Because you are no part of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, for this reason the world hates you.—John 15:19.
Jesus explained why we should expect opposition. He said that we would be hated because we are no part of the world. Persecution is not a sign that we lack Jehovah’s blessing. Instead, it indicates that we are doing what is right! Mere human opposers cannot stamp out the worship of the almighty God, Jehovah. Many have tried and failed. Consider what happened during World War II. At that time, governments in many countries intensely persecuted God’s people. The work of Jehovah’s Witnesses was banned not only by the Nazi party in Germany but also by governments in Australia, Canada, and other lands. Yet, note what took place. In 1939 when the war began, there were 72,475 publishers worldwide. Reports showed that by the end of the war in 1945, with Jehovah’s blessing, there were 156,299 publishers. The number of publishers had more than doubled! w19.07 9 ¶4-5
By this all will know that you are my disciples—if you have love among yourselves.—John 13:35.
Even if you are not presently conducting a Bible study, you can assist in making disciples in other ways. For example, you can welcome new ones and befriend them when they come to the Kingdom Hall. In that way, you can help to convince them that love identifies us as true Christians. The answers you give during the meetings, though brief, can teach newly associated ones to express their convictions in a sincere and respectful manner. You can also accompany a new publisher in the ministry and help him to use the Scriptures to reason with people. By doing that, you will be teaching him to imitate Christ. (Luke 10:25-28) Many Christians are very busy caring for important responsibilities. Still, they make time for conducting Bible studies, and they get much joy from it. w19.07 17 ¶11, 13
Forgetting the things behind and stretching forward to the things ahead, I am pressing on toward the goal.—Phil. 3:13, 14.
The apostle Paul did not allow himself to be distracted, either by past accomplishments or by past mistakes. In fact, he said that “forgetting the things behind” was essential to “stretching forward to the things ahead,” that is, to completing the race successfully. What were some of the things that could have distracted Paul? First, his accomplishments in Judaism were impressive. Yet, he viewed those things as “a lot of refuse.” (Phil. 3:3-8) Second, he did not allow guilt over his earlier persecution of Christians to paralyze him. And third, he did not reason that he had already done enough for Jehovah. Paul had a productive ministry despite being imprisoned, beaten, stoned, and shipwrecked, as well as lacking food and clothing. (2 Cor. 11:23-27) However, regardless of what he had already accomplished and suffered, Paul knew that he must press on. The same is true of us. w19.08 3 ¶5