Joy in Store for Those Who Find the Truth
IN HIS attic, a Finnish man found the book The Divine Plan of the Ages. He started to read it on the spot, and before long he said to himself, ‘This is the truth; this is the truth.’ Upon coming down from the attic, he told his wife, “I have found the true religion.”
This experience is unusual in the way this man found the truth, but many of Jehovah’s Witnesses could relate a similar reaction. All of them can tell you of the joy it brings to find the truth. The following experiences highlight this.
True Bible Teachings Bring Joy
Margarita Königer grew up in Munich, Germany, during World War II. Bombed and burning houses were a frequent sight. Her brother died in the war. As she attended Catholic church services, she heard prayers said for the German soldiers and the führer, Hitler. After the war, she received a scholarship to attend a college in the United States as part of a student-exchange program. She found that people were friendly to her, so she wondered what it was that seemed to push people, whose natural desire is to live in peace, to distrust and hate one another during wartime. Back in Munich, she came in contact with Jehovah’s Witnesses, and through a study of the Bible with them, she found the answers to her questions. She says: “I was shown from the Bible that wicked spirit forces are involved . . . The Bible calls them ‘world rulers,’ and, in fact, says that Satan ‘is misleading the entire inhabited earth.’ . . . Judging by the ungodly, devilish actions of nations and peoples, how reasonable and satisfying this answer is!”—Ephesians 6:12; Revelation 12:9.
Margarita continues: “It brought me great joy to learn of God’s provision for solving earth’s problems. No, it will not be by means of some human ideology or administration, as proposed by worldly educators. Rather, the Bible shows that a new heavenly government will take charge of earth’s affairs. . . . Jesus Christ taught his followers to pray: ‘Let your kingdom come.’ . . . I began to see that this kingdom is a real government and that only by means of it will genuine, worldwide peace be achieved.” During almost 30 years, Margarita has served as a missionary in some five African countries—the last 19 years being spent in proclaiming truth to the humble people of Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso.
Margarita’s experience is not unique. Many have reacted just as positively when they have found that Christendom’s clergy on both sides of the battle lines pray to God for victory. Honesthearted ones see the reasonableness of the Bible’s explanation that God has nothing to do with man’s wars but that these develop because “the whole world is lying in the power of the wicked one.” These truth seekers learn that true Christians are to be “no part of the world” but are to remain neutral in its affairs. Recognizing that Jehovah’s Witnesses have taken such a stand, these newly interested ones become convinced that they have found the truth. Such ones grow in hope and joy as they gain increased knowledge regarding why God has allowed wickedness and how he will shortly bring about peace and righteous conditions on the earth by means of his Kingdom.—1 John 5:19; John 17:16; Matthew 6:9, 10.
True Bible Principles Bring Joy
Daniel Rosero of Ecuador felt that life was meaningless, so he started to drink. The church he attended taught him that the only thing he had to look forward to was death and a fiery hell. He responded, “I’m going to burn, so let me drink!” He had a family of eight that he was not providing for, and he was always fighting with his wife, Delia. The turning point came one Sunday morning when they were visited by Jehovah’s Witnesses and started studying the Bible. The first time Daniel attended a circuit assembly of Jehovah’s Witnesses, he realized he had found the truth. He says: “The organization overwhelmed me. People got along, lots of them, together. You could feel love in the crowd. No one smoked. No dirty language. . . . I remember thinking, ‘This is the truth!’ It was not fear of death or fear of the world’s end that moved me. It was the cleanness of the organization.”
The entire Rosero family became Jehovah’s Witnesses. Their family life and their economic situation improved as they applied Bible principles. Delia Rosero says: “You know I owe it all to the truth of the Bible. Who knows where my children would be without God’s Word? All seven of them are baptized and stable. The truth has meant a completely new life, new happiness, for me.”
The experience of the Rosero family is not unique. Many in our day are troubled by problems. One reason is that the moral standards provided in the Bible are generally no longer respected, as they were by earlier generations. Most religions have followed this trend, either in the name of tolerance or because they feel that with changing times old morals are out-of-date. So, like others, the Roseros were left to grope without the Bible’s guidance. However, when such humble people come to understand God’s view on morals and family life, they without delay apply what they learn. From their stories we can see the good results of doing so.
Joy Must Be Cultivated
This does not mean, however, that a Christian is in a constant state of euphoria. Obviously, the difficulties that people in general face, such as unemployment, sickness, and death, affect Christians too. Christians also have to put up a continual fight against their own imperfections and weaknesses. The Bible account says that Lot was “greatly distressed by the indulgence of the law-defying people in loose conduct” in the city of Sodom. Faithful Christians cannot avoid similar feelings when seeing wicked conditions prevail.—2 Peter 2:7, 8.
However, those who have found the truth have an advantage. For example, a believer who is mourning over someone who has died does not have to feel “sorrow just as the rest also do who have no hope.” His grief will not be boundless. This is true regarding other problems too. The person who has found the truth knows that present hardships are only temporary. Hope makes it easier to bear up under difficulties. A balanced life-style also helps.—1 Thessalonians 4:13.
Paul gave Christians this exhortation: “Always rejoice in the Lord. Once more I will say, Rejoice!” (Philippians 4:4) This shows that while joy is within the reach of all of us, it also is possible not to have it. The anxieties of this old system of things could prove to be an obstacle. In addition, the Bible tells us that we need to cultivate joy, one of the fruits of God’s spirit. (Galatians 5:22) If you continually take in knowledge of the truth and remind yourself of the spiritual riches it has brought and still brings, your joy will not diminish. It will become stronger as we approach the time when God “will wipe out every tear” from people’s eyes and when neither “mourning nor outcry nor pain” will be anymore.—Revelation 21:4.
[Pictures on page 8]
Many are impressed by the joy and good organization at assemblies of Jehovah’s Witnesses