Spreading the Good News with Joy
1 “Go your way; your son lives.” Can you imagine the joy Jesus felt in speaking these comforting words to a king’s attendant, whose son had been near death! And the child did live! (John 4:46-53) Repeatedly Jesus delivered good news like this. (Matt. 8:13; 15:28) The apostles also made news when they said: “In the name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene, walk!” And the lame man walked! Surely their hearts warmed with joy as they brought good news to others!—Acts 3:1-10; 5:15.
SIMILAR GOOD NEWS TODAY?
2 Can we really deliver good news like this today? Indeed we can! We can tell people, ‘Your redeemed son will live,’ or, ‘You will walk again, yes, leap and run just as a stag does!’ No, this will not occur as soon as you say it, as it did when Jesus and his apostles spoke, but it will really happen under the rule of God’s kingdom. And when it occurs it will be even more wonderful, because then there will be no need for healed ones to get sick again or ever die. We can open God’s Word and present evidence that no one will get sick and die.—Rev. 21:3, 4.
3 Is not this message about the Kingdom the best news you could give to anyone? Yes, indeed. You could not offer a person anything more valuable—bars of gold or bags of diamonds are not as precious as “the good news.” Surely, the privilege of spreading this message about God’s purposes should bring us joy! Why, then, is joy at times lacking among some who bear the good news?
ENEMIES OF OUR JOY
4 Principally, the lack of joy is because of the opposition and indifference to the good news. Most persons simply do not want to hear it; they may scoff and ridicule. But remember, the apostle Paul said that “the good news . . . is veiled among those who are perishing.” Veiled by whom? By Satan. Yes, he has blinded peoples’ minds so that “the glorious good news . . . might not shine through.” (2 Cor. 4:3, 4) Keeping this fact in mind can help us maintain our joy. How so?
5 A faithful brother at Brooklyn Bethel, who spent many years in the circuit work, says that, as he speaks with people, he continually reminds himself that he is battling with demon-inspired ideas and attitudes. We can gain joy in knowing that we are on God’s side in this battle against the evil influence exercised by Satan and his demons.
6 Another enemy of joy can be doubt, or a lack of faith. It is a “sin that easily entangles us,” the apostle Paul said. (Heb. 12:1; Jas. 1:5-7) Do you really believe “the good news of the kingdom”? Are you convinced that God’s kingdom will soon wipe out the wicked old system, along with all who cling to it, and bring in those grand conditions for which we earnestly long? Some publishers have allowed doubts to develop and have lost joy as a result. But if you really believe God’s promises—and if you keep your vision bright—this will help you to spread the good news with joy.
7 Yet, as noted before, peoples’ indifference and even opposition to our evangelizing efforts dampen the joy of some publishers. What can such publishers do to keep their joy alive?
HOW MANY MAINTAIN JOY
8 Many maintain their joy by regularly reflecting on the wonderful Bible truths that they possess, and how vital it is that others hear them. (Jer. 15:16) Just think: “Those who do not obey the good news about our Lord Jesus,” the Bible says, “will undergo the judicial punishment of everlasting destruction.” (2 Thess. 1:6-9) They must be given repeated opportunities to respond to the Kingdom message. Why? Because their pattern of response is the very basis on which God will judge them, either as worthy of life or as fit for destruction. (1 Tim. 4:16) Realizing this fact, can we not find joy as we persevere in bringing information that can preserve the lives of sheeplike ones?
9 We can if we have genuine love and concern for the welfare of people. Do you? Jehovah, the God we worship, does. He does not want any to be destroyed, but wishes that all would respond and gain life. (Ezek. 33:11; 2 Pet. 3:9) That is one reason why he is having the good news preached. Tender affection for people moved the apostle Paul and his companions to impart to others, not only the good news, but, as he put it, “also our own souls.” (1 Thess. 2:8) A similar desire to help people will also aid us to maintain joy.
10 Additionally, as one brother put it: “Joy is often linked with success, and success with good preparation.” Yes, having well-prepared Scriptural topics to discuss contributes to success in the preaching work, and, in turn, joy. When householders listen, share in the conversation and accept Bible truths, preaching is pleasurable. And when, on return visits, they respond to encouragement to read and study the Bible, our joy increases.
11 But this is also an important point: Our joy cannot simply be dependent on the response of people to the good news. In some territories few if any respond, at least not for many weeks, months and sometimes years. (Jer. 7:27) Yet it is still possible to maintain joy. “I feel good after spending an afternoon in the preaching work,” explains one brother, “simply knowing that I have had a share in the work God has commissioned us to do.”
12 May many, many more of us realize the joys of sharing in the disciple-making work! Maintain your joy in the assurance that the good news you bear is the most precious gift you could offer anyone, and that Jehovah is pleased with your work.—Heb. 6:10; Neh. 8:10.