Disagreements, conflicts, and wars take place every day on a global scale. Some gain our attention more than others. The war in Ukraine is one such war that has the whole world glued to the TV and constantly refreshing their Twitter feed. Not to lessen the devastation of other battles being fought, conflict and loss of life are terrible no matter how small or large. The war in Ukraine, however, effects the world, so we watch with anticipation.
But can we do more than watch?
I believe we can do more. I have two activities in mind.
(1) We can hope and worship with the Ukrainians
While innocent lives have been lost and I am sure more will be lost, the response of the church has given me hope. Ukrainian pastors are not running. They are staying and ministering to the needs of the people. I read an account on Saturday night of one pastor who was preparing his sermon for the next morning. He planned to hold service the next morning, if his church was still standing. In the middle of a war, this pastor is preparing to preach and lead his people in worship!
These reports remind me of Paul’s letter to the Thessalonians. He writes commending them for their faith and encouraging them with their witness. They received the Word of God under must affliction. Despite persecution and hardship, they were full of joy. They continued to remain steadfast, finding their hope in the Lord (1 Thess. 1:6-10).
What an encouragement the Thessalonians must have been to Paul. What an encouragement the Ukrainian Christians are to us. Not only an encouragement, but a witness to the power and truth of the gospel. I know I am encouraged when I read of their faithfulness. I know I am driven to a greater hope in Jesus. I am driven to worship the Lord for the salvation He provides through their faithfulness.
(2) We can pray for the Ukrainians
While I am hopeful and driven to worship, at the same time, I am burdened. Our brothers and sisters in Christ are facing a life and death situation. While we might not be able to fend off the physical enemy for them, we can still do battle on their behalf through prayer.
What takes place in this world is not solely a matter of flesh and blood. There is a spiritual war raging all around us. One that spills over and is played out in the physical.
We might not be able to do anything except pray.
We know from Scripture that the prayer of a righteous man has great effect, so we should pray.
Be encouraged, hopeful, and driven to worship by the faithfulness of the Ukrainians. But also be burdened for them. Be in prayer for their safety, their joy in times of trouble, and their faithfulness to the gospel of Christ in these trying times.Tweet