By Rick James
Last week has been tough. The shocking stories and pictures from the Russian invasion of Ukraine shows the evil in people’s hearts. I find it almost too overwhelming to think about. I desperately want to pretend it is not happening. Jesus’ words “In this world you will have trouble” (John 16:33) are too painfully true. At a more personal level, an NGO I know and love is failing to deal with its organisational problems; my church is really struggling without leadership; close members of my family are sick and others are unable to find a place to live; friends not able to find work… The list of worries large and small goes on. Yet Jesus also goes on in John 16 … “But take heart for I have overcome the world”.
I don’t know what quite this means for people in Ukraine at the moment, but I do take heart from the defiant acts of hope in that country. For example, last week Jews and Christians came together in Kyiv to recite Psalm 31:
In you, Lord, I have taken refuge; let me never be put to shame; deliver me in your righteousness. Turn your ear to me, come quickly to my rescue; be my rock of refuge, a strong fortress to save me… … Into your hands I commit my spirit; deliver me, Lord, my faithful God.
The Deputy General Secretary for the Bible Society, Anatoliy Raychnets, said: “This ancient prayer – written several thousand years ago – now we see is so alive, so living.”
I can learn from their example. It makes we think:
Where am I taking refuge?
What or who am I making my rock and fortress?
Thank You for sharing. God is our refuge and our fortress. A very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not be moved.
Many thanks, Angelina, for this timely reminder
My thoughts are with the resilient people of Ukraine.. Our God will never fail His faithful
Many thanks for this reminder, Jonathan. Let’s continue to uphold Ukraine in our prayers.