Psalm 33:20-21 We wait in hope for the Lord;
he is our help and our shield.
In him our hearts rejoice,
for we trust in his holy name.
I can’t read this Psalm without thinking of current events in Ukraine. Somehow war brings all these issues into sharp focus. The Russians have discovered that some of the equipment (equivalent to the horses referenced in verse 17) and techniques aren’t very effective. In response they seem to have turned their efforts against the civilian population, rather than on the Ukrainian military. In circumstances like that, people naturally cry out to God to be their help and their shield. War is a mess, any way you look at it, but there’s nothing like the imminent threat of death to sharpen your focus and clear your priorities! Most of the world is watching from a distance, along with worrying about whether Putin will flip out to the point of using nuclear weapons. This really should serve as a call to prayer for every believer, because God can and will use even this horrible evil for good. Thousands are being killed on both sides, and that is certainly a tragedy. We need to pray not only that the carnage will stop and that justice will be restored, but that everyone, both on the battlefield and observing from afar, may confront their own mortality and need for salvation, and turn to God in repentance and faith. America has been mired in some pretty severe issues over the past year and more, and those too need to be submitted to God. When our focus is fully and properly on Him, we can rejoice whatever is going on around us, trusting Him to use it all for good, for His glory. (Romans 8:28)
I have felt called to intercession ever since this conflict began, to a degree that is unusual for me. The pressure of that has lessened over time, perhaps from familiarity, but also from a growing assurance of the outcome. I have been reminded that “wars and rumors of wars” have occurred throughout human history, and God has brought us through all of them. That’s not to say for a moment that they are good, or that I am to take this one lightly. Wars can have a way of exposing things that were kept hidden, and that is already happening with such things as the biological research labs that the US was funding in Ukraine, of all places. I’m reminded of Jesus’ repeated statement that “There is nothing hidden that will not be disclosed, and nothing concealed that will not be known or brought out into the open.” (Luke 8:17; 12:2) I am indeed to pray earnestly, about Ukraine and about every issue that comes up, but I am to be anxious about none of it, rather choosing to trust God and rejoice in Him. He is more than able to deal with it all.
Father, thank You for this reminder. Thank You also for the opportunity You’re giving us this morning to share what You’ve been showing Cathy so clearly over the past few months. The group this morning gathers to pray, but I ask You to give them a fresh vision of prayer, of Your purposes in allowing and telling us to pray, so that Your children throughout this nation may rise up as a mighty army, standing in Your strength and not their own, to defeat the devil and bring Your rule and reign, for Your glory. Thank You. Hallelujah!