Psalms 138:7 Though I walk in the midst of trouble, You (God) preserve my life; You stretch out Your hand against the wrath of my enemies, and Your right hand delivers me.
Isaiah 41:10 Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.
I have been watching the news over these past few weeks with the war in Ukraine and find myself feeling like this conflict can’t be real! It seems like some horrible story from the past. Certainly, this kind of military force would not be used in 2022. Could not a more diplomatic solution be negotiated? Why war? Why so much killing? Why so much destruction? Yet the war with all its horrors is real! It is tough to process the images of buildings blown to bits and the casualty count that continues to rise, on both sides. The scene of a father saying goodbye to his wife and sobbing child as they escape to safety, and he heads to fight, is hard to comprehend. Words fail to bring reason as the video clip plays of a young Russian girl crying hysterically as her mother is hauled off to prison for peacefully protesting the war. How do we bring in and seek peace in the crises of our day? Let me suggest two actions that are known to bring peace, wisdom, calm, and clarity in troubled times.
First, trust God and look to Him.
Isaiah 43:19 Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.
This Bible verse was written at a time when people were in crisis. It was an encouragement to look to and trust in God. Because where there seems to be no path forward in a wilderness, a crisis, God makes one. This war could escalate or go on for a long time, and most crises feel like that, yet God can make a way in that wilderness. He is the One we can turn to for help.
Psalms 121:1-2 I lift up my eyes to the hills. From where does my help come? My help comes from the LORD, who made heaven and earth.
None of what we are going though catches God by surprise and He will guide us through. The key is to trust as Proverbs 3:5-6 challenges.
Another crisis response is to pray.
Romans 12:12 Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.
Philippians 4:6-7 Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Pray for peace! Pray for the humanitarian aid workers. Pray for protection. Pray for God to bring peace and healing, and to draw people to Himself.
Church is a great place to be reminded we should trust in God and pray. If you don’t regularly attend a church, we would like to invite you to view or visit Neighborhood Church. Our website has all the information you need for times and locations of all our Sunday gatherings. We would love for you to join in. You can also find us online at neighborhoodchurch.com. As well, if you would like to view any of our past worship gatherings or videos, visit our YouTube channel, or just search Neighborhood Church Cypress or Neighborhood Church Los Alamitos on their YouTube site.
Seeking peace in crisis along with you,
Mike McKay, Lead Pastor, Neighborhood Church