Faith in God’s Care Affects Lives for Good
MANY persons find that their lives are unhappy and without purpose. They feel that God has no interest in them. But a careful study of the Bible has aided increasing numbers of people to change their outlook. They have become convinced that God does indeed care about all mankind, and this has brought them many joys.
Freed from Gloom and Despair
An eighteen-year-old youth in Costa Rica was stricken with a disease that doctors were unable to diagnose. His condition progressively worsened. While at first able to walk with crutches, he soon had to use a metal support and finally was confined to a wheelchair.
As to the effect this had on him, this young man says: “Finding myself in such a desperate condition, I would often get drunk. I felt bored with life and, frankly, didn’t have real faith in God. I thought that he was the One responsible for my condition. Many times I would say, ‘My God, let me die.’ Often I thought about taking my own life, and on one occasion even attempted this. I ground up glass and was about ready to swallow it with something when a friend arrived and stopped me.”
Later this young man went to live with his brother. Through his sister-in-law, one of Jehovah’s witnesses, he had his attention directed to the Bible and the grand hope of life free from sickness and death that it sets forth for lovers of righteousness. He then began to study the Holy Scriptures with the Witnesses. In time he completely changed his outlook on life, appreciating that human imperfection, not God, was responsible for his condition.
Now, as a baptized Witness, he finds much joy in living in harmony with God’s will. No longer does he try to escape from his problems by overindulgence in alcoholic beverages. Regarding his association with fellow Witnesses, he observes: “Inside the congregation I feel useful and find affection and love.”
Helped to Stop Living a Life of Crime
Though not afflicted with disease, some people set out on a course that is completely lawless and that brings only trouble to them. This happened to a young man in the state of Minnesota. He reached the point where he felt that he had nothing for which to live. He relates:
“At the age of sixteen I started working in restaurants and began using and selling drugs. Through my restaurant work I also got to know members of a crime syndicate. Impressed by the power they had over other people, I made it my aim to become a Mafia leader. I directed everything toward that goal, even getting a gun and always carrying it on me.
“In time I got my brother involved with taking drugs. The two of us would steal cars and clothes. I reasoned that those from whom we were stealing didn’t really need what we took. At the same time I felt that I was actually doing good, for I would give stolen items to my mother, sister and friends.
“Later I started dealing in ‘fake’ drugs and came under pressure from both pushers and buyers. Discovering the deception, they demanded money. This led to my having a nervous breakdown at the age of seventeen.
“But I still did not give up my criminal activity. Not only did I continue stealing, but I thought nothing of beating others up so that they had to be hospitalized. Finally, I was arrested for attempted murder and assault. As most of my friends were in jail, imprisonment did not disturb me. But I was soon out on bail and was not afterward convicted.
“Eventually my criminal activity put my life in danger. During one drug party several young men who were not usually at such parties came. I got the feeling that they were there to kill me for revenge. So I decided to slip away and commit suicide. An attempt to take an overdose of drugs failed when, because of nervousness, I couldn’t hit the vein. Then I quickly left the house. After giving the matter more thought, I was sure that life wasn’t worth living. I got on a nearby highway, thinking I would hitchhike to the middle of nowhere, there to starve or freeze to death.
“I was picked up by a group of young people who dropped me off just as I had planned. But the barks of big dogs from nearby farms frightened me, causing me to change my mind about staying there. So I flagged down a truck and, by continued hitchhiking, eventually made it to the West Coast. I had in mind again taking up a life of crime. But before making contacts in Los Angeles, I decided to get in touch with my aunt in another city.
“This aunt was one of Jehovah’s witnesses and I really felt that she was deceived by her religion. Arriving at her home, I began asking her many questions. For days thereafter I discussed the Bible with her, keeping her up until the early hours of the morning. What really impressed me was the happiness she expressed when answering my questions from the Bible. The answers made sense. I learned that, despite my very bad course of action, by God’s undeserved kindness and mercy, I could become one of his people, the happiest people I had ever met.
“Today, as one of Jehovah’s witnesses, I rejoice in having already spent over four years in helping others to appreciate that God cares about mankind. I am very thankful to him for letting me see just how rewarding life can be when lived in harmony with his Word, the Bible.”
Finding Real Satisfaction in Life
Of course, many people do not, as was the case with this young man, experiment with a course of crime. Still they may be leading lives showing that they lack purpose and direction. All they may see is their routine of life and its diversions.
This was the experience of an American woman living in Tokyo, Japan. Her Japanese neighbor began studying the Bible with Jehovah’s witnesses and, therefore, their neighborly conversations would often turn to religious subjects. But nothing made a deep impression on the American woman. She was too distracted with her regular routine. She was very busy in church activities—a steady stream of fellowships, luncheons, adult nights and programs. There were dinners and parties to give and to attend. Yet she really was not happy. Her life seemed to have a certain emptiness.
Returning to the United States, she found that things had changed for her. No longer distracted by a host of diversions, she began to think seriously about her life. She remarks:
“I became interested in seeking a deeper meaning for life. My home situation was a very unhappy one, and daily I was getting more desperate, more hopeless, with nothing really important to live for. In the back of my mind I suppose I knew that my relationship with God wasn’t a satisfactory one. I prayed for happiness, begged, tried to bargain with God for just a little less misery and anguish. I felt that my life had become a dark, empty hole. I was mentally exhausted, with no relief in sight.”
Then, last winter something took place that led to a fine change in this woman’s life. A young person handed her a tract. Opening it later, she recognized it as a publication of Jehovah’s witnesses and thought to herself, ‘Well, why not try this? It certainly can’t hurt. I don’t have anything to lose if I just call the phone number on the back.’
She continues: “Well, it certainly didn’t hurt. It was the beginning of the most beautiful, wonderful feeling of peace and security and hope for the future. There, in Jehovah’s Word, was the most excellent guide for living for real living, for everlasting living, for life in a perfect environment. All the questions that had been roaring about in my mind for years had an answer in the Bible. How much this meant to me! Very soon I came to realize that my previous Bible ‘knowledge’ was shallow, and most of it was incorrect. No wonder I hadn’t known which way to turn to straighten out my life.”
Religious Hypocrisy, a Hindrance to Recognizing God’s Care
At times what people see among members of their religious organizations greatly disappoints them and causes them to forget about God.
A married couple in the state of Michigan found that this had happened to them. They were disturbed by religious hypocrisy among members of their own church. They learned that many fellow members of the local Methodist Church were engaging in wife swapping. In disgust, they quit attending church. But, as they said, ‘In leaving the church, we felt that we had left God and knew that we shouldn’t have done that.’
However, in time their experience caused them to think about Jehovah’s witnesses. This was because the conduct of the Witnesses impressed them. The man and his wife even told friends and neighbors that they would like to become Jehovah’s witnesses, saying: “They all seem so wholesome and so well versed in the Bible.” Later, they gladly accepted the offer to study the Bible with Jehovah’s witnesses. On the basis of increased Bible knowledge, the man, despite his being a thirty-second degree Mason, severed his connections with the Masonic Lodge and she with the Order of the Eastern Star.
Both the man and his wife are now very happy to be able to help others to appreciate that there is a group of Christians who show appreciation for God’s care by striving to do his will.
If you have been disappointed by religious hypocrisy and at times have felt that God does not care about mankind, why not examine what the Bible says? See for yourself the evidence that God is interested in you. We are confident that you will find that living in agreement with what you learn will affect your life for good even now.