Matthew, chapters 4 & 5

“[…] As for those sitting in a region of deathly shadow, light rose on them.”
~Matthew 4:16b

Modern society lives in spiritually dark, morally challenging times. (Is. 8:22)
Although Jesus is in heaven, we still see his message of hope shine when we read God’s Word and let it light our way. (Ps. 23:3,4; Is. 9:2; Luke 1:78,79)
Though there are events unfolding that naturally give rise to fear, we can trust that God will eventually make good on his promise to restore the earth to its paradise state through his son’s kingdom. (Re. 21:5)

Malachi, chapters 1-4

“[…] Jehovah kept paying attention and listening. And a book of remembrance was written before him for those fearing Jehovah and for those meditating on his name.”
~Malachi 3:16

We should not fear that God is so busy or we are so insignificant that he does not notice our day-to-day trials.
Jehovah wants us to know he does care.
He compassionately searches the earth for those who love righteousness, and if one dies, that person is safe in God’s memory until the resurrection. (Job 34:21; Ps. 56:8; Mal. 3:17; Acts 24:15)

Ezekiel, chapters 35-38

“Like the flock of holy ones, like the flock of Jerusalem during her festivals, the cities that were in ruins will become full of flocks of people; and they will have to know that I am Jehovah.”
~Ezekiel 36:38

God prophesied that in the last days, the knowledge of his truth would become abundant. (Dan. 12:4)
Although the observation of holidays as mandated by Mosaic Law was ended with the institution of the Christian congregation, Christians still gather together in large cities to praise and learn about God, following a similar pattern to that in ancient Israel. (Gal. 3:24,25)
If you have not done so already, I invite you to attend one of the remaining free regional conventions programmed for this year nearest to where you live. The talks, videos and interviews given encourage us to never give up.

Ezekiel, chapters 28-31

“I will cause a horn to sprout for the house of Israel,* and I will give you an opportunity to speak among them […].
*(endow the house of Israel with strength)”
~Ezekiel 29:21

The “horn” metaphor in this passage is meant to illustrate God giving strength to his people. (1 Sam. 2:10)
Although speaking God’s message is a privilege, there are times when we may feel tired and discouraged.
When we feel that way, we rely on God’s power which is “beyond what is normal” to fulfill our ministry. (2 Cor. 4:7; 2 Tim. 4:5)
We do so by praying to him for strength, following Christ’s cheerful example, and by leaving our problems in God’s hands. (1 Sam. 1:10, 18; Acts 20:35)

Ezekiel, chapters 11-14

“Although I have removed them far away among the nations […], for a little while I will become a sanctuary for them in the lands to which they have gone.”
~Ezekiel 11:16

Even when Jehovah God decides to discipline someone, he does not abandon them.
Jehovah wants those he disciplines to learn to rely on him.
The Jews in Ezekiel’s time were being taken captive to Babylon. (2 Ki. 24:14,15)
Those remaining ended up fleeing to other nations. (2 Ki. 25:26)
Regardless of where they ended up, Jehovah was still reaching out individually to those who wanted to worship him.
Nowadays, for whatever reason, someone might find him or herself separated from the congregation.
Jehovah wants to comfort any of those who call out to him in prayer, as he will never desert those who actively seek him. (Neh. 9:31)