Hope Gives One Reasons to Live
THE pressures of living at a fast pace in a highly industrialized society, sickness and discouragement are among the things that have caused many people to lose joy in life. Some feel as did afflicted Job of ancient times: “I would rather be choked outright; I would prefer death to all my sufferings. I am in despair, I would not go on living.” (Job 7:15, 16, New English Bible) Yet even those who would prefer death can change their whole outlook on life once they come to appreciate the marvelous hope that God sets forth in his Word, the Bible.
● Take the case of a young mother with two children in the state of Ohio. She worked nights and slept during the day. The pressures became just too much for her. In the hope of getting some help, she visited a psychiatrist for about a year and a half.
He prescribed tranquilizers for her. But this brought her no real relief, as she continued contemplating suicide. She would tell the psychiatrist she lost her prescription so that he would give her another one. Then she would get both prescriptions filled. She saved the extra pills, intending to take them all at one time and thus to end her life. Whenever she got depressed, she would count the pills that she had set aside.
But then a big change took place in her life. She agreed to study the Bible with one of Jehovah’s witnesses. The hope that the Scriptures contain about God’s destroying the present system within this generation and ushering in a righteous new order helped her to look at life differently. In fact, the week she began studying she decided to stop taking tranquilizers, and prayed to Jehovah God for help to do this. Though she had tried to stop taking the pills before, she would always go back to them because of bad withdrawal symptoms. This time, however, she succeeded.
Now she is looking forward, not to dying, but to living a life dedicated to God and helping others to find the hope that gave her reason to live.
● Then there is the experience of a young man afflicted with multiple sclerosis. Half of his body was paralyzed. Confined to a nursing home, he had no real hope and was looking forward to death.
While in the nursing home, he began to study the Bible with one of Jehovah’s witnesses. As the study progressed, the young man began attending some meetings at the Kingdom Hall. At one of these meetings, a traveling elder, a circuit overseer, told about a man also afflicted with multiple sclerosis. He pointed out that study of the Bible gave this man a completely new outlook on life, resulting in physical improvement.
What effect did this have on the multiple sclerosis victim hearing the experience? The Witness who studied with him relates: “When I took him back to the nursing home he was extremely quiet. I took the wheelchair out of the car, put him in it, and took him back to his room. He still didn’t say a word. Finally, after some moments in the room, he said, ‘That wasn’t true.’ I questioned him, ‘What wasn’t true?’ He replied, ‘The experience about the person with multiple sclerosis,’ adding that one so afflicted does not improve.
The Witness encouraged the young man to speak to the traveling elder about it, but he did not want to do that. Nevertheless, the young man continued studying the Bible. In time he, too, began to appreciate that God’s promise about a righteous new system was something he wanted to help others to know about. At last he had a hope that he desired to share with others.
Instead of staying in his wheelchair, he tried to walk in his room by holding on to his furniture. He bought himself a walker and had good success in getting around with it. Eventually he became a baptized Witness. Using one finger, he would type from ten to twenty letters a week, sharing what he had learned from the Bible with interested persons and those whom other Witnesses found difficult to contact.
Instead of continuing to live in the nursing home, he arranged to live in his own apartment, to care for it and to cook his own meals. Yes, the hope that God’s Word gave him resulted in his looking forward, no longer to death, but to everlasting life in God’s righteous new order.
If you are not now studying the Bible with Jehovah’s witnesses, why not do so and see for yourself the wholesome effect that God-given hope can have on your life?