A Global Joy
“LOOK! My own servants will cry out joyfully because of the good condition of the heart.” (Isaiah 65:14) So said Jehovah through his prophet Isaiah, and what a magnificent fulfillment his words are having among Jehovah’s Witnesses! Whence comes their joy of heart? From their united worship of Jehovah God. He is “the happy God,” and those who worship him are “joyful in Jehovah.” (1 Timothy 1:11; Zechariah 10:7) This joyful devotion unites them into one nation as together they preach the good news of the Kingdom and raise a global shout of praise to their God.—Revelation 7:9, 10.
“A Joy That No One Can Take Away”
Indeed, publicizing God’s name and Kingdom is a source of constant joy to Jehovah’s Witnesses. (Mark 13:10) They respond to the words of the psalmist: “Make your boast in his holy name. Let the heart of those seeking Jehovah rejoice.”—Psalm 105:3.
Often, they overcome obstacles to do this. In Spain, Isidro dedicated himself to Jehovah, and he wanted to talk to others about Him. But he is a truck driver with limited free time, making long journeys through the night and sleeping during the day. Isidro wanted to witness to other truckers, but how could he do this?
He fitted into his truck a CB (citizens band) radio that he could use to talk to the other drivers. He soon discovered a little-used channel, 13, and decided to take advantage of it. Of course, when he first suggested to other truckers that they talk about the Bible over the CB radio, the response was quite negative. But some listened. Word spread, and more and more of those Spanish truckers tuned in to channel 13. Recently, Isidro learned that at least one is taking steps to further his study of the Bible.
In Italy a man heard of Jehovah’s Witnesses through a conversation he had on a bus. His wife met them through a friend. Both studied the Bible and were eager to share what they learned with others. So eager were they that the man refused a promotion in his firm and the wife gave up a well-paying job so that they could spend more time telling others the good news of the Kingdom. Was it worth it? Yes. The man says: “Since we came to know the truth, my wife and I have had the joy of helping 20 persons to come to an accurate knowledge of God’s purpose. When evening comes, and I return home after a day in Jehovah’s service, I feel tired, it is true. But I am happy, and I thank Jehovah for having given me a joy that no one can take away.”
“To the Most Distant Part of the Earth”
Those in God’s joyful nation show a similar zeal wherever they are, even in “the most distant part of the earth.” (Acts 1:8) Few places are more distant than northern Greenland. Yet, even there, 200 miles [320 km] north of the Arctic Circle, is the small congregation of Ilulissat, made up of 19 people. They preach the same good news as that Italian couple, and they were thrilled last year to see seven Greenlanders baptized in symbol of their dedication to Jehovah.
Many thousands of miles from Greenland, on the subtropical island of Mauritius in the Indian Ocean, Anjinee has the same joy. Things were at first difficult for Anjinee. In Mauritius attending Christian meetings and publicly preaching about God are not viewed as suitable activities for a single girl of Hindu Indian origin. But Anjinee persevered. Now, nine years after she began her Christian course, some of her relatives are also studying the Bible.
In connection with Anjinee should be mentioned Emilio, on the other side of the world, in Honduras. Emilio heard workmates discussing the Bible at work and asked to be included. He could not read but listened with pleasure when Bible texts were read. As Christian truth penetrated his heart, Emilio gave up his immoral life-style and stopped drinking excessively. Jehovah’s Witnesses taught him to read and write, and now he is a minister in God’s joyful nation.
Thousands of miles northwest of Honduras, an Eskimo mother in Alaska learned the same Christian truth. This lady lived in a very isolated village, and her only contact with Jehovah’s Witnesses was through the mail. So she studied by mail, asked her questions by mail, and is now zealously sharing what she knows with her neighbors. Examples such as these could be multiplied almost indefinitely. All around the globe, meekhearted ones are coming to “serve Jehovah with rejoicing.”—Psalm 100:2.
