You had no hope.—Eph. 2:12.
Every Christian minister is involved in helping to find honesthearted ones. We could liken this work to finding a lost child. In what way? Consider the real-life example of a three-year-old boy who wandered away from home. About 500 people were involved in searching for him. Finally, some 20 hours after the child went missing, a volunteer discovered the little boy in a cornfield. That volunteer refused to take credit for locating the boy. He said: “It took hundreds of people to find him.” Many people are like that child. They feel lost. They have no hope, but they want help. Over eight million of us are involved in trying to find these deserving ones. You may not personally find someone who will study the Bible with you. However, other publishers working the same territory may find someone who wants to learn the truth found in God’s Word. When a brother or sister meets someone who becomes a disciple of Christ, everyone who shared in the search has good reason to rejoice. w19.07 16-17 ¶9-10
I am pressing on toward the goal.—Phil. 3:14.
The apostle Paul reminded the Christians in Philippi of the need to keep running with endurance. The congregation faced hostility from the start. It all began when, in response to the divine invitation to “step over into Macedonia,” Paul and Silas arrived in Philippi about 50 C.E. (Acts 16:9) There they found a woman named Lydia, who “was listening, and Jehovah opened her heart wide” to the good news. (Acts 16:14) She soon got baptized along with her household. However, the Devil was not idle. Men of the city dragged Paul and Silas before the civil magistrates and falsely accused them of causing a disturbance. As a result, Paul and Silas were beaten, imprisoned, and later urged to leave the city. (Acts 16:16-40) Did they give up? Never! And what about the brothers and sisters in the newly formed congregation? Commendably, they too endured! No doubt they were greatly encouraged by the good example that Paul and Silas set for them. w19.08 2 ¶1-2
Be filled with righteous fruit.—Phil. 1:11.
No doubt this “righteous fruit” included love for Jehovah and his people. That would also include speaking to others about our faith in Jesus and our wonderful hope. We bear “righteous fruit” when we actively share in the most important work of making disciples. (Matt. 28:18-20) No matter what our circumstances, we can shine as illuminators. In some cases, what seems to be an obstacle to declaring the good news may turn out to be an opportunity for us to preach. The apostle Paul, for example, was under house arrest in Rome when he wrote his letter to the Philippians. But his chains did not hold him back from preaching to his captors and to visitors. Paul preached zealously under these circumstances, and this gave the brothers confidence and courage “to speak the word of God fearlessly.”—Phil. 1:12-14; 4:22. w19.08 12 ¶15-16