Yeartext for 1978
“They will not prevail against you, for ‘I [Jehovah] am with you . . . to deliver you.’”—Jer. 1:19.
Faith—this is a very desirable and enduring quality. It is a grand help, indeed a vital necessity, when one is suffering under severe hostile pressure. In one way or another, every true Christian is in that situation today. Jeremiah was in that situation in his day, stretching over a period of forty years. Have you endured that length of time in Jehovah’s service? There are quite a number of Jehovah’s Witnesses who have, and they are still maintaining their stand.
The pressure to discontinue Jehovah’s service is not always as obvious as when a ban is publicly imposed on Christian activity. It may be by opposing members of one’s household or by other things working against our active participation in Jehovah’s service. But we find help and encouragement to bear up under such pressures by looking at Jeremiah.
The importance of faith is seen in the opening words of Jeremiah’s prophecy. On his part, Jehovah showed both love and faith toward Jeremiah by telling him: “Before you proceeded to come forth from the womb I sanctified you. Prophet to the nations I made you.” But Jeremiah was not ready. He pleaded to be excused: “Alas, O Sovereign Lord Jehovah! Here I actually do not know how to speak, for I am but a boy.” We might be inclined to sympathize with Jeremiah, feeling we would likely have said the same thing. Did Jehovah ignore or allow such a plea? No. His response was straight to the point: “Do not say, ‘I am but a boy.’ But to all those to whom I shall send you, you should go; and everything that I shall command you, you should speak. Do not be afraid because of their faces, for ‘I am with you to deliver you,’ is the utterance of Jehovah.”—Jer. 1:4-8.
After telling Jeremiah more about his commission, not only concerning the nations and the kingdoms, but also about Jerusalem and the cities of Judah, and how “they will be certain to fight against you,” Jehovah repeated that fine assurance: “But they will not prevail against you, for ‘I am with you . . . to deliver you.’” (Jer. 1:9-19) Though at one time Jeremiah felt that he could no longer speak in Jehovah’s name because of the persistent adversity, he did not quit. As he said: “But Jehovah was with me like a terrible mighty one . . . [those] persecuting me will stumble and not prevail.” (Jer. 20:9-11) Can we not say the same? When approaching his darkest hour, what did Jesus say? “In the world you are having tribulation, but take courage! I have conquered the world.” We can respond to such encouraging words if we constantly exercise love and faith.—John 16:33; 1 John 4:18; 5:4.
Jehovah is the “one who can, according to his power which is operating in us, do more than superabundantly beyond all the things we ask or conceive.” Like Jeremiah, we too might feel at times that “we are being put to death all day long.” Yet, by maintaining strong faith and devotion, we can say like Paul that “in all these things we are coming off completely victorious through him that loved us,” and we know that there is absolutely nothing that can “separate us from God’s love that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”—Eph. 3:20; Rom. 8:35-39.