Finding Real Hope in Times of Trouble
In early 2019, Hellen Thomas began experiencing symptoms that her doctors couldn’t explain. “I felt like my insides were vibrating. And it doesn’t stop,” said Thomas, of the Bronx.
Then, after three years and several medical tests, in February of 2022, Thomas finally received a diagnosis for her condition. The doctor diagnosed her with Benign Essential Tremors.
Although she still suffers from symptoms twenty-four hours a day, she draws comfort from reading the scriptures. She also prays often.
It’s been a rough few years,” said Thomas. Through it all, she holds tight her hope for the future as promised in the Bible. “There are so many promises that I am looking forward to, but just the fact that there will be no more sickness, no more death, no more crime, no more violence — I not only try to remember these myself, but I try to share them with others.”
This spring, Thomas joins millions of Witnesses worldwide, including the nearly 70,000 in New York, inviting all to hear about that hope in a Bible-based lecture held during the week of April 4, 2022.
“The Bible describes a future without pain, without suffering — even without death, right here on earth,” said Robert Hendriks, U.S. spokesman for Jehovah’s Witnesses. “While many religious people look to a better future in a heavenly place, God’s original purpose has never changed: perfect people living in a paradise on earth. While it is difficult to conceive, there’s sound reason to have faith in this promise."
“The Bible describes a future without pain, without suffering — even without death, right here on earth.”
– Robert Hendriks
U.S. SPOKESMAN FOR JEHOVAH’S WITNESSES
Faith in that coming reality proved life-changing for Las Vegas teen Hailey-Ann Seavey.
By her sophomore year of high school, painful memories of past trauma left Seavey unable to envision a future worth living for. “I kept cycling through the same negative feelings over and over,” she said. “I thought, ‘If this is how my life is going to be, what’s the point?’”
Seavey confided in a classmate, who comforted her with the Bible’s promise of a future time when pains of the past will plague no one.
Hope began to rise in Seavey’s heart. She started an in-depth study of the Bible and accepted her schoolmate’s invitation to attend congregation meetings of Jehovah’s Witnesses; soon, she was sharing her newfound hope with others.
“Learning what the Bible teaches gave me something to look forward to,” said Seavey, now 18. “I feel refreshed and uplifted, and I want others to have that too.”
Mike O’Connell, 70, of Marietta, Georgia, finds comfort in the same Bible promises.
His wife, Dee, contracted COVID-19 last year while hospitalized with a stroke and died just days before their 39th wedding anniversary. “I miss everything about her,” said O’Connell.
Picturing how he will welcome her back in the global resurrection to life on earth as described in Scripture helps O’Connell endure the pain of Dee’s absence.
“I have no doubt I’ll see her again,” he said. “Staying focused on that time keeps my hope alive.”
The 30-minute program “Where Can You Find Real Hope?” will be hosted worldwide by congregations of Jehovah’s Witnesses. The public is also invited the following week to the annual Memorial observance of Jesus Christ’s death on the evening of Friday, April 15, 2022. Both gatherings will be held in person at local Kingdom Halls with live speakers.
Valerie Angelo of Honokaa, Hawaii (LEFT), Hailey-Ann Seavey of Las Vegas, Nev., (TOP RIGHT), and Mike O’Connell of Marietta, Ga. (BOTTOM RIGHT) all found comfort in the Bible’s message of hope. – PHOTO COURTESY OF JEHOVAH’S WITNESSES
Admission to both programs is free, and no registration is required. Information on attending locally is available at www.jw.org.
“In times like these, we need hope more than ever,” said Hendriks. “Hope helps a person look ahead with courage and confidence to the fulfillment of God’s beautiful promises. That’s why attending one of these special programs can be life-changing.”