Keep Trusting Jehovah for the Reward
“Happy is he that is trusting in Jehovah.”—Prov. 16:20.
1, 2. Why should we trust Jehovah to remedy mankind’s problems?
THOUSANDS of years of history have demonstrated that humans, however well intentioned and scientifically advanced, cannot remedy mankind’s huge problems. Only the Creator of the universe, and of life on this earth, can be trusted to do so. He alone has the wisdom, the power and the will required. Appreciating this, the psalmist declared: “You are my hope, O Sovereign Lord Jehovah, my confidence from my youth.” (Ps. 71:5) That hope is well placed, since God’s Word promises: “The hope does not lead to disappointment.” (Rom. 5:5) Rightly, then, the Bible counsels: “Trust in Jehovah with all your heart and do not lean upon your own understanding.”—Prov. 3:5.
2 A very compelling reason why we should trust Jehovah is that the future of mankind will be decided by him, not by humans. Nor will it be determined by any mythical idea such as “evolution,” nor by any blind force labeled “progress.” Indeed, the future already has been determined by Jehovah. And we can trust him to fulfill what he has purposed for the future since “it is impossible for God to lie.” (Heb. 6:18) Further, Jehovah comfortingly tells us: “So my word that goes forth from my mouth will prove to be. It will not return to me without results, but it will certainly do that in which I have delighted, and it will have certain success in that for which I have sent it.” (Isa. 55:11) No human can be so trustworthy.
3. What reassurance does Jehovah give his servants?
3 In addition, Jehovah shows his loving concern for his servants by keeping them informed about his purposes: “The Sovereign Lord Jehovah will not do a thing unless he has revealed his confidential matter to his servants the prophets.” (Amos 3:7) Says Jehovah: “New things I am telling out. Before they begin to spring up, I cause you people to hear them.” (Isa. 42:9) How reassuring it is for God to tell his trusting servants ahead of time what he will do in the future. And as his promises are fulfilled, it builds even greater trust in him. Jesus said: “I have told you before it occurs, in order that, when it does occur, you may believe.”—John 14:29.
TRUSTWORTHY AT ALL TIMES
4, 5. (a) How did Jehovah’s words to our first parents prove to be true? (b) In what ways have other parts of God’s earthly creation suffered?
4 From the very beginning of mankind’s history, Jehovah has demonstrated the trustworthiness of his promises and that his warnings are to be heeded. An example is what happened to our first parents, Adam and Eve. They misused the fine gift of free will that God had given them. In fact, Eve believed that independence from God’s rule would actually improve matters, enabling her to “be like God.” (Gen. 3:5) But was that the case? No, for Jehovah already had warned that turning away from his rule would be certain to result in misery and death. Jehovah knew that humans were not created with the ability to be successful, independent of their Creator.—Gen. 2:17; 3:17-19.
5 Jehovah’s words to our first parents certainly proved to be true. When they moved out from under God’s direction they also lost contact with the sustaining Source of life. In time, they grew old and died, just as God had warned. They also passed on imperfection to their offspring. All mankind has thus experienced the calamity of sin and death brought upon us by our first parents, who trusted human rule instead of God’s rule. (Rom. 5:12) And it has been a calamity for the animal realm too. Man no longer exercises loving dominion over the animals as he did in the beginning. (Gen. 1:26) Instead, man has exploited the animals, causing the extinction of many varieties, especially in recent years. Man has also exploited, plundered and polluted the earth so that in many places it too is in disorder. “All creation keeps on groaning together and being in pain together until now” as a consequence of man’s not trusting Jehovah.—Rom. 8:22.
6. What resulted from trusting, or not trusting, Jehovah during the days of Noah?
6 By Noah’s day, centuries after the rebellion in Eden, the world of mankind had become exceedingly corrupt and violent. God told Noah that the ancient world was to be destroyed by means of an earth-wide flood. Noah and his family trusted Jehovah, so they began preparing for it: “Noah proceeded to do according to all that God had commanded him. He did just so.” (Gen. 6:22) But Noah had to keep trusting Jehovah for many years, since he was told about the flood decades before it occurred. What of the other people in that ancient world? “They took no note,” Jesus said. Yet, right at the appointed time “the flood came and swept them all away.” (Matt. 24:39) Our existence today demonstrates that Jehovah’s words were trustworthy. It also proves that the best course for humans is to keep trusting Jehovah. Why so? Because all of us are descendants of Noah. Those who did not trust Jehovah in Noah’s day did not have any more children. They all perished under the floodwaters, cutting off their lines of descent.—Gen. 7:22, 23.
7. How did Jehovah’s promise prove trustworthy in Abraham’s time?
7 Jehovah’s trustworthiness was again demonstrated in the days of Abraham. Jehovah had informed Abraham and his wife Sarah that they would have a child. However, Sarah was well past the age of childbearing. When she heard the news, she laughed. Noting this, Jehovah said to Abraham: “Is anything too extraordinary for Jehovah? At the appointed time I shall return to you, next year at this time, and Sarah will have a son.” Exactly at Jehovah’s appointed time, Sarah had her son, Isaac. Jehovah had miraculously rekindled the procreative powers of Sarah in line with his purpose to bring forth the Messiah through Abraham’s line of descent.—Gen. 18:9-14; 21:2.
