Why Do You Serve God?
A God-fearing king once gave this advice to his son: “Know the God of your father and serve him with a complete heart and with a delightful soul.” (1 Chronicles 28:9) Clearly, Jehovah wants his servants to serve him with grateful, appreciative hearts.
AS Jehovah’s Witnesses, we readily admit that when the Bible’s promises were first explained, our hearts swelled with gratitude. Every day, we learned something new about God’s purposes. The more we learned about Jehovah, the stronger our desire became to serve him “with a complete heart and with a delightful soul.”
Many who become Jehovah’s Witnesses continue to serve Jehovah with boundless joy throughout their lives. However, some Christians start out well, but in time, they lose sight of the compelling reasons that motivate us to serve God. Has that happened to you? If it has, do not despair. Lost joy can be retrieved. How?
Count Your Blessings
First, meditate on the daily blessings that you receive from God. Think about Jehovah’s good gifts: his manifold works of creation—accessible to all irrespective of social or economic status—his natural provisions of food and drink, the measure of health that you enjoy, your knowledge of Bible truth, and chiefly, the gift of his Son. His death paved the way for you to serve God with a clean conscience. (John 3:16; James 1:17) The more you meditate on God’s goodness, the more your appreciation for him will grow. Your heart will then move you to serve him out of gratitude for all that he has done. No doubt you will begin to feel again as did the psalmist who wrote: “Many things you yourself have done, O Jehovah my God, even your wonderful works and your thoughts toward us; there is none to be compared to you. . . . They have become more numerous than I can recount.”—Psalm 40:5.
These words were written by David, a man whose life was far from trouble free. As a young man, David spent much of his time on the run as wicked King Saul and his bodyguards sought him out to kill him. (1 Samuel 23:7, 8, 19-23) David also had personal weaknesses with which to contend. He acknowledged this in the 40th Psalm: “Calamities encircled me until there was no numbering of them. More errors of mine overtook me than I was able to see; they became more numerous than the hairs of my head.” (Psalm 40:12) Yes, David had troubles, but he was not completely overwhelmed by them. He focused on the ways in which Jehovah was blessing him, despite his problems, and he found that those blessings far outweighed his woes.
When you feel engulfed by personal problems or by feelings of inadequacy, it is good to stop and count your blessings, as David did. Undoubtedly, appreciation for such blessings moved you to dedicate yourself to Jehovah; such thoughts can also help you rekindle lost joy and help you to serve God from an appreciative heart.
Congregation Meetings Can Help
In addition to meditating privately on Jehovah’s goodness, we need to associate with fellow Christians. It is encouraging to meet regularly with men, women, and young people who love God and who are determined to serve him. Their example can stimulate us to whole-souled activity in Jehovah’s service. Our presence at the Kingdom Hall can encourage them as well.
Admittedly, when we come home after a hard day’s work or when we are discouraged because of some problem or weakness, it may not be easy to think about attending a meeting at the Kingdom Hall. At such times, we may have to be firm with ourselves, ‘pummeling our body,’ as it were, so that we will obey the command to gather with fellow Christians.—1 Corinthians 9:26, 27; Hebrews 10:23-25.
If that becomes necessary, should we conclude that we do not truly love Jehovah? Not at all. Mature Christians of the past whose love for God was indisputable had to put forth vigorous effort to do God’s will. (Luke 13:24) The apostle Paul was one such Christian. He openly described his feelings in this way: “I know that in me, that is, in my flesh, there dwells nothing good; for ability to wish is present with me, but ability to work out what is fine is not present. For the good that I wish I do not do, but the bad that I do not wish is what I practice.” (Romans 7:18, 19) And he told the Corinthians: “If, now, I am declaring the good news, it is no reason for me to boast, for necessity is laid upon me. . . . If I perform this willingly, I have a reward; but if I do it against my will, all the same I have a stewardship entrusted to me.”—1 Corinthians 9:16, 17.
Like many of us, Paul had sinful tendencies that got in the way of his desire to do what was right. However, he put up a hard fight against those tendencies, and most of the time, he was successful. Of course, Paul did not accomplish this in his own strength. He wrote: “For all things I have the strength by virtue of him who imparts power to me.” (Philippians 4:13) Jehovah, the one who imparted power to Paul, will also empower you to do what is right if you ask him for his help. (Philippians 4:6, 7) So put up “a hard fight for the faith,” and Jehovah will bless you.—Jude 3.
You do not have to wage this fight on your own. In congregations of Jehovah’s Witnesses, mature Christian elders, who are persevering in the “fight for the faith” themselves, stand ready to help you. If you approach an elder for help, he will endeavor to “speak consolingly” to you. (1 Thessalonians 5:14) His goal will be to act “like a hiding place from the wind and a place of concealment from the rainstorm.”—Isaiah 32:2.
“God is love,” and he wants his servants to serve him out of love. (1 John 4:8) If your love for God needs to be rekindled, take appropriate steps to do so, as outlined above. You will be glad that you did.