Do You Accept Jehovah’s Help?
“Jehovah is my helper; I will not be afraid.”—HEBREWS 13:6.
IMAGINE that you are hiking along a mountain trail. You are not alone, though, for a guide has offered to accompany you, and he is the best guide there is. He has far more experience and stamina than you do, but he patiently walks near you. He notices that you stumble occasionally. Out of concern for your safety, he extends his hand to help you over a particularly dangerous spot. Would you refuse his help? Of course not! Your safety is at stake.
2 As Christians, we have a challenging path to follow. Must we walk that cramped road alone? (Matthew 7:14) No, the Bible shows that the best Guide we could ever find, Jehovah God, allows humans to walk with him. (Genesis 5:24; 6:9) Does Jehovah help his servants as they walk? He says: “I, Jehovah your God, am grasping your right hand, the One saying to you, ‘Do not be afraid. I myself will help you.’” (Isaiah 41:13) Like the guide in our illustration, Jehovah kindly extends his helping hand and his friendship to those who seek to walk with him. Surely none of us would want to refuse his aid!
3 In the preceding article, we discussed four ways in which Jehovah helped his people in ancient times. Does he help his people in the same ways today? And how can we make sure that we accept any of such help? Let us consider those questions. Doing so, we can become more confident that Jehovah truly is our Helper.—Hebrews 13:6.
4 Do angels help Jehovah’s present-day servants? Yes, they do. Granted, today they do not appear visibly in order to deliver true worshipers from danger. Even in Bible times, angels only rarely intervened in such a way. Most of what they did was invisible to human eyes, as is the case today. Nonetheless, servants of God who realized that the angels were there to support them found such knowledge very encouraging. (2 Kings 6:14-17) We have good reason to feel similarly.
5 Jehovah’s angels are particularly interested in a special work that involves us. What work is that? We can find the answer at Revelation 14:6: “I saw another angel flying in midheaven, and he had everlasting good news to declare as glad tidings to those who dwell on the earth, and to every nation and tribe and tongue and people.” This “everlasting good news” is clearly linked with the “good news of the kingdom,” which, as Jesus foretold, “will be preached in all the inhabited earth for a witness to all the nations” before the end of this system of things. (Matthew 24:14) Of course, the angels are not preaching directly. Jesus gave humans this weighty commission. (Matthew 28:19, 20) Is it not good to know that as we fulfill that commission, we have help from holy angels, wise and powerful spirit creatures?
6 There is considerable evidence of angelic support for our work. For example, we often hear that in the course of their ministry, Jehovah’s Witnesses come across a person who had only recently prayed to God for help in finding the truth. Such experiences occur far too often to be dismissed as mere coincidences. As a result of such angelic help, more and more people are learning to do as the “angel flying in midheaven” proclaimed: “Fear God and give him glory.”—Revelation 14:7.
7 Do you long to have the support of Jehovah’s mighty angels? Then do all you can to be absorbed in your ministry. (1 Corinthians 15:58) As we freely give of ourselves in this special assignment from Jehovah, we can count on the help of his angels.
Help From the Chief of the Angels
8 Jehovah also provides us with another type of angelic help. Revelation 10:1 describes an awesome “strong angel” whose “face was as the sun.” This visionary angel evidently pictures the glorified Jesus Christ in heavenly power. (Revelation 1:13, 16) Is Jesus really an angel? In a sense, yes, for he is an archangel. (1 Thessalonians 4:16) What is an archangel? That word means “principal angel,” or “chief angel.” Jesus is the mightiest of all of Jehovah’s spirit sons. Jehovah has put him in command of all His angelic armies. This archangel is a powerful source of help indeed. In what ways?
9 The aged apostle John wrote: “If anyone does commit a sin, we have a helper with the Father, Jesus Christ, a righteous one.” (1 John 2:1) Why did John suggest that Jesus is our “helper” particularly when we “commit a sin”? Well, we sin daily, and sin leads to death. (Ecclesiastes 7:20; Romans 6:23) However, Jesus laid down his life as a sacrifice for our sins. And he is at the side of our merciful Father to plead in our behalf. Each of us needs such help. How may we accept it? We need to repent of our sins and seek forgiveness on the basis of Jesus’ sacrifice. We also need to avoid repeating our sins.
10 In addition to dying in our behalf, Jesus set the perfect example for us. (1 Peter 2:21) His example guides us, helps us to chart our course so that we can avoid serious sin and can please Jehovah God. Are we not glad to have such help? Jesus promised his followers that another helper would be provided.
