Trust in Jehovah and His Word
“Those knowing your name will trust in you.”—PSALM 9:10.
1. Why can we still have confidence in Jehovah and his Word in our modern day?
IN THIS modern world, the invitation to trust in God and his Word, the Bible, may seem impractical and unrealistic. Yet, God’s wisdom has stood the test of time. The Creator of man and woman is the Originator of marriage and the family, and he knows our needs better than anyone else does. Just as basic human needs have not changed, so the fundamental ways of meeting those needs have remained the same. The Bible’s wise counsel, though written down centuries ago, still provides the best guidance for success in living and in solving problems. Heeding it results in a good measure of happiness—even in the sophisticated, scientific world in which we live!
2. (a) What good fruitage has obeying God’s commandments produced in the lives of Jehovah’s people? (b) What more does Jehovah promise for those who are obedient to him and his Word?
2 Trusting in Jehovah and applying the Bible’s principles bring practical benefits every day. Proof of this lies in the lives of the millions of Jehovah’s Witnesses around the world who have had the conviction and courage to apply the Bible’s counsel. For them, trust in the Creator and his Word has proved to be well placed. (Psalm 9:9, 10) Obeying God’s commandments has made them better people when it comes to cleanliness, honesty, industriousness, respect for the life and possessions of others, and moderation in food and drink. It has led to proper love and training within the family circle—being hospitable, patient, merciful, and forgiving—as well as to a host of other things. They have been largely able to avoid the bad fruitage of anger, hatred, murder, envy, fear, laziness, pride, lying, slander, promiscuousness, and immorality. (Psalm 32:10) But God does more than promise a good outcome for those keeping his laws. Jesus said that those who follow the Christian way would receive “a hundredfold now in this period of time, . . . mothers and children and fields, with persecutions, and in the coming system of things everlasting life.”—Mark 10:29, 30.
Avoid Trusting in Worldly Wisdom
3. In continuing to put trust in Jehovah and his Word, with what problems are Christians sometimes faced?
3 A problem for imperfect humans is that they tend to minimize or forget what God requires. They easily begin to think that they know best or that wisdom from the intelligentsia of this world is superior to God’s, that it is more up-to-date. Servants of God can also develop this attitude, living as they do in the midst of this world. Thus, in extending the loving invitation to listen to his counsel, our heavenly Father also includes appropriate warnings: “My son, my law do not forget, and my commandments may your heart observe, because length of days and years of life and peace will be added to you. Trust in Jehovah with all your heart and do not lean upon your own understanding. In all your ways take notice of him, and he himself will make your paths straight. Do not become wise in your own eyes. Fear Jehovah and turn away from bad.”—Proverbs 3:1, 2, 5-7.
4. How pervasive is “the wisdom of this world,” and why is it “foolishness with God”?
4 The wisdom of this world is available in abundance and from many sources. There are many institutions of learning, and “to the making of many books there is no end.” (Ecclesiastes 12:12) Now the so-called information superhighway of the computer world promises to provide unlimited data on almost any subject. But having all this knowledge available does not make the world smarter or solve its problems. Rather, the world situation gets worse every day. Understandably, the Bible tells us that “the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God.”—1 Corinthians 3:19, 20.
5. What warnings does the Bible give as to “the wisdom of this world”?
5 During this final part of the last days, it is only to be expected that the archdeceiver, Satan the Devil, would launch an avalanche of lies in an effort to undermine confidence in the Bible’s truthfulness. Higher critics have produced a proliferation of speculative books that challenge the authenticity and reliability of the Bible. Paul warned his fellow Christian: “O Timothy, guard what is laid up in trust with you, turning away from the empty speeches that violate what is holy and from the contradictions of the falsely called ‘knowledge.’ For making a show of such knowledge some have deviated from the faith.” (1 Timothy 6:20, 21) The Bible further warns: “Look out: perhaps there may be someone who will carry you off as his prey through the philosophy and empty deception according to the tradition of men, according to the elementary things of the world and not according to Christ.”—Colossians 2:8.
Fight the Tendency to Doubt
6. Why is vigilance necessary to prevent doubts from taking root in the heart?
6 Another sly tactic of the Devil is the sowing of doubts in the mind. He is ever alert to see some weakness in faith and exploit it. Any who experience doubts should remember that the one behind such doubts is the one who said to Eve: “Is it really so that God said you must not eat from every tree of the garden?” Once the Tempter had planted doubt in her mind, the next step was to tell her a lie, which she believed. (Genesis 3:1, 4, 5) To avoid having our faith destroyed by doubt as Eve’s was, we need to be vigilant. If some tinge of doubt about Jehovah, his Word, or his organization has begun to linger in your heart, take quick steps to eliminate it before it festers into something that could destroy your faith.—Compare 1 Corinthians 10:12.
