Stay strong my brothers and sisters!
May 13, 2022
It is usually easier to stay strong when good things are happening, but our faith is tested when bad things happen to us. There has always been the question, “why do bad things happen to good people?”
Well, to answer that we must go to God’s word where it says in Matthew 5:44-46, “44 But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that?”
That’s a pretty hard teaching from the Lord Jesus, especially right now as we see Vladimir Putin invading Ukraine, and now attacking innocent civilians, many women and children! I’m sure you have seen pictures of the destruction of many buildings and homes in Ukraine and have thought of the evil that Vladimir Putin is carrying out. There are many brothers and sisters in Christ in Ukraine and many of us around the world are sending up prayers for God’s protection for those people as well as all citizens in Ukraine.
Many of us are angered at Mr. Putin, as he continues the slaughter of innocent people, and many of us would like to see him killed, or put in some prison for the rest of his life. According to the scripture above, we need to not only be praying for the people of Ukraine, we need to be praying for the enemy, Vladimir Putin! Yes, praying for the enemy, that’s what the Lord requires! Mr. Putin is in need of the Lord’s discipline, which is a correction of the life he is now living. He needs to come to Jesus and repent of all wrongs and to be washed to be cleansed.
I want to encourage everyone everywhere to get on your knees and be praying for all those involved in this conflict that seems to have escalated to a full scale war. Pray for the steadfastness of the Ukrainian people, pray for President Volodymyr Zelenskyy of Ukraine who has shown great courage, pray for God’s people in Ukraine, Pray that the rest of the world will join together to help end this war, and pray for Vladimir Putin that the Lord God of the universe will grab his heart and turn him to a righteous path!
To all of us, we can learn something from the Ukrainian people, and that is staying strong when bad things are happening. When bad things come our way, we need to put it in the Lord’s hands and pray that He will save us.
He promised he would take care of us in I Peter 5:6-11, which says, “Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings. And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast. To him be the power for ever and ever. Amen.”
From both of these scriptures, we see that God allows things to happen both around the world and here in America! He doesn’t remove the hardship until we have been strengthened by it. Both in Ukraine and here in the U.S. as all over the world, God is in control and we need to be praying to Him daily about all the struggles of this world, without ceasing or continually as I Thessalonians 5:17 says.
We invite you to join us at College Hill Church of Christ, 1102 College Ave. every Sunday morning at 10:30 a.m. for worship. God bless America!