“Your supplication has been favorably heard […].”
Who knows how many years into his old age Zechariah had continued to pray to Jehovah for a child.
Despite having strong faith, even he was surprised when his prayers were finally answered (Luke 1:6, 18)
He could have left his wife Elizabeth for a healthier woman, but they opted to remain loyal to each other and to their God.
That loyalty did not go unnoticed by Jehovah, who blessed them with “joy and great gladness.” (Luke 1:14)
“But after (Joseph) had thought these things over, look! Jehovah’s angel appeared to him in a dream […].”
How excited Joseph must have been to see his fiance Mary after her three-month trip away from home.
But when Mary told him she was four months pregnant, he must have felt heartbroken and confused. (Matt. 1:18,19; Luke 1:56)
Still, Joseph lovingly considered Mary’s dire circumstances before his feelings.
Thus, he came to the conclusion that he should dissolve their pending marriage in secret.
Otherwise he would have exposed Mary to the fatal punishment dictated by Mosaic Law for adulterers. (De. 5:18; 22:23,24)
When life doesn’t turn out the way we planned it, we do well to follow Joseph’s example and think things through, instead of acting impulsively.
Jehovah God watches over us, ready to guide the meek in the right direction. (Isa. 57:15)
“[…] Although I have fallen, I will rise up; Although I dwell in the darkness, Jehovah will be my light.”
When we sin against God, we can recover spiritually not by our own merits, but by God’s own undeserved mercy.
We should not take a spiritual fall in such a way that we believe it is impossible to recover.
Certainly, if our spiritual standing depended solely on ourselves, then in our imperfection, we might never be faithful. (Ro. 3:23)
But because God reaches out to those repentant in order to draw them back close to him, we can trust that full spiritual recovery is possible. (Mic. 7:18,19)
To benefit from his help, we must show humility and patience. (Mic. 7:9)
“Also, what do you have against me, […]
Are you repaying me for something?
If you are repaying me,
I will swiftly, speedily bring your repayment on your heads.”
It would be a mistake to try to judge God by our own imperfect standards when he is the ultimate judge of what is and is not righteous. (Is. 55:9)
Even when we do not understand why God lets us tolerate a painful situation, the wise course is to demonstrate patience and faith that God still does care for us and will eventually make all right. (1 Pet. 5:7; Rev. 21:5)
It would be shortsighted of us to draw away from God to follow a selfish course of sin, perhaps without ever repenting and eventually incurring his wrath.
On the other hand, if we remember he is not responsible for our suffering, we can rely on his strength to help us endure. (Job 34:10; Ps. 55:22)
“[…] Cause your face to shine upon your sanctuary that is desolate, for your own sake, O Jehovah. […] Do not delay, for your own sake, O my God, for your own name has been called upon your city and upon your people.”
When Jesus’ disciples asked him how to pray, the model he established put the sanctification/vindication of God’s name first and foremost. (Matt. 6:9)
Today, people still defame God’s name when they blame him for human suffering or when they mock God, his moral ways or his loyal servants.
Even the righteous prophet Daniel recognized that our personal salvation is secondary to Jehovah God’s glory and is only possible because of God’s divine mercy. (Dan. 9:18)
It is because of God’s name that the salvation of his loyal servants is guaranteed, for God cannot lie. (Tit. 1:2)
Taking a spiritual point of view on the relevance of God’s name and all it implies helps us maintain a patient, waiting attitude during trying times.
“The sword of Jehovah!
How long will you not be quiet?
Go back into your sheath.
Take your rest and be silent.
How can it be quiet
When Jehovah has given it a command?”
When God pronounces judgment against someone, his word is as good as done.
His word ‘does not return to him without results […] It will certainly accomplish whatever is his delight, and it will have success in what he sends it to do.’ (Isa. 55:10,11)
In contrast, us humans are subject to many circumstances, most of which are outside of our control, and many of our plans fail to come to fruition. (Jam. 4:13,14)
Bearing that in mind, the best way we can ensure our plans will be successful is if we commit our ways to Jehovah. (Ps. 37:5)
Circumstances will try our faith and patience, but God promises to bring about justice to those who serve him. (De. 32:10; Ps. 37:7-9)
Jehovah finds pleasure […] in those waiting for his loyal love.
Jehovah God feels happy when his worshippers take his will into account when making choices.
When we do God’s will instead of carrying out impatient or selfish desires, we are letting his spirit guide us (Ps. 143:8-10).
This indicates faith.
In turn, Jehovah himself remains faithful, “securing justice for those defrauded.”
God demonstrates his loyal love by taking it upon himself to ‘thwart the plans of the wicked,’ but he intervenes when he deems the moment right (Ps. 146:6-9).
While we wait on Jehovah, we can present our distress to him in the form of prayer, knowing that he will not forget about us (Ps. 142:2,5).