Hope Safeguards the Mind
LIFE is man’s most precious possession. However, without hope life loses its value and meaning. Every sixty seconds, according to Dr. Eugene W. Kansky, some person in the United States attempts to commit suicide, and every year about 20,000 succeed. This makes suicide one of the top ten causes of death in the United States. Since hopelessness leads to loss of life, a wise person seeks to fortify his mind with a strong, solid hope for the future. Christians are encouraged to put on “as a helmet the hope of salvation.”—1 Thess. 5:8.
Hope is defined as a “desire accompanied with expectation of obtaining what is desired.” Since the first man’s fall from perfection because of rebellion against his Creator, the human race has been sunk in the mire of tribulation, despair, sickness and eventual death. Man longingly desires better things—peace, security, health and life. Placing his trust in material wealth or some man or organization, he builds up an expectation of obtaining these desired things. Thus he develops a hope; it urges him on, telling him tomorrow will be better. Such hope makes life worth living and brings joy to the heart
As an example, when the nations emerged from the horrors of World War II world leaders held out the United Nations as man’s ‘best hope for peace.’ With their hearts yearning for peace, men looked to this organization with keen expectation. At the signing of its charter in San Francisco in 1945, “church bells were rung. Christians crowded into their churches. They sang glad hosannas to the Prince of Peace. They thanked God that at long last an institution had been created to ‘save succeeding generations from the scourge of war.’”—The Churches and the United Nations, by Walter W. Van Kirk.
What happened to these joy-producing hopes? Walter Van Kirk admits: “There is no denying that the high hopes born at San Francisco have not been fully realized.” What an understatement in view of the recent turn of events! Shattered hopes and unfulfilled expectations have brought disappointment, leaving millions heartsick. Mankind’s oft-repeated mistake has been to place hope in the efforts of weak, mortal men to satisfy the desires of the heart. Therefore the wise counsel from God’s Word is: “Do not put your trust in nobles, nor in the son of earthling man, to whom no salvation belongs. Happy is the one that has the God of Jacob for his help, whose hope is in Jehovah his God.”—Ps. 146:3, 5; Prov. 13:12.
Hopes built on the promises of men so often lead to disappointment, but Jehovah is “the God who gives hope” that is built on the strongest foundation in the universe, his own promise. The inspired Record assures that “it is impossible for God to lie.” So we “have strong encouragement to lay hold on the hope set before us. This hope we have as an anchor for the soul, both sure and firm.” The hope God gives “does not lead to disappointment.”—Rom. 15:13; Heb. 6:18, 19; Rom. 5:5.
The hearts of mankind cry out for peace, security, health and life. They want to live without the threat of war, famine and disease. God’s Word invites them: “Trust in Jehovah and do good . . . and he will give you the requests of your heart.” Jehovah will satisfy the requests of the hearts of all those trusting in him by providing for them a new world wherein “righteousness is to dwell.” In that new world “the work of the true righteousness must become peace, and the service of the true righteousness quietness and security to time indefinite. And my people must dwell in a peaceful abiding place and in residences of full confidence and in undisturbed resting places.”—Ps. 37:3, 4; 2 Pet. 3:13; Isa. 32:17, 18.
Jehovah will even satisfy the heart’s desire for perfect health and endless life. For “he will wipe out every tear from their eyes, and death will be no more, neither will mourning nor outcry nor pain be any more. The former things have passed away.” What a marvelous hope this is! It is something we all desire, and we can have the most complete confidence it will be fulfilled, because it is promised by Almighty God! So “rejoice in the hope ahead.” Meditate on it, develop a keen desire for “the everlasting life which God, who cannot lie, promised long ago.”—Rev. 21:4; Rom. 12:12; Titus 1:2.
By making Jehovah’s promise our hope we will have a firm anchor for our souls. Like a helmet, that hope will safeguard our minds. As this world continues to meet one calamity after another, bringing bitter disappointment to those whose hopes are placed in it, our hope in Jehovah’s new world will become brighter and more precious. Even if calamity should strike us in the form of accident, persecution, sickness or death of a loved one, our hope will sustain us, urging us on with the assurance of Jehovah’s blessing in his new world.
Jehovah is made happy when his servants treasure his gift of life. This gift serves as a safeguard for our mind. How is this? Have you ever promised a child something he so keenly wanted provided he would get a good mark on his school examinations? The child focused his mind on his studies, not letting outside interests distract him, because he so keenly wanted that fine gift. While he studied, the child visualized possessing the gift and, thrilled at the thought, studied harder to make it a reality. Similarly Jehovah promises everlasting life as a reward for obedience to his will. By being thrilled at the prospect we will set our minds on doing God’s will, not letting anything distract us, in order to be assured of gaining the keenly desired reward of life.
So guard your mind by resting your hope on the sure promises of Jehovah. Make that hope a reality by learning God’s will and then doing it. Let your attitude be that expressed at Isaiah 25:9: “Look! This is our God. We have hoped in him, and he will save us. This is Jehovah. We have hoped in him. Let us be joyful and rejoice in the salvation by him.”