“I will meditate on all your activity.”—PSALM 77:12.
1, 2. (a) Why are you convinced that Jehovah loves his people? (b) Humans were created with what need?
WHY are you convinced that Jehovah loves his people? Before you answer that question, consider these examples: For several years, brothers and sisters kindly encouraged a sister named Taylene. They told her not to expect too much of herself. She says: “If Jehovah didn’t love me, his counsel would not have been so persistent.” Brigitte, who raised two children alone after her husband died, says: “Raising children in Satan’s system is one of the most difficult challenges, especially for a single parent. But I am convinced of Jehovah’s love because he has guided me through tears and heartache, and he never let me experience more than I could endure.” (1 Corinthians 10:13) Sandra has a serious illness that has no cure. At a convention, a sister showed Sandra personal interest. “Although we did not know her personally,” says Sandra’s husband, “her deep concern brought great joy to our hearts. Even small expressions of love from our brothers and sisters show me how much Jehovah loves us.”
2 Jehovah created humans with the need to love and to feel loved. However, it is easy to become discouraged because of sickness or financial problems or because we do not have results in our ministry. If we begin to feel that Jehovah no longer loves us, we should remember that we are precious to him and that he is there, holding our right hand and helping us. He will never forget us if we are faithful to him.—Isaiah 41:13; 49:15.
3. What can strengthen our conviction that Jehovah’s love for us is enduring?
3 The Witnesses mentioned earlier were convinced that God was with them during difficult times. We can have the same confidence that he is on our side. (Psalm 118:6, 7) In this article, we will discuss four gifts that prove that Jehovah loves us. These are (1) his creation, (2) the Bible, (3) prayer, and (4) the ransom. Meditating on the good things Jehovah has done can help us to be more grateful for his enduring love.—Read Psalm 77:11, 12.
MEDITATE ON JEHOVAH’S CREATION
4. What do we learn from Jehovah’s creation?
4 When we look at Jehovah’s creation, we learn how much he loves us. (Romans 1:20) For example, Jehovah designed the earth so that we can do more than just stay alive. He has given us everything we need to enjoy life. We need to eat, but Jehovah has given us such a variety of foods that eating is an enjoyable experience! (Ecclesiastes 9:7) A sister named Catherine enjoys what she sees in creation, especially during springtime in Canada. She says: “It is truly amazing how everything comes to life—flowers that are programmed to pop out of the ground and birds that return from their migration, including the tiny hummingbird that finds its way to the bird feeder outside my kitchen window. Jehovah must love us to give us so much delight.” Our Father loves his creation, and he wants us to enjoy it too.—Acts 14:16, 17.
When we look at his creation, we learn how much Jehovah loves us
5. How is Jehovah’s love shown in the way humans are made?
5 Jehovah made us with the ability to do meaningful work and enjoy it. (Ecclesiastes 2:24) He gave humans the assignment to fill the earth, cultivate it, and care for the fish, the birds, and other living things on it. (Genesis 1:26-28) And he also created us with beautiful qualities so that we can imitate him!—Ephesians 5:1.
GOD’S WORD IS PRECIOUS
6. Why should we have deep appreciation for God’s Word?
6 Jehovah gave us the Bible because of his great love for us. It tells us what we need to know about him and how he feels about humans. For example, the Bible tells us how Jehovah felt about the Israelites, who often disobeyed him. Psalm 78:38 says: “He was merciful; he would forgive their error and not bring them to ruin. He often held back his anger instead of stirring up all his wrath.” Meditating on that verse may help you to see just how much Jehovah loves and cares for you. We can be confident that Jehovah deeply cares about us.—Read 1 Peter 5:6, 7.
The Bible tells us what we need to know about God and how he feels about humans
7. Why should the Bible be precious to us?
7 The Bible should be very precious to us. Why? Because Jehovah communicates with us through his Word. When a parent and a child have open communication, they strengthen their love and trust for each other. Jehovah is our loving Father. And even though we have never seen him or heard his voice, it is as if he communicates directly with us through the Bible. We should keep listening to him! (Isaiah 30:20, 21) When we read God’s Word, we come to know and trust in Jehovah, who guides and protects us.—Read Psalm 19:7-11; Proverbs 1:33.
8, 9. What does Jehovah want us to know? Give an example from the Bible.
8 Jehovah wants us to know that he loves us and that he sees more than our imperfections. He looks for the good in us. (2 Chronicles 16:9) Let us consider how Jehovah saw the good in King Jehoshaphat of Judah. Jehoshaphat made the bad decision to join King Ahab of Israel and fight against the Syrians at Ramoth-gilead. Even though 400 false prophets told wicked Ahab that he would win the battle, Jehovah’s true prophet Micaiah told Jehoshaphat and Ahab that if they fought, they would lose. And that is exactly what happened. Ahab died in battle, and Jehoshaphat barely survived. After the battle, Jehovah used Jehu to counsel Jehoshaphat for his mistake. Yet, Jehu also told him: “There are good things that have been found in you.”—2 Chronicles 18:4, 5, 18-22, 33, 34; 19:1-3.