8. How were Jehovah’s promises fulfilled for an entire nation?
8 In the days of Moses, God’s servants were severely oppressed by the brutal world power of that time, Egypt. But Jehovah said: “Unquestionably I have seen the affliction of my people who are in Egypt, and I have heard their outcry as a result of those who drive them to work; because I well know the pains they suffer. And I am proceeding to go down to deliver them out of the hand of the Egyptians and to bring them up out of that land to a land good and spacious, to a land flowing with milk and honey.” (Ex. 3:7, 8) These promises were fulfilled, as God caused the release of his servants from Egypt, taking out of the way other strong enemy nations too. His servants, several million of them, ultimately came into a “land good and spacious,” “flowing with milk and honey.” So Jehovah’s promises to that entire nation proved to be trustworthy, being fulfilled in every detail.—Josh. 21:43-45.
9. What happened to Israel and Judah because of not trusting Jehovah?
9 Had ancient Israel kept trusting Jehovah, they would have continued to prosper in their new land. But instead, they began trusting their own human wisdom. Eventually gross apostasy and corruption became habitual in spite of Jehovah’s undeserved kindness. God’s spokesman Ahijah prophesied regarding the ten-tribe northern kingdom of Israel: “Jehovah will indeed strike Israel down . . . and he will certainly uproot Israel off this good ground that he gave to their forefathers.” (1 Ki. 14:15) Jehovah’s words again came true: “The king of Assyria captured Samaria and then led Israel into exile in Assyria.” “Jehovah removed Israel from his sight, just as he had spoken by means of all his servants the prophets. So Israel went off its own soil into exile in Assyria.” (2 Ki. 17:6, 23) Later, Jehovah’s words again proved true, when the southern kingdom of Judah was taken into exile by the Babylonians.—2 Chron. 36:15-21.
TRUSTING JEHOVAH IN OUR DAY
10. In our day, what kind of trust do Jehovah’s servants need to show?
10 Today God’s servants are surrounded by a grossly corrupt and violent world, similar to that of Noah’s day. To keep from being swallowed up in wickedness, discouragement, or disbelief, we very much need to keep trusting Jehovah fully. We need to have the same attitude of mind that Joshua, a faithful servant of Jehovah, had long ago. He said: “You well know with all your hearts and with all your souls that not one word out of all the good words that Jehovah your God has spoken to you has failed. They have all come true for you. Not one word of them has failed.” “Not a promise failed out of all the good promise that Jehovah had made to the house of Israel; it all came true.”—Josh. 23:14; 21:45.
11. How have Jehovah’s words for our generation been fulfilled?
11 However, it is not only in ancient times that God’s servants have seen the fulfillments of his words and promises. Similar fulfillments have come to pass in our day. An example of this is what has happened to the world in this generation. Contrary to the predictions of many human leaders that this century would mark a glorious new scientific age where mankind’s problems would be solved, God’s Word accurately foretold: “Know this, that in the last days critical times hard to deal with will be here.” The greed, hatred, lawlessness, world wars, juvenile delinquency, family breakdown, religious hypocrisy and disbelief in God, foretold to take place in our time, have all come to pass. This has happened according to Jehovah’s precise timetable, beginning with the year 1914, the turning point of modern history.—Matt. 24:3-14; 2 Tim. 3:1-5, 13.
12. In what ways has Jehovah prospered his servants today?
12 Yet, in the midst of this very difficult period, these “last days” of the present system, Jehovah has protected and prospered his trusting servants in a marvelous way. Despite immense cruelties heaped upon them by persecutors, his worshipers have grown until they number into the millions. As Jehovah’s Word had foretold: “The little one himself will become a thousand, and the small one a mighty nation. I myself, Jehovah, shall speed it up in its own time.” (Isa. 60:22) In addition, his servants are learning how to produce the fruitage of God’s guiding spirit, for they are cultivating “love, joy, peace, long-suffering, kindness, goodness, faith, mildness, self-control.” (Gal. 5:22, 23) Fulfilled upon God’s servants are the words of Psalm 29:11: “Jehovah himself will give strength indeed to his people. Jehovah himself will bless his people with peace.” And all of this is happening while the world, in contrast, descends deeper into “fornication, uncleanness, loose conduct, idolatry, practice of spiritism, enmities, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, contentions, divisions, sects, envies, drunken bouts, revelries, and things like these.”—Gal. 5:19-21.
13, 14. While secular authorities recognize mankind’s critical problems, what remedies do they still offer?
13 Secular authorities acknowledge the critical condition of the world. But they do not look to Jehovah for the remedies. They are still looking to human wisdom for the way out. An example is noted in the book Environmental Ethics, which says: “Any realistic examination of man on earth today shows that he is headed for the cataclysmic disasters of famine, pestilence, and war.” But what remedy is suggested? The authors state:
“Some form of world government such as a universal United Nations must be established so that mankind can consider himself as a species and manage himself as a whole.
