently pray that Jehovah help me to do as much as I can in his service.”​—Matt. 22:36, 37.

10. According to 1 Peter 5:10, how Jehovah can bless those who can try hard to do more for him?

10 We receive additional training from Jehovah. Kenny, a pioneer who serves in Mauritius, found this to be true. When he learned the truth, he left university, got baptized, and entered the full-time ministry. He says, “I try to live by the words of the prophet Isaiah, who said: ‘Here I am! Send me!’” (Isa. 6:8) Kenny has worked on a number of construction projects, and he has also helped to translate Bible-based publications into his mother tongue. “I received training that taught me the skills I needed to accomplish my assignments,” says Kenny. But he learned more than just technical information. He adds, “I learned about my limitations and the qualities I need to develop to become a better servant of Jehovah.” (Read 1 Peter 5:10.) Why not examine your circumstances and see if you can make yourself available to receive additional training from Jehovah?

A couple preach in an area where there is a greater need for Kingdom publishers; a young sister helps with the construction of a Kingdom Hall; an elderly couple share in telephone witnessing. All of them derive much joy from their ministry (See paragraph 11)

11. What efforts some sisters in South Korea make to be able to preach, and what was the result? (See cover picture.)

11 Even experienced Witnesses benefit from training when they try a new form of service. During the COVID-19 pandemic, the elders in a congregation in South Korea wrote: “Some who once  thought they could not participate in field service because of their health now do so through videoconferencing. Three sisters in their 80’s learned the new technology and began to share in the arrangement almost every day.” (Ps. 92:14, 15) Would you like to expand your ministry and taste Jehovah’s goodness even more? Consider some steps you can take that will help you reach that goal.

HOW YOU CAN MAKE EFFORT TO DO MORE

12. Wetin Jehovah promise to do for those who trust him?

12 Learn to rely on Jehovah. He promises to shower us with blessings when we trust in him and give him our best. (Mal. 3:10) A sister in Colombia named Fabiola saw Jehovah fulfill this promise in her case. She wanted to serve as a regular pioneer soon after she got baptized. However, her husband and three children relied on her income. So when she was eligible to retire, she prayed intensely to Jehovah for help. She says: “It normally takes a long time to process a pension, but mine was approved just one month after I had applied for it. It was like a miracle!” Two months later she enrolled as a pioneer. She is now in her 70’s and has been pioneering for over 20 years. During that time, she has helped eight people to the point of baptism. She says: “Although I feel weak at times, Jehovah helps me every day to keep my schedule.”

How did Abraham and Sarah, Jacob, and the priests who crossed the Jordan River show trust in Jehovah? (See paragraph 13)

13-14. What examples can help us to trust Jehovah and to do more for him?

 13 Benefit from the examples of those who relied on Jehovah. The Bible is filled with examples of individuals who exerted themselves in Jehovah’s service. In many instances, those servants of Jehovah had to take the first step before they received special blessings from Jehovah. For example, it was only after Abraham left his home​—“although not knowing where he was going”—​that Jehovah blessed him. (Heb. 11:8) It was only after Jacob wrestled with the angel that he received a special blessing. (Gen. 32:24-30) When the nation of Israel was about to enter the Promised Land, it was only after the priests stepped into the raging Jordan River that the people were able to cross over.​—Josh. 3:14-16.

14 You can also benefit from the examples of modern-day Witnesses who have relied on Jehovah and reached out. For instance, a brother named Payton and his wife, Diana, enjoyed reading about brothers and sisters who had expanded their service to Jehovah, such as those described in the series “They Offered Themselves Willingly.” * Payton says: “When we read their experiences, we felt as if we were watching someone enjoy a delicious meal. The longer we watched, the more we wanted to ‘taste and see that Jehovah is good.’” Eventually, Payton and Diana moved to serve where the need was greater. Have you read this series? And have you watched the videos Witnessing in Isolated Territory​—Australia and Witnessing in Isolated Territory—​Ireland that are published on jw.org? This material may help you to look for ways that you can expand your service.

15. How good friends can help us?

15 Choose the right association. We are more inclined to try a new dish if we spend time with those who enjoy it. Similarly, if we associate with those who build their life around serving Jehovah, we are more likely to look for ways to expand our service to God. A couple named Kent and Veronica found that to be true. “Our friends and family encouraged us to try new avenues of service,” says Kent. “We realized that by associating with those who seek the Kingdom first, we gained the confidence to try something new.” Kent and Veronica now serve as special pioneers in Serbia.

16. From the example Jesus give in Luke 12:​16-21, why we must be willing to make sacrifices?

16 Make sacrifices for Jehovah. We do not need to give up all comforts in order to please Jehovah. (Eccl. 5:19, 20) However, if we were to hold back from doing more in God’s service just to avoid making personal sacrifices, we could make the same mistake as the man in Jesus’ illustration who created a comfortable life for himself but ignored God. (Read Luke 12:16-21.) A brother named Christian, who lives in France, says, “I was not giving the best of my time and energy to Jehovah and my family.” He and his wife decided to pioneer. But to reach that goal, they had to leave their jobs. To support themselves, they started a small cleaning business, and they learned to be content with less. Was the sacrifice  worth making? Christian says, “We enjoy a more meaningful ministry now and enjoy seeing Bible students and return visits learn about Jehovah.”

17. Wetin can make it hard for us to try different-different ways of preaching?

17 Be willing to try new types of service. (Acts 17:16, 17; 20:20, 21) Shirley, a pioneer in the United States, had to adjust her ministry during the COVID-19 pandemic. At first, she hesitated to try telephone witnessing. Once she received training during the visit of the circuit overseer, though, she began regularly sharing in this form of witnessing. She says: “In the beginning, it was scary, but now I really enjoy it. We’re reaching more people than we did in the house-to-house work!”

18. Wetin can help us if we get problem that making it hard for us to do more in the preaching work?

18 Make a plan and act. When we face challenges, we prayerfully do our best to use our thinking ability to come up with a plan of action. (Prov. 3:21) Sonia, who serves as a regular pioneer with a Romany-language group in Europe, says: “I like to write my plans down on paper and keep that paper somewhere visible. I have a drawing of a traffic intersection on my dresser. When I have a decision to make, I look at that intersection and think about which direction my decision will take me.” Sonia tries to keep a positive view of the challenges she faces. “Each new circumstance,” she says, “can be like a wall that blocks me or a bridge that helps me​—it depends on my attitude.”

19. Wetin we must try hard to do?

19 Jehovah blesses us in many ways. We can show how much we appreciate those blessings by doing all we can to bring him praise. (Heb. 13:15) That may include exploring new ways to expand our ministry, putting us in line for additional blessings. Each day, let us look for ways to “taste and see that Jehovah is good.” Then we will be like Jesus, who said: “My food is to do the will of him who sent me and to finish his work.”​—John 4:34.

SONG 80 “Taste and See That Jehovah Is Good”

^ par. 5 Jehovah is the Source of goodness. He provides good things for everyone​—even wicked people. But he especially likes to do good things for his faithful worshippers. In this article, we will review how Jehovah expresses his goodness to his servants. We will also examine how those who expand their ministry may experience Jehovah’s goodness in a special way.

^ par. 7 Some of the names have been changed.

^ par. 14 This series, previously published in The Watchtower, now appears on jw.org. Go to ABOUT US > EXPERIENCES > REACHING SPIRITUAL GOALS.