On Thursday morning, many of us woke up to the news of Russia invading Ukraine. From the tension that had been building, the reports weren’t met with surprise but rather devastation and heartache.
Millions of people fled their homes, while others took up arms to protect their country.
The situation unraveling in Ukraine should matter to every American.
It’s not just an invasion of a country thousands of miles away — it’s a threat to democracy and religious freedom. When peace is disrupted, innocent lives are lost, democracy plummets and one’s faith is suppressed.
President Ronald Reagan said it best at the Annual Convention of the National Association of Evangelicals on March 8, 1983. At the time, the U.S. was in the midst of the Cold War.
Reagan said, "The basis of those ideals and principles is a commitment to freedom and personal liberty that, itself, is grounded in the much deeper realization that freedom prospers only where the blessings of God are avidly sought and humbly accepted.”
In times of strife, we have to continue to seek God. When destruction and uncertainty taint our world, we should be reminded of the power of prayer and preparing for the end times.
We must pray for the people of Ukraine. In Mark 11:24, Jesus said to his disciples, "Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours."
Our prayers should be out of faith that God can intervene and work a miracle in situations that seem hopeless. Let us pray that peace prospers and that God protects the people of Ukraine.
We have to stand in prayer with our brothers and sisters in Christ during this time.
Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is an attack on the church. According to the Pew Research Center, Ukraine comprises the third-largest Orthodox population in the world, with 78% of Ukrainians a part of the Orthodox Church.
In moments of destruction and fear, the hope found in Jesus will provide peace and comfort for those who need it. While our world leaders take action and deliberate about the situation, we can act by turning to God in prayer.
We must be on alert for the end times.
Our global discord is not a surprise to God, and it shouldn’t be to us either.
In Mark 13:7 to 8, Jesus said, "When you hear of wars and rumors of wars, do not be alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come. Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. . . "
Our faith will be tested and under attack. But, Jesus urges that "the one who stands firm to the end will be saved" (verse 13).
Articles published in Christianity Today discuss pastors who made the decision to stay in Ukraine despite the threat to their lives. They are providing shelter, food, medical supplies for those in need, while still preaching and clinging to messages of hope.
These pastors want to be a testimony of God and show that good still prevails. They are not allowing the war around them to hinder their faith or call to care for others.
The pastors' bold actions and courageous faith should challenge all of us to remain grounded in faith and to always be prepared for opposition to our beliefs.
At the Evangelical convention in 1983, Reagan made it known that despite the opposition of the Soviet Union, as a nation “we will never abandon our belief in God.”
The attacks against Ukraine undermine the very ideals our nation was founded on. As our world faces threats to democracy and religious freedom, we must continue to believe in the hope offered in Christ and pray in faith for those under attack.
Dr. Kent Ingle serves as the president of Southeastern University in Lakeland, Florida, one of the fastest growing private universities in the nation. A champion of innovative educational design, Ingle is the author of "Framework Leadership.'' Read Kent Ingle's Reports — More Here.
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