“A world-wide educational program is needed to convince the people of the world of the necessity of programs to bring population and resources into ecological balance, and this can be accomplished only with international cooperation. . . .
“One can hope that the power elite of the world—the leaders of government, business, industry, and the military—will see the need of planned world cooperation for the good of the human species, and thus form a world government.”
After thus pointing to the need for a world government, however, they expressed the fear “that the need will not be acted on . . . until famine, pestilence, and war strike a large proportion of the world’s people.”
14 Similarly, in the book entitled Ark II, scientists D. Pirages and P. Ehrlich observe:
“Noah had ample warning from a respected authority to build his Ark, and he used his time to good advantage. Skeptics laughed, ridiculed, and drowned—but Noah . . . survived.
“We too have been warned that a flood of problems now threatens the persistence of industrial society, but this time the ark cannot be built out of wood and caulking.
“We must ensure our survival by redesigning the political, economic, and social institutions of industrial society. If a new institutional ark cannot be made watertight in time, industrial society will sink.”
15. (a) Why is there no reason to trust human remedies at this late date? (b) Who are truly cooperating with the only remedy for mankind’s problems?
15 Does human history give any sound reason to believe that this corrupt system can be “redesigned”? Is there any basis for trusting the nations suddenly to cooperate world wide, unselfishly, in every sphere of human activity? Are they conducting a worldwide educational program that would unite all mankind under one government, and motivate all people to a common purpose? None of these things are being done by them. In all the nations Jehovah’s servants alone are peacefully and unitedly cooperating to teach people about the incoming one government for all mankind that Jehovah has purposed, his heavenly kingdom under Christ. They do not promote a redesigning of this present unworkable system of things, since that is not God’s purpose. He will not redesign it, but will demolish it. In that promise we can trust.—Dan. 2:44; Matt. 6:9, 10.
16. In what promises should we have full confidence?
16 Jehovah’s servants must not be misled by any schemes to perpetuate this present corrupt system of things. They should, instead, keep trusting Jehovah with full confidence to bring this wicked system to an end and to replace it with his new order of righteousness. (2 Pet. 3:10-13) We must be confident that Jehovah alone can and will, for his trusting servants, “wipe out every tear from their eyes, and death will be no more, neither will mourning nor outcry nor pain be anymore.” (Rev. 21:4) Precisely at his appointed time, Jehovah will fulfill such promises, for “these words are faithful and true.”—Rev. 21:5.
17. What serves as a source of encouragement to us?
17 In addition, as an encouragement to keep trusting in him, Jehovah asks his servants to keep their eyes focused on his rewards. “He that approaches God must believe that he is and that he becomes the rewarder of those earnestly seeking him.” (Heb. 11:6) The hope of the reward was a stimulus to first-century Christians. The apostle Paul said: “My beloved brothers, become steadfast, unmovable, always having plenty to do in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in connection with the Lord.” “God is not unrighteous so as to forget your work and the love you showed for his name.”—1 Cor. 15:58; Heb. 6:10.
18. Should our trust in Jehovah be diminished even if we have to face death?
18 Our trust in Jehovah should not be diminished even if we should have to face death before God’s new order becomes a reality. We can have the same trust that Abraham had when he was asked to sacrifice Isaac. “He reckoned that God was able to raise him up even from the dead.” When Jehovah intervened, Isaac was as good as dead, which is why the Bible says that, from the dead, Abraham “did receive [Isaac] also in an illustrative way.” (Heb. 11:19) Can any human agency bring back the dead? Surely not. Only Jehovah can, through the arrangements that he provides.—Acts 24:15.
19. What are some of the rewards Jehovah’s trusting servants will receive in the New Order?
19 In God’s new order, his trusting servants will receive the full reward for their faithfulness to him. Forever will they be freed from the corrupt system of things that now oppresses them. Forever will they be freed from the curses of sin and death. And the fine training that Jehovah’s servants are now getting in working and living together according to God’s standards will be put to immediate use as they cooperate under the direction of God’s kingdom to begin building a paradise new earth. What happiness will then be experienced by all those who kept trusting Jehovah! How grateful they will be to Jehovah as they see blessing after blessing poured out upon them! Truly, “the meek ones themselves will possess the earth, and they will indeed find their exquisite delight in the abundance of peace.”—Ps. 37:11.
20. What confidence can we have as to how earth’s resources will be used under God’s kingdom?
20 In God’s new order, people will no longer have to worry about the inventions and machines of science working against them. Jehovah, who created all material things, including energy, knows what his servants should use to make the earth a paradise. Advances in knowledge or in living standards will no longer work to damage and pollute the earth. The Creator and Regulator of the billions of galaxies in the universe knows how to direct his people in the most beneficial and lasting use of the things he has made for their enjoyment. Thus, from the record of the past and present, we have every reason to keep trusting Jehovah, as his Word counsels: “Trust in Jehovah and do good; reside in the earth, and deal with faithfulness. Also take exquisite delight in Jehovah, and he will give you the requests of your heart. Roll upon Jehovah your way, and rely upon him, and he himself will act.”—Ps. 37:3-5.
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Only Jehovah’s servants are unitedly, world wide, teaching people about the one government that God has purposed for all mankind