Finding real hope in times of trouble

ONE death after another. Michelle Esteria needed to cope with the trauma of losing both her parents, parents-in-law and her uncle and aunt who are very dear to her.“Encountering situations that remind me of my own tragedies makes me cry uncontrollably. I hated the topic of death because it is the most painful reality,” said the 45-year-old woman from Tacloban, Leyte.Despite her traumas in the past, Michelle endures by keeping her faith in the Bible’s promise of paradise.Michelle expressed, “I have complete confidence that God will ‘kindly give us all other things’ that he has promised, including the hope of everlasting life.”This March and April 2022, Michelle joins millions of Witnesses worldwide, including the hundreds in local area congregations, inviting all to hear the solid reasons for confidence in the hope promised in the Bible during a Bible-based lecture to be held the week of April 4, 2022.“The Bible describes a future without pain, without suffering — even without death, right here on earth,” said James Morales, Philippines spokesman for Jehovah’s Witnesses. “Many people are surprised to find out that God’s original purpose is for perfect people living in a paradise on earth. His purpose has never changed. There’s sound reason to have faith in this promise.”Faith in that coming reality proved life-changing for Frances Neah Laurio who grew up in Cebu.She found herself distraught with the death of her father due to a chronic disease. “When my father died, it was very hard to bear because we lost our family head and the only man in the family,” she said.Frances, 26, reflects on the promise of the Bible that God will provide her emotional and material needs.Recently, Frances and her family were affected by Typhoon Odette, but because she has confidence in God, she spends time doing volunteering for relief work.“Through my fellow worshippers, Jehovah God proved that I do not need to worry too much. He always blesses me so I have no reason to feel down and lonely,” said Frances.Ricardo Esteria, 51, the husband of Michelle, finds comfort in the same Bible promises.Aside from losing loved ones to death, Ricardo himself almost died because of a sickness. “Those experiences left me with emotional scars and made me realize how fragile life is,” he said.After learning about God’s wonderful promises for the future, Ricardo has been actively participating in sharing this good news with many people for more than 34 years now. “For me, it’s like a cushion. Knowing about the future gives me joy in looking forward to be reunited with those whom I lost to death,” he adds.“Jesus’ loving sacrifice through the ransom proves that this hope in the resurrection is not in vain,” Ricardo concludes.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.Admission to both programs is free and no registration is required. Information on attending locally is available on its website at“In times like these, we need hope more than ever,” said Morales. “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.” SPONSORED CONTENT