A Vital Help in Time of Need
THROUGHOUT the world, in over 200 lands, Jehovah’s witnesses have been deeply concerned about their Christian brothers from Malawi. Strenuous efforts have been made to help them. In addition, Jehovah’s witnesses have done something else of vital importance.
What is that? Daily, the world over, the prayers of hundreds of thousands of these Christians are ascending to God on behalf of their Malawian brothers. These prayers are being said by individuals, in small groups, at congregation meetings and at larger assemblies.
What Have They Accomplished?
All these millions of prayers that go up to God—what have they accomplished? Have they been heard? How do we know?
Without doubt these prayers have accomplished their intended purpose!
However, those who are not familiar with the Bible may question this. They may ask: ‘How can you say your prayers have been answered when the persecution continues?’
The answer comes in determining what the prayers are requesting. Jehovah’s witnesses have not been asking God to prevent all persecution. God’s own Word foretold: “All those desiring to live with godly devotion in association with Christ Jesus will also be persecuted.” (2 Tim. 3:12) Jesus himself said: “If they have persecuted me, they will persecute you also.”—John 15:20.
Jesus also said concerning this time in human history, when the present wicked system of things would be nearing its end: “Then people will deliver you up to tribulation and will kill you, and you will be objects of hatred by all the nations on account of my name.” (Matt. 24:9) So Jehovah’s Christian witnesses know that persecution will come against God’s people.
Under such circumstances, for what do these Christians pray? They pray that their Christian brothers who are actually undergoing the persecution will be given the spiritual strength to stand firm in their faith.—Col. 4:12.
When Christ Jesus was persecuted, he did not ask God to free him from all persecution. He remained firm in his faith under the assault. He did not compromise to escape persecution. Similarly, throughout the entire persecution-ridden country of Malawi, Jehovah’s witnesses have maintained their faith in God.
Thus, it is certain that the prayers of Christians in this matter have reached God and have been answered. As God’s own Word promises: “A righteous man’s supplication, when it is at work, has much force.”—Jas. 5:16.
By maintaining their faith, these courageous Christians prove that Satan the Devil is a liar, and that God is the truth teller. Satan had challenged God that no man would keep his faith under physical affliction. (Job 2:1-10) Jehovah’s witnesses in Malawi have stood out as a testimony to the world that they will keep their love for God no matter what unjust persecution comes upon them.
In this way, they can say as Jesus did: “I have conquered the world.”—John 16:33.
While no person wants persecution with its pain and threat of death, Jehovah’s witnesses endure it. They endure because they love God and they trust his promises that he will reward them for their faithful course. This helps to sustain their faith.
The Bible promises that God will soon usher in a righteous new order to replace the present corrupt system of things. In that new order, amid paradisaic conditions, honest-hearted persons will enjoy perfect life under a righteous administration. (Rev. 21:4) Hence, Jehovah’s witnesses will not jeopardize their experiencing the fulfillment of that marvelous hope by compromising God’s laws just for the sake of temporary relief. Jesus did not do that. Neither did his disciples and apostles. Nor do Jehovah’s witnesses today.
Jesus also said: “Do not fear those who kill the body and after this are not able to do anything more.” (Luke 12:4) He showed that, not men, but God is the one to be feared, since our prospect for eternal life depends on him. A person who is killed because of his faith in God will have his life restored in the resurrection, for the Bible says: “There is going to be a resurrection.” (Acts 24:15) But at the rapidly approaching time of the execution of God’s judgments against unrighteous persons, those killed by God will lose out everlastingly.—Matt. 25:41-46.
Also, while persecution leaves a scar on the mind and body of the one being persecuted, that is only temporary. In God’s new order, “the former things will not be called to mind, neither will they come up into the heart.” (Isa. 65:17) The joys then will so far outweigh any past grief as to push it into the dim memory, if the person cares to remember it at all.
But what about the persecutors of these people who are sincerely endeavoring to do the will of God? God’s Word says: “Each of us will render an account for himself to God.” (Rom. 14:12) When their time of judgment comes, how will they fare?
Where do you stand in this matter? If you are a lover of what is just and right, you may well feel impelled to speak up on behalf of these persecuted Christians. If so, you have the opportunity. You can write to the proper authorities to convey your concern. Following is a list of some of the officials you may write:
ADDRESSES OF OFFICIALS
His Excellency the Life President, Dr. H. Kamuzu Banda
Central Government Offices
The Honourable A. A. Muwalo Nqumayo, M.P.
Minister of State (President’s Office)
Central Government Offices
The Honourable A. M. Nyasulu, M.P.
Speaker of National Assembly
Central Government Offices