Hope—A Valuable Possession
HOPE has tremendous sustaining power. Believing that their hard lot would eventually improve, many persons have endured injustices, oppression and deprivation. At times, hospital patients who had been given up by physicians as incurable experienced an amazing recovery. Why? Because they never lost hope. On the other hand, persons with the best potential for getting well died when they yielded to fear and despair.
In recent years, physicians and others have come to a greater appreciation of the value of hope. However, only our Creator, Jehovah God, knows fully how important it is. In his great love for humankind, he provided a sure hope at a time when there seemed to be no bright prospects. The Most High pronounced a judicial decree that gave rise to hope. Against whom was this judgment directed, and why did it point to a better future for the offspring of our first parents, Adam and Eve?
From the Bible book of Genesis, we learn that a lowly serpent was used to deceive Eve. Satan the Devil, an invisible spirit person, is identified elsewhere in Scripture as the one who was responsible for the deception, evidently employing the serpent much as a ventriloquist uses a dummy. This spirit person had deliberately set himself in opposition to God and had also slandered him. Thus he made himself Satan, meaning “Resister,” and Devil, meaning “Slanderer.” In view of the Adversary’s use of the serpent, the Bible calls him the “original serpent.”—Gen. 3:1-6; John 8:44; Rev. 12:9.
Therefore, judgment was directed to this “original serpent” as follows: “I shall put enmity between you and the woman and between your seed and her seed. He will bruise you in the head and you will bruise him in the heel.”—Gen. 3:15.
The judicial decree regarding the original serpent revealed that he would be crushed out of existence. Jesus Christ is clearly identified in the Scriptures as the one who will crush the serpent, undoing all the damage that this one has caused. At 1 John 3:8, we read: “For this purpose the Son of God was made manifest, namely, to break up the works of the Devil.” While on earth, Jesus did, of course, suffer a ‘heel wound’ when he was executed on a stake. However, since he was raised to immortal heavenly life, he can bruise the Devil in the head.
The removal of Satan and his baneful influence, and the undoing of all his wicked works, will bring about grand blessings for mankind. Fulfilled will be these comforting words: “[God] will 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.
In this 20th century, hundreds of thousands of persons have been comforted by this wonderful hope set forth in the Scriptures. A remarkable demonstration of this could be seen at the series of “Living Hope” District Conventions held by Jehovah’s Witnesses, starting in June of this year. In the continental United States, 982,585 persons assembled at 93 conventions, and 8,630 were baptized. Like assemblies were being held in other parts of the northern hemisphere. Still other “Living Hope” conventions are planned for the southern hemisphere. Just how did the delegates at these gatherings give evidence of being sustained by hope?