Learning to Trust in Jehovah
IN OUR generation tremendous pressures are brought on everyone. From every direction problems confront people. It is like a heavy atmosphere pushing in from all sides. It certainly takes courage to keep going.
The only way anyone can face the world’s pressures successfully is by trusting in Jehovah, the Creator. For that reason Jehovah’s witnesses endeavor to help people to see that man’s solutions will fail, that only God can and will bring help to mankind.
God’s Word says: “Do not put your trust in nobles, nor in the son of earthling man, to whom no salvation belongs. Happy is the one . . . whose hope is in Jehovah his God, the Maker of heaven and earth, . . . the One keeping trueness to time indefinite.”—Ps. 146:3, 5, 6.
CHRISTIANS CAN LEARN
But even true Christians, whose hope and trust are in God’s Kingdom rule for this earth, have much to learn about trusting in Jehovah. It is relatively easy to look at this decaying system of things and to say that the only hope is in God’s government for earth. However, questions each can ask himself are: ‘Am I really living a life of trust in Jehovah?’ ‘Do I trust, not only in what God will do in the future, but also in his day-to-day guidance?’
For example, you may be a young, vigorous person. Or you may be situated in a comfortable home, with financial security. This is fine. But you have to make decisions as to secular work, getting things you need or want, or doing things you enjoy. In doing so, do you place trust in your own vigor or possessions? The Bible writer James warns against misplacing our trust when he says:
“Come, now, you who say: ‘Today or tomorrow we will journey to this city and will spend a year there, and we will engage in business and make profits,’ whereas you do not know what your life will be tomorrow. For you are a mist appearing for a little while and then disappearing. Instead, you ought to say: ‘If Jehovah wills, we shall live and also do this or that.’”—Jas. 4:13-15.
So, in making any decision, do you first search for God’s guidance on the matter? How will it affect your service to Him, to your brothers and to others? Will it simplify your life, reducing things that distract from attention to Christian duties? Will it enable you to care better for responsibilities in the congregation, or to ‘reach out’ to serve in a wider capacity? Will it help you to improve your spirituality? How will it give you more opportunity to be with your family and build them up?
One of the main considerations is, What will it do for me NOW in a spiritual way? Anything that will hinder now is dangerous, because now is when you are alive, as James says. Moreover, the future of this entire system of things is short.
On the other hand, you may not be materially well-to-do. Do you, nevertheless, trust in Jehovah by favoring spiritual things when making a decision, sacrificing, if necessary, better material prospects? This demonstrates real trust in Jehovah.
TRUST IN TIME OF HARDSHIPS
Then, too, we need to trust in Jehovah when real hardships or persecutions face us. The apostle Paul wrote: “For we do not wish you to be ignorant, brothers, about the tribulation that happened to us in the district of Asia, that we were under extreme pressure beyond our strength, so that we were very uncertain even of our lives. In fact, we felt within ourselves that we had received the sentence of death. This was that we might have our trust, not in ourselves, but in the God who raises up the dead. From such a great thing as death he did rescue us and will rescue us; and our hope is in him that he will also rescue us further.”—2 Cor. 1:8-10.
We should view adversities as opportunities to strengthen our trust in Jehovah, for when there is nothing more we can do for ourselves, in whom else can we trust? For some of Jehovah’s witnesses it was when they were engaging in the full-time preaching work that they first fully learned what trust in Jehovah means. At times they did not know where their next meal was coming from. Yet when they exercised faith and trust, going ahead in this “pioneer” work that they had chosen as a life’s vocation, they were amply provided for, and they had happiness.—1 Tim. 6:6-8.
In times of distress or persecution, appeal to God in prayer. (Heb. 4:16) Also, do not overlook the help that the prayers of your Christian brothers can bring. The apostle appealed to his fellow Christians: “You also can help along by your supplication for us.” (2 Cor. 1:11) If you are demonstrating trust in Jehovah by your course of action, and if your faithful brothers are interceding with God in prayers for you, you can have perfect confidence that you will be given all the help you need.—1 Tim. 2:1.
Trust in Jehovah involves more than the faith that he will take care of us. It includes showing boldness, freeness of speech on our part, sticking to Bible principles and letting others know our stand. Jesus said: “Everyone, then, that confesses union with me before men, I will also confess union with him before my Father who is in the heavens.”—Matt. 10:32.
The truth of this has been experienced by a brother who nearly all his years in the truth has been paralyzed. It took great effort and years of training even to walk and to do anything for himself. He worked hard in school to learn journalism. He became very successful in radio and TV broadcasting, but was always firm and open about the truth—he made it clear to his employers from the beginning that he was one of Jehovah’s witnesses and could not violate Christian principles in advertising. He lost jobs because of his openness and turned down executive jobs because they involved activities that would have required him to violate his conscience.
Nevertheless, this brother and his wife have been well provided for, without dependence on others. Work has always been available for him. In addition, Jehovah has opened to him fine opportunities to witness to persons normally hard to reach, and he has enjoyed many congregation assignments, serving as an elder, and participating in news-service activity at large assemblies of Jehovah’s witnesses.
So, no one should despair, regardless of his physical condition, his financial status, his background or present circumstances. In fact, God is more greatly glorified when it is evident that a thing was accomplished, not by the individual’s own strength or ability, but by God’s power. As the apostle says: “We have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the power beyond what is normal may be God’s and not that out of ourselves.”—2 Cor. 4:7.