by Pastor Mark Shupe
We are living in unprecedented times! The world is finally getting beyond dealing with a pandemic only now to find Russia attacking and invading Ukraine, a move that has unknown implications for Europe and even here in the U.S.
In these unsettling times that are intensified by images of death and destruction, how does God want His people to respond? In answering that question, it is important to remember that I, nor anyone else, fully knows the mind and ways of God. However, there are some general principles in the Bible to guide our response to the trials and tribulations of living in this world.
Don’t be Fearful
When disturbing things are happening around us, our first response often involves fear. God knows that which is why throughout the Bible He reminds His people that they do not need to be fearful.
Do not fear, for I am with you; Do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you, surely I will help you, Surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.’ – Isaiah 41:10
Acknowledge God’s Sovereignty
The reason we need not fear is because we can trust in our God who is almighty, all powerful, all knowing, and totally in control of all things going on in the world. We don’t understand why God allows evil and suffering that certainly is manifested in times of war, but we can be confident in God and His unchanging attributes.
God reigns over the nations, God sits on His holy throne. – Psalms 47:8
With all the difficult things we have dealt with in the last two years combined with the current world events, it is easy to feel overwhelmed and almost callous to the hurts and needs of other people. It is important to ask God to daily renew our heart of compassion towards others.
So, as those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved, put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. – Colossians 3:12
When we are facing tough times, when things seem out of control, when we feel the weight of the world crashing on us, remember that we have a good God who is still in control and working out His ultimate plan. Our confidence in God will keep us from being fearful and allow us to show compassion to those who are hurting and suffering around us.