Stand Complete and With Firm Conviction
Helping Young People With Timely Instruction
EPAPHRAS was a first-century Christian who had traveled to Rome. For good reason, however, his thoughts kept going back to Colossae, a city in Asia Minor. He had preached the good news there and had undoubtedly helped some Colossians to become disciples of Jesus Christ. (Colossians 1:7) Epaphras was deeply concerned about fellow believers in Colossae, for from Rome the apostle Paul wrote them: “Epaphras . . . sends you his greetings, always exerting himself in your behalf in his prayers, that you may finally stand complete and with firm conviction in all the will of God.”—Colossians 4:12.
Similarly, present-day Christian fathers and mothers fervently pray for the spiritual welfare of their children. These parents strive to implant love for God in the hearts of their young ones so that they will become firm in faith.
Many Christian youths have asked for help in dealing with the challenges they face in school and elsewhere. One 15-year-old girl said: “Our problems are worsening. Life is very scary. We need help!” Have the requests of such youths and the prayers of godly parents been answered? Yes! Bible-based instruction has been provided through “the faithful and discreet slave.” (Matthew 24:45) Seen here is some of the literature that has helped hundreds of thousands of youths to “stand complete and with firm conviction.” Let us consider a few of these publications.
“Behold . . . 15,000 New Witnesses!”
In August 1941, an audience of 115,000 assembled in St. Louis, Missouri, U.S.A., for the largest convention of Jehovah’s Witnesses held up to that time. On its last day—“Children’s Day”—some 15,000 children sitting near the platform listened intently as Joseph F. Rutherford spoke on the subject “Children of the King.” Near the end of his talk, 71-year-old Rutherford said in a fatherly tone:
“All of you . . . children who have agreed . . . to obey God and his King, please stand up.” The children rose as one body. “Behold,” exclaimed Brother Rutherford, “more than 15,000 new witnesses to the Kingdom!” There was a burst of applause. The speaker added: “All of you who will do what you can to tell others about God’s kingdom . . . , please say Aye.” The children responded with a loud “Aye!” Then he displayed the new book Children, which was received with prolonged applause.
After this moving talk, a long line of young people walked up on the platform, where Brother Rutherford handed them a gift copy of the new book. The scene moved the audience to tears. One eyewitness to the event said: “Only a heart of stone would not be moved at the spectacle of youth [showing] complete trust and faith in their God, Jehovah.”
At that memorable assembly, 1,300 young people were baptized in symbol of their dedication to Jehovah. Many of them have remained firm in the faith until this very day. They support local congregations, are Bethel volunteers, or serve as missionaries in foreign lands. Indeed, “Children’s Day” and the book Children made a lasting impression on many young hearts!
“They Seem to Come at Just the Right Time”
During the 1970’s, Jehovah’s Witnesses published three more books that reached the hearts of hundreds of thousands of young people. These were Listening to the Great Teacher, Your Youth—Getting the Best out of It, and My Book of Bible Stories. In 1982 the series “Young People Ask . . .” began to appear in the Awake! magazine. These articles have touched a responsive chord in the hearts of young and old. “Every night I thank God for having them published,” said a 14-year-old. “I love the articles,” noted a 13-year-old, “they seem to come at just the right time.” Parents and appointed Christian elders agree that these articles have been timely and beneficial.
By 1989 some 200 “Young People Ask . . .” articles had appeared in Awake! At the “Godly Devotion” District Convention that year, the book Questions Young People Ask—Answers That Work was released. Has it helped youths to remain firm in the faith? Three youths wrote: “This book has been a wonderful asset to us in understanding our problems and in knowing how to deal with them. Thank you for your concern for our well-being.” Numerous young readers throughout the world agree.
“It Satisfied Our Hunger”
In 1999, Jehovah’s Witnesses produced another timely form of instruction for youths—the video Young People Ask—How Can I Make Real Friends? It triggered an enthusiastic response. “This video went straight to my heart,” said a 14-year-old. “It will be a regular part of our spiritual diet,” stated a single mother. “It is heartwarming to know that our best Friend, Jehovah, truly loves and cares for the youth in his worldwide organization,” said one young woman.
What has the video accomplished? Young people say: “It has helped me to watch my association, to widen out in the congregation, and to make Jehovah my friend.” “It has helped me to stand up to my peers.” “It has made me firm in my determination to serve Jehovah the best that I can.” And a married couple wrote: “Thank you from our hearts for providing us with this ‘food.’ It satisfied our hunger.”
True to its God-given commission, the anointed “faithful and discreet slave” has provided timely spiritual food for all who will accept it. And what a joy it is to see how such Scriptural instruction is helping young people today to “stand complete and with firm conviction in all the will of God”!