“Have Love Among Yourselves”
One thing that attracts all of these is the love that exists in God’s joyful nation. Jesus said: “By this all will know that you are my disciples, if you have love among yourselves.” (John 13:35) Christian love is seen in the day-to-day lives of these genuine Christians, and especially in times of disaster.
In one African land where the activity of Jehovah’s Witnesses is, unfortunately, banned, there was a severe drought. Ten thousand people died, and whole herds of cattle perished. How did the Witnesses survive? By eating the roots of plants and cooked avocado pits! But their plight was dramatically eased when, with God’s help, Witnesses in other lands unexpectedly obtained permission to send in 25 tons of relief provisions. Indeed, despite the ban, these provisions were given a military escort to ensure their safe delivery!
Truly, those African Witnesses were overjoyed to receive this proof of the love of their brothers for them as they experienced the fulfillment of Isaiah’s words: “Look! The hand of Jehovah has not become too short that it cannot save, nor has his ear become too heavy that it cannot hear.”—Isaiah 59:1.
A Peaceful People
Meekhearted ones are also attracted to God’s joyful nation because its members have abandoned the warlike ways of this world and ‘have beaten their swords into plowshares.’ (Isaiah 2:4) In El Salvador, the house of an ex-military man was full of mementos of his military career. But when he began studying the Bible with Jehovah’s Witnesses, he developed peaceful interests. Eventually, he cleared his house of everything that had to do with war and zealously took up the preaching work.
When antigovernment forces took control of his village, he was taken prisoner—evidently someone had pointed him out as a former military man. He explained, however, that he was no longer a soldier but one of Jehovah’s Witnesses. The subversives accused him of having arms in his house, but a search revealed none. The one in charge of the subversives then asked the neighbors about him. A typical comment was: “He just goes up and down the street preaching about the Bible day after day.” The man was released. Undoubtedly, his zeal served to save his life.
A report from an African country tells of two soldiers who studied the Bible with Jehovah’s Witnesses. One served in the government’s army, the other fought for the rebels. Eventually, both decided to “beat their swords into plowshares” and resigned from the military. When they attended Christian meetings for the first time, the antigovernment soldier asked the other: “What do you want here?” He replied: “And you, what do you want here?” “Then,” the report concludes, “hugging each other, they shed tears of joy because they could be together in peace.” Both these former military men doubtless prayed to God: “Deliver me from bloodguiltiness, O God the God of my salvation, that my tongue may joyfully tell about your righteousness.”—Psalm 51:14.
“You Have Seen My Affliction”
“I will be joyful and rejoice in your loving-kindness, in that you have seen my affliction; you have known about the distresses of my soul.” (Psalm 31:7) So prayed the psalmist, and many today rejoice because God’s Word helps them cope with their afflictions. In France one of Jehovah’s Witnesses conducts a study with a woman who suffers from schizophrenia. This woman had been under psychiatric treatment for some time, but this had not helped. The week after she started her study, the psychiatrist asked: “Do you really understand what this woman is explaining to you from the Bible?” So the following week, the Witness went to his office and studied the Bible with the lady in his presence.
After the study, the psychiatrist told the Witness: “Over the years I have taken an interest in my patients’ religions, but I noticed that no real support was offered by any religion. In your case, though, things are different. Mrs. P—— comes in twice a week for consultation, and she pays me for it. Yet, with your Bible teaching and good advice, you are doing better work free of charge. She is making good progress. Keep it up, and I assure you of my full cooperation if ever you should need it.”
The Bible says: “Happy are the people knowing the joyful shouting. O Jehovah, in the light of your face they keep walking. In your name they are joyful all day long.” (Psalm 89:15, 16) Every one of Jehovah’s Witnesses knows that this psalm is true. From their mouths a global shout of joy is going up to Jehovah’s praise. More and more stream out of the nations to praise God along with them. Why not associate with them and experience that joy for yourself?
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Jehovah’s Witnesses in Eastern Europe rejoice now in their new freedom to receive and study “The Watchtower” in their own languages