The Help of the Holy Spirit
11 Jesus promised: “I will request the Father and he will give you another helper to be with you forever, the spirit of the truth, which the world cannot receive.” (John 14:16, 17) This “spirit of the truth,” or holy spirit, is not a person but a force—Jehovah’s own active force. It is powerful beyond measure. It is the force that Jehovah used in creating the universe, in performing spectacular miracles, and in providing visionary revelations of his will. Since Jehovah is not using his spirit in those specific ways today, does that mean that we do not need it?
12 On the contrary! In these “critical times hard to deal with,” we need Jehovah’s spirit more than ever. (2 Timothy 3:1) It strengthens us to bear up under trials. It helps us to cultivate beautiful qualities that draw us closer to Jehovah and to our spiritual brothers and sisters. (Galatians 5:22, 23) How, then, can we benefit from this marvelous help from Jehovah?
13 First, we need to pray for holy spirit. Jesus said: “If you, although being wicked, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more so will the Father in heaven give holy spirit to those asking him!” (Luke 11:13) Yes, Jehovah is the best Father imaginable. If in faith we sincerely ask him for holy spirit, it is inconceivable that he would deny us this gift. The question, then, is, Do we ask for it? We have good reason to make that request in our prayers every day.
14 Second, we accept that gift by working in harmony with it. To illustrate: Suppose a Christian is struggling with a tendency to view pornography. He has prayed for holy spirit to help him resist this filthy habit. He has sought counsel from Christian elders, and they have advised him to take decisive action, refraining from even going near such debasing material. (Matthew 5:29) What if he ignores their counsel and exposes himself to further temptation? Is he working in harmony with his prayer for the holy spirit to help him? Or is he, rather, running the risk of grieving God’s spirit and losing out on this gift? (Ephesians 4:30) Really, all of us need to do everything we can to make sure that we continue to receive this wonderful help from Jehovah.
Help From God’s Word
15 The Bible has been a source of help to Jehovah’s faithful servants for many centuries. Rather than taking the Holy Scriptures for granted, though, we need to keep in mind what a powerful source of help they are. Accepting that help involves effort. We need to make Bible reading a part of our regular routine.
16 Psalm 1:2, 3 says of the godly man: “His delight is in the law of Jehovah, and in his law he reads in an undertone day and night. And he will certainly become like a tree planted by streams of water, that gives its own fruit in its season and the foliage of which does not wither, and everything he does will succeed.” Do you see the point of that passage? It is easy to read those words and conclude that they merely paint a pretty picture of a peaceful setting—a shade tree growing by a river. How pleasant it would be to take an afternoon nap in such a spot! But this psalm is not inviting us to think about rest. It is painting quite a different picture, one that suggests hard work. How so?
17 Notice that the tree here is not merely a shade tree growing by chance next to a river. It is a fruit-bearing tree, deliberately “planted” in a chosen spot—“by streams of water.” How could one tree grow near more than one stream? Well, in an orchard of fruit trees, the owner might well dig irrigation ditches to bring water to the roots of his valuable trees. Ah, now the point comes into focus! If in a spiritual sense we flourish like that tree, it is because much work has been done in our behalf. We are associated with an organization that brings the pure waters of truth right to us, but we must do our part. We need to put ourselves in a position to soak up this precious water, engaging in the meditation and research needed in order to bring the truths of God’s Word into our mind and heart. In that way, we too will produce good fruitage.
18 The Bible does us no good if it lies unopened on a shelf. Neither is it a charm, or a talisman—as if we could shut our eyes, let our Bible fall open at random, and then expect the answer to our question to appear on the page before us. When we face decisions, we need to dig for the “knowledge of God” as if for a buried treasure. (Proverbs 2:1-5) Diligent and careful research is often needed in order to find Scriptural counsel that addresses our specific needs. We have many Bible-based publications to help us in our search. As we use these to dig eagerly for the gems of wisdom in God’s Word, we are truly making use of Jehovah’s help.
Help Through Fellow Believers
19 Jehovah’s human servants have always been a source of help to one another. Has Jehovah changed? Not at all. No doubt each of us can think of instances in which we received just the help we needed at the right time from our fellow believers. For instance, can you recall some article in The Watchtower or Awake! that comforted you when you needed it or helped you to solve a problem or face a challenge to your faith? Jehovah brought you that help by means of “the faithful and discreet slave” assigned to provide “food at the proper time.”—Matthew 24:45-47.
