Do not say, “Why were the former days better than these?”—Eccl. 7:10.
Why is it unwise to keep thinking that our life was better in the past? Nostalgia can cause us to remember only good things from our past. Consider, for example, the ancient Israelites. After leaving Egypt, they quickly forgot how hard their life had been there. Instead, they focused on the good food they had enjoyed. They said: “How fondly we remember the fish that we used to eat without cost in Egypt, also the cucumbers, the watermelons, the leeks, the onions, and the garlic!” (Num. 11:5) But was it really “without cost” that they ate that food? No. The Israelites paid a heavy price; at the time, they were being severely oppressed as slaves in Egypt. (Ex. 1:13, 14; 3:6-9) Yet, they later forgot about those hardships and longed for the past. They chose to focus on “the good old days” instead of focusing on the positive things that Jehovah had just done for them. Jehovah was not pleased with their attitude.—Num. 11:10. w20.11 25 ¶5-6
Jehovah is close to the brokenhearted; he saves those who are discouraged.—Ps. 34:18, ftn.
At times, we might think about the fact that life is short and our days are “filled with trouble.” (Job 14:1) So it is understandable that we occasionally feel discouraged. A number of Jehovah’s servants in ancient times felt that way. Some even wanted to die. (1 Ki. 19:2-4; Job 3:1-3, 11; 7:15, 16) But time and again, Jehovah—the God in whom they trusted—reassured and strengthened them. Their accounts were recorded to comfort and instruct us. (Rom. 15:4) Consider Jacob’s son Joseph. In short order, Joseph went from being a cherished son of his father to being a lowly slave of a pagan court official in Egypt. (Gen. 37:3, 4, 21-28; 39:1) Then Potiphar’s wife falsely accused Joseph of trying to rape her. Without investigating the charges, Potiphar had Joseph thrown into prison, and he was bound in irons. (Gen. 39:14-20; Ps. 105:17, 18) Surely Joseph had reason to feel discouraged! w20.12 16-17 ¶1-4
Let your name be sanctified.—Matt. 6:9.
That is what Jesus stated as a priority in prayer. But what do Jesus’ words mean? To sanctify something means to make it holy, clean, or pure. Some might wonder, though, ‘Is not Jehovah’s name already holy, clean, and pure?’ To answer, we need to think about what a name involves. A name is more than a collection of letters written on a page or spoken aloud. Notice what the Bible says: “A good name is to be chosen rather than great wealth.” (Prov. 22:1; Eccl. 7:1) Why does a name have such value? Because it involves a reputation, what others think of the one bearing that name. So the way a name appears on a page—or even the way it is pronounced—is not what matters most; what truly matters is whom and what that name stands for in the minds and hearts of others. When people tell lies about Jehovah, they are attacking his reputation. When they attack his reputation, they are trying to damage his name. w20.06 3 ¶5-7