Finding Real Hope in Times of Trouble
Last updated 4/7/2022 at 11:07am
Cancer. Ron and Beryl Bryant have received this fearful diagnosis several times throughout their lives.
"I'm so terribly weak," explained Ron, a Colorado Springs, Colorado, resident. "It's really restricting me ... It
Beryl, who has beat cancer two times in her life, is now supporting her husband, Ron, through several debilitating health issues, including a diagnosis of cutaneous lymphoma. Throughout the various diagnoses, the Bryants have clung tighter than ever to the hope from the Scriptures that they share as Jehovah's Witnesses.
"[W]e make the best of things and we have our daily study of the Bible, and we watch the programs [on jw.org]," said Beryl. "I think about ... the paradise earth every day. That's all that ... keeps me going."
This spring, after two years of holding religious services in a virtual format, Bryants join millions of Witnesses worldwide, inviting all to hear about that hope in a Bible-based lecture to be held at a local Kingdom Hall during the week of April 4, 2022. This special presentation entitled, "Where Can You Find Real Hope?" comes at a very special time for Jehovah's Witnesses locally, who headed back to their meeting places April 1 for the first time in two years.
"We're overjoyed to be able to come together again in person at this very special time," said Robert Hendriks, U.S. spokesman for Jehovah's Witnesses. "This event takes on a new dimension as we return to our Kingdom Halls and invite our neighbors to join us. It's very exciting!"
Congregations will also offer a videoconferencing option for all congregants and visitors.
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 in person at local Kingdom Halls, including Fountain, 8250 C and S Rd., and Security, 1150 Crandall Dr. 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.
Admission to both programs is free, and no registration is required. Information on attending locally is available at http://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."