20 Often, though, the help we receive from fellow believers is more direct. A Christian elder gives a talk that touches our heart, or he makes a shepherding call that helps us through a difficult time, or he offers us kindly counsel that helps us to see and overcome a weakness. One thankful Christian writes regarding the help an elder gave her: “In field service, he took the time to draw me out. Just the night before, I had prayed to Jehovah, asking for someone I could talk to. That next day, this brother spoke to me in a compassionate manner. He helped me to see how Jehovah had been helping me for years. I am thankful to Jehovah for sending this elder to me.” In all such ways, Christian elders show that they are “gifts in men,” provided by Jehovah through Jesus Christ to help us endure on the road to life.—Ephesians 4:8.
21 Besides the elders, each faithful Christian wants to apply the inspired command to keep “an eye, not in personal interest upon just [his] own matters, but also in personal interest upon those of the others.” (Philippians 2:4) When those in the Christian congregation apply that counsel, beautiful acts of kindness result. For example, one family suffered a sudden, compound tragedy. The father had taken his young daughter to the store with him. On the way home, they were in an automobile accident. The daughter was killed; the father, severely injured. Upon his release from the hospital, he was at first so disabled that he could do nothing for himself. His wife was too distraught emotionally to care for him alone. So a couple in the congregation took this grieving couple into their home and cared for them for several weeks.
22 Of course, not all acts of kindness involve such tragedy and personal sacrifice. Some help that we receive is on a much smaller scale. But no matter how small the kindness, we appreciate it, do we not? Can you think of times when a kind word or a thoughtful act from a brother or sister gave you just the help you needed? Jehovah often cares for us in such ways.—Proverbs 17:17; 18:24.
23 Would you like Jehovah to use you as a means of helping others? That privilege is open to you. In fact, Jehovah appreciates such effort on your part. His Word says: “He that is showing favor to the lowly one is lending to Jehovah, and his treatment He will repay to him.” (Proverbs 19:17) Great joy comes from giving of ourselves to our brothers and sisters. (Acts 20:35) Neither the joy of giving such help nor the uplift of receiving it comes to those who deliberately isolate themselves. (Proverbs 18:1) Hence, let us be faithful in gathering together at Christian meetings so that we can encourage one another.—Hebrews 10:24, 25.
24 Is it not a pleasure to contemplate the ways in which Jehovah helps us? Although we do not live at a time when Jehovah is performing spectacular miracles to carry out his purposes, we need not feel deprived. What truly matters is that Jehovah gives us all the help we need in order for us to remain faithful. And if we endure together in faith, we will live to see Jehovah’s most spectacular and glorious acts in all history! Let us be resolved to accept and make full use of Jehovah’s loving help so that we may echo the words of our text for the year 2005: “My help is from Jehovah.”—Psalm 121:2.
What Do You Think?
How does Jehovah provide the help we need today—
• by means of the angels?
• through his holy spirit?
• with his inspired Word?
• through fellow believers?
1, 2. Why is it important that we accept Jehovah’s help and guidance in life?
3. We will consider what questions in the course of this discussion?
4. Why may God’s servants today be confident of angelic support?
5. How does the Bible show that the angels are involved in the preaching work today?
6, 7. (a) What indicates that the angels are supporting our preaching work? (b) How may we be sure of receiving the support of Jehovah’s angels?
8. Jesus occupies what lofty position in heaven, and why is that reassuring to us?
9, 10. (a) How does Jesus serve as our “helper” when we sin? (b) What help may we find in Jesus’ example?
11, 12. What is Jehovah’s spirit, how powerful is it, and why do we need it today?
13, 14. (a) Why may we be sure that Jehovah willingly supplies his holy spirit to his people? (b) By what sort of action might we show that we do not really accept the gift of the holy spirit?
15. How can we show that we do not take the Bible for granted?
18. What is needed in order to find the Bible’s answers to our questions?
19. (a) Why may articles in The Watchtower and Awake! be viewed as help provided by means of fellow believers? (b) How have you been helped by a particular article in one of our journals?
20. In what ways do Christian elders prove to be “gifts in men”?
21, 22. (a) What results when those in the congregation apply the counsel found at Philippians 2:4? (b) Why do even small acts of kindness matter?
23. How does Jehovah view it when we endeavor to help one another?
24. Why should we not feel deprived because of not witnessing Jehovah’s spectacular miracles of the past?
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It is good to know that the angels are supporting the preaching work
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Jehovah may use one of our fellow believers to bring us the comfort we need