7. What can be done to eradicate doubts?
7 What can be done? Again, the answer is to trust in Jehovah and his Word. “If any one of you is lacking in wisdom, let him keep on asking God, for he gives generously to all and without reproaching; and it will be given him. But let him keep on asking in faith, not doubting at all, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven by the wind and blown about.” (James 1:5, 6; 2 Peter 3:17, 18) So earnest prayer to Jehovah is the first step. (Psalm 62:8) Then, do not hesitate to ask for help from loving overseers in the congregation. (Acts 20:28; James 5:14, 15; Jude 22) They will help you trace the source of your doubts, which may be due to pride or some wrong thinking.
8. How does apostate thinking often get started, and what is the remedy?
8 Has the reading or listening to apostate ideas or worldly philosophy introduced poisonous doubts? Wisely, the Bible counsels: “Do your utmost to present yourself approved to God, a workman with nothing to be ashamed of, handling the word of the truth aright. But shun empty speeches that violate what is holy; for they will advance to more and more ungodliness, and their word will spread like gangrene.” (2 Timothy 2:15-17) It is of interest that many who have become victims of apostasy got started in the wrong direction by first complaining about how they felt they were being treated in Jehovah’s organization. (Jude 16) Finding fault with beliefs came later. Just as a surgeon acts quickly to cut out gangrene, act quickly to rout out of the mind any tendency to complain, to be dissatisfied with the way things are done in the Christian congregation. (Colossians 3:13, 14) Cut off anything that feeds such doubts.—Mark 9:43.
9. How will a good theocratic routine help us keep healthy in the faith?
9 Stick closely to Jehovah and his organization. Loyally imitate Peter, who resolutely stated: “Lord, whom shall we go away to? You have sayings of everlasting life.” (John 6:52, 60, 66-68) Have a good program of study of Jehovah’s Word so as to keep your faith strong, like a large shield, able “to quench all the wicked one’s burning missiles.” (Ephesians 6:16) Keep active in the Christian ministry, lovingly sharing the Kingdom message with others. Every day, meditate appreciatively on how Jehovah has blessed you. Be thankful that you have a knowledge of the truth. Doing all these things in a good Christian routine will help you to be happy, to endure, and to remain free of doubts.—Psalm 40:4; Philippians 3:15, 16; Hebrews 6:10-12.
Following Jehovah’s Direction in Marriage
10. Why is it especially important to look to Jehovah for guidance in Christian marriage?
10 In arranging for man and woman to live together as a married couple, Jehovah purposed not only to fill the earth comfortably but also to enhance their happiness. However, sin and imperfection have brought serious problems into the marriage relationship. Christians are not exempt from these, since they too are imperfect and experience the pressures of modern-day living. Still, to the extent that they trust in Jehovah and his Word, Christians can have good success in marriage and in raising their children. There is no place in Christian marriage for worldly practices and behavior. God’s Word admonishes us: “Let marriage be honorable among all, and the marriage bed be without defilement, for God will judge fornicators and adulterers.”—Hebrews 13:4.
11. In solving marital problems, what should be recognized by both mates?
11 Marriage that is fulfilled according to the Bible’s counsel has a climate of love, commitment, and security. Both husband and wife understand and respect the principle of headship. When difficulties develop, often they are due to some neglect in applying the Bible’s counsel. In solving a lingering problem, it is vital that both mates focus honestly on what the problem really is and deal with causes rather than symptoms. If recent discussions have led to little or no agreement, the couple may ask for impartial help from a loving overseer.
12. (a) On what common problems in marriage does the Bible provide counsel? (b) Why is there a need on the part of both mates to do things Jehovah’s way?
12 Does the problem involve communication, respect for each other’s feelings, respect for headship, or how decisions are made? Does it have to do with the raising of children, or the balancing out of sexual needs? Or is it the family budget, recreation, association, whether the wife should be employed, or where you are to live? Whatever the problem, the Bible gives practical advice either directly by means of laws or indirectly by means of principles. (Matthew 19:4, 5, 9; 1 Corinthians 7:1-40; Ephesians 5:21-23, 28-33; 6:1-4; Colossians 3:18-21; Titus 2:4, 5; 1 Peter 3:1-7) When both mates refrain from making selfish demands and let love have its full expression in their marriage, greater happiness results. There has to be an overwhelming desire on the part of both marriage mates to make needed changes, to do things Jehovah’s way. “He that is showing insight in a matter will find good, and happy is he that is trusting in Jehovah.”—Proverbs 16:20.
