Dwell on What Jehovah Has Done for You
SHORTLY after Jesus was resurrected, two of his disciples were walking from Jerusalem to Emmaus. “As they were conversing and discussing,” says Luke’s Gospel account, “Jesus himself approached and began walking with them; but their eyes were kept from recognizing him.” Then, Jesus said to them: “‘What are these matters that you are debating between yourselves as you walk along?’ And they stood still with sad faces.” Why were they sad? The disciples held the view that Jesus would at that time deliver Israel from Gentile domination, but such deliverance had not taken place. Instead, Jesus had been put to death. Hence, their sadness.—Luke 24:15-21; Acts 1:6.
Jesus began to reason with the disciples. “Commencing at Moses and all the Prophets he interpreted to them things pertaining to himself in all the Scriptures.” Indeed, many significant and faith-strengthening events had taken place during Jesus’ ministry! As the disciples listened to Jesus’ explanation, their disposition changed from being sad to being joyful. Later that evening, they said: “Were not our hearts burning as he was speaking to us on the road, as he was fully opening up the Scriptures to us?” (Luke 24:27, 32) What lesson can we learn from the reaction of Jesus’ disciples?
How Do Unfulfilled Expectations Affect Us?
The two disciples on the road to Emmaus felt sad because the events they expected had not taken place. They experienced what is described at Proverbs 13:12: “Expectation postponed is making the heart sick.” Similarly, some of us who have faithfully been serving Jehovah for decades thought that the “great tribulation” would have come and gone by now. (Matt. 24:21; Rev. 7:14) It is understandable that for the moment, such an unfulfilled expectation may cause sadness.
Remember, though, that those two disciples regained their joy after Jesus helped them to focus on the fulfillment of prophecies that had already taken place—even during their own lifetime. We can maintain our inner joy and cope with feelings of disappointment in a similar way. An experienced Christian elder named Michael said: “Do not concentrate on what Jehovah has not yet done. Rather, dwell on what he has already done.” Good advice indeed!
What Jehovah Has Done
Consider some of the outstanding things that Jehovah has already accomplished. Jesus stated: “He that exercises faith in me, that one also will do the works that I do; and he will do works greater than these.” (John 14:12) Today, God’s servants are accomplishing the greatest Christian works ever. Over seven million individuals look forward to surviving the great tribulation. Imagine, never before have so many faithful servants of Jehovah been active in so many lands throughout the earth! Jehovah has made Jesus’ prophetic words about “works greater than these” a reality.
What else has Jehovah done for us? He has made it possible for honesthearted ones to move out of the wicked world, figuratively speaking, and into the spiritual paradise that he has created. (2 Cor. 12:1-4) Take time to reflect on some of the features of that paradise that are within our easy reach. For instance, take a look at your personal library or at the one in the Kingdom Hall. Page through the Watch Tower Publications Index, or browse through Watchtower Library. Switch on a recording of a Bible drama. Relive in your mind the sounds and images of a recent convention. In addition, think about the wholesome association we enjoy with our Christian brothers and sisters. How generous Jehovah has been in providing us with abundant spiritual food and a loving brotherhood—a spiritual paradise indeed!
The psalmist David stated: “Many things you yourself have done, O Jehovah my God, even your wonderful works and your thoughts toward us.” (Ps. 40:5) Yes, by dwelling on the wonderful things that Jehovah has already done for us and by reflecting on the loving thoughts that he has toward us, we will find renewed strength to endure faithfully in our wholehearted service to our heavenly Father, Jehovah.—Matt. 24:13.
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Jesus helped his disciples to dwell on what Jehovah had already done for them
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Relive in your mind the sounds and images of a recent convention