9 Years earlier, Jehoshaphat had told the princes, Levites, and priests to visit all the cities of Judah to teach the people Jehovah’s Law. They were so successful that even people from other nations came to know Jehovah. (2 Chronicles 17:3-10) So even though Jehoshaphat made a bad decision later, Jehovah did not forget the good things he had done earlier in life. That example is very comforting for us because sometimes we make mistakes. However, if we do our best to serve Jehovah, he will continue to love us and he will not forget the good things we have done.
APPRECIATE THE PRIVILEGE OF PRAYER
10, 11. (a) Why is prayer a special gift from Jehovah? (b) How may God answer our prayers? (See opening picture.)
10 A loving father takes time to listen to his children when they want to talk to him. He wants to know how they feel because he deeply cares about them. Our loving Father, Jehovah, does the same. He listens to us when we pray to him. Talking to our Father is a precious privilege!
Jehovah hears our earnest requests, and he understands us even when no one else does
11 We can pray to Jehovah at any time. He is our Friend, and he is always ready to listen to our prayers. Taylene, mentioned earlier, says, “You can say anything and everything to him.” When we tell Jehovah our deepest thoughts, he may answer us through a scripture, an article in our literature, or encouragement from a brother or a sister. Jehovah hears our earnest requests, and he understands us even when no one else does. His answers to our prayers prove that his love for us is enduring.
12. Why should we study prayers found in the Bible? Give an example.
12 We can learn important lessons from prayers found in the Bible. At times, it is helpful to study some of these prayers during family worship. The quality of our prayers will improve when we meditate on the earnest prayers of God’s servants in the past. For example, study Jonah’s humble prayer from the belly of a huge fish. (Jonah 1:17–2:10) Review Solomon’s sincere prayer to Jehovah when the temple was dedicated. (1 Kings 8:22-53) And meditate on Jesus’ model prayer. (Matthew 6:9-13) Most important, regularly “let your petitions be made known to God.” As a result, “the peace of God that surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and your mental powers.” Our gratitude for Jehovah’s enduring love will continue to grow.—Philippians 4:6, 7.
SHOW THAT YOU ARE GRATEFUL FOR THE RANSOM
13. What opportunity do we have because of the ransom?
13 Jehovah gave us the gift of the ransom so that “we might gain life.” (1 John 4:9) Referring to this wonderful expression of God’s love, the apostle Paul wrote: “Christ died for ungodly men at the appointed time. For hardly would anyone die for a righteous man; though perhaps for a good man someone may dare to die. But God recommends his own love to us in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:6-8) The ransom is the greatest example of God’s love, and it gives humans the opportunity to have a close relationship with him.
14, 15. What does the ransom mean for (a) anointed Christians? (b) those who hope to live on earth?
14 A small group of Christians feel Jehovah’s enduring love in a special way. (John 1:12, 13; 3:5-7) God has anointed these ones with holy spirit, and because of this they are now his children. (Romans 8:15, 16) Since some of them are still on the earth, why did Paul say that they are seated “together in the heavenly places in union with Christ Jesus”? (Ephesians 2:6) It is because Jehovah has given them the hope of everlasting life in heaven.—Ephesians 1:13, 14; Colossians 1:5.
The ransom reveals Jehovah’s love for all humans
15 All those who are not anointed can become God’s friends if they show faith in the ransom. They too have the possibility of being adopted as God’s children and of living forever on a paradise earth. The ransom reveals Jehovah’s love for all humans. (John 3:16) How exciting it is to know that if we serve God faithfully, he will give us the best possible life in the new world! So let us show that we value the ransom, the greatest proof of God’s enduring love for us.
SHOW YOUR LOVE FOR JEHOVAH
16. What will we do after meditating on God’s love?
16 It is impossible to count the many ways Jehovah shows his love for us. King David sang: “To me, how precious your thoughts are! O God, how vast is the sum of them! If I try to count them, they outnumber the grains of sand.” (Psalm 139:17, 18) Meditating on the many ways that Jehovah loves us will motivate us to love him in return and give him our very best.
17, 18. What are some ways that we can show our love for God?
17 There are many ways to show Jehovah that we love him. For example, we can show our love for Jehovah by zealously telling others about the good news of the Kingdom. (Matthew 24:14; 28:19, 20) We can also show love for God by loyally enduring trials that test our faith. (Read Psalm 84:11; James 1:2-5.) Even if our trials are severe, we can be sure that Jehovah sees our suffering and will help us because we are precious to him.—Psalm 56:8.
18 Our love for Jehovah motivates us to meditate on all the wonderful things he has created. We show Jehovah that we love him and his Word by being good students of the Bible. We pray to Jehovah regularly because we love him and want to strengthen our relationship with him. And when we meditate on his precious gift of the ransom, our love for him grows even deeper. (1 John 2:1, 2) These are just some of the many ways we show Jehovah that we value his enduring love for us.