Youths—Listen to God’s Word
13. Why is it not easy for Christian youths to grow up with strong faith in Jehovah and his Word?
13 It is not easy for Christian youths to grow up strong in the faith when the wicked world is all around them. One reason is that “the whole world is lying in the power of the wicked one,” Satan the Devil. (1 John 5:19) Youths are under attack by this vicious enemy who can make the bad look good. The me-first attitudes, the selfish ambitions, the cravings for what is immoral and cruel, and the abnormal pursuit of pleasures—all of these come together into one common, dominant pattern of thinking described in the Bible as “the spirit that now operates in the sons of disobedience.” (Ephesians 2:1-3) Satan has craftily promoted this “spirit” in school textbooks, in much of the available music, in sports, and in other forms of entertainment. Parents need to be alert to offset such influences by helping their children grow up trusting in Jehovah and his Word.
14. How can young ones “flee from the desires incidental to youth”?
14 Paul gave fatherly advice to his young associate Timothy: “Flee from the desires incidental to youth, but pursue righteousness, faith, love, peace, along with those who call upon the Lord out of a clean heart.” (2 Timothy 2:22) While not all “desires incidental to youth” are bad in themselves, youths should “flee from” them in that they should not let these things be a preoccupation, leaving little, if any, time for godly pursuits. Bodybuilding, sports, music, entertainment, hobbies, and travel, while not necessarily wrong, can be a snare if they become the big things in life. Flee completely from aimless conversation, from hanging out, from abnormal interest in sex, from just sitting around and being bored, and from complaining about not being understood by your parents.
15. What things can happen in the privacy of the home that can contribute to youths’ leading a double life?
15 Even in the privacy of the home, danger may lurk for youths. If immoral or violent TV shows and videos are watched, the desire to do bad things could be implanted. (James 1:14, 15) The Bible counsels: “O you lovers of Jehovah, hate what is bad.” (Psalm 97:10; 115:11) Jehovah knows if anyone is attempting to live a double life. (Proverbs 15:3) Christian youths, look around your room. Do you display wall posters of immoral stars of the sports or music world, or do you display wholesome things that are good reminders? (Psalm 101:3) In your closet, do you have modest clothing, or do some of your garments reflect the extreme clothing styles of this world? In subtle ways the Devil can ensnare you if you give in to the temptation to sample what is bad. The Bible wisely counsels: “Keep your senses, be watchful. Your adversary, the Devil, walks about like a roaring lion, seeking to devour someone.”—1 Peter 5:8.
16. How can the Bible’s counsel help a youth make everyone who counts be proud of him?
16 The Bible tells you to watch your association. (1 Corinthians 15:33) Your companions should be those who fear Jehovah. Do not give in to peer pressure. (Psalm 56:11; Proverbs 29:25) Be obedient to your God-fearing parents. (Proverbs 6:20-22; Ephesians 6:1-3) Look to the elders for direction and encouragement. (Isaiah 32:1, 2) Keep your mind and eyes on spiritual values and goals. Look for opportunities to make spiritual advancement and to participate in congregation activities. Learn how to do things with your hands. Grow up strong and healthy in the faith, and then you will prove that you really are somebody—somebody worthy of life in Jehovah’s new world! Our heavenly Father will be proud of you, your earthly parents will delight in you, and your Christian brothers and sisters will be encouraged by you. That is what counts!—Proverbs 4:1, 2, 7, 8.
17. What benefits come to those who trust in Jehovah and his Word?
17 In poetic phrase the psalmist was inspired to write: “Jehovah himself will not hold back anything good from those walking in faultlessness. O Jehovah of armies, happy is the man that is trusting in you.” (Psalm 84:11, 12) Yes, happiness and success, not disappointment and failure, are what will come to all of those who trust in Jehovah and his Word, the Bible.—2 Timothy 3:14, 16, 17.
How Would You Answer?
□ Why should Christians not put their trust in “the wisdom of this world”?
□ What should be done if one is experiencing doubts?
□ How does doing things Jehovah’s way bring success and happiness in marriage?
□ How does the Bible help youths to “flee from the desires incidental to youth”?
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Christians turn to Jehovah and his Word while rejecting as foolish “the wisdom of this world”
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Families that trust in Jehovah and his Word have good success and happiness