The last several years have been unusual, to say the least. Between COVID, lockdowns, endless political divisions, contested elections, and everything else it’s been a crazy couple of years. Now, war? How should a Christian respond in such uncertain times? When the entire world is going crazy, when darkness seems to be prevailing, when we can’t see clearly what the right answer is, what do we do?
1. Do Not Be Afraid
When we hear talks of war, talks of violence, when we hear about things we have no control over, our gut reaction is to become afraid. Yet, 2 Timothy 1:7 says: for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.
We are not given a spirit of fear but of power, love, and self-control. We can stand unafraid in uncertain times because of Who we stand with. Even when we don’t have control, God does. When we don’t know the outcome, God does. When we are uncertain, God is not.
Jesus told us this day would come:
And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not alarmed, for this must take place, but the end is not yet. – Matthew 24:6
In these uncertain times, we need to focus on God all the more. I’m reminded of a painting I once saw of Daniel in the Lion’s den, it had Daniel positioned with his back to the lions and he was looking up at God. In what is probably the scariest most uncertain situation of Daniel’s life, he doesn’t have his eyes on the lions but on God.
In our scariest most uncertain times, we are called to focus not on the problem but on the One with the answers.
2. Do Not Be Apathetic
On the opposite extreme, we should not ignore what is happening either. We may not be afraid but we are not oblivious to the pains in the world. We are called to action when we see pain in the world.
Learn to do good. Seek justice. Help the oppressed. Defend the cause of orphans. Fight for the rights of widows. – Isaiah 1:17
When we see pain and suffering in the world, we are called to do what we can to help.
In Luke 10, Jesus tells the parable of the Good Samaritan. There is a man who is attacked by robbers and thrown into the ditch naked and half dead. A priest and a Levite both pass by on separate occasions, see this man and pass by on the opposite side of the road. But a Samaritan, saw him and took pity on him. He bandaged his wounds, put him on his own donkey, brought him to an inn and paid for him to stay there.
Jesus tells us that we are supposed to be like the Samaritan, when we see someone hurting and in pain, we don’t ignore it like it’s not happening, we do something. We are called to love people. If we love people then we will have mercy. Do not ignore the suffering in the world but go out and do something about it.
3. Pray for All People
I urge you, first of all, to pray for all people. Ask God to help them; intercede on their behalf, and give thanks for them. Pray this way for kings and all who are in authority so that we can live peaceful and quiet lives marked by godliness and dignity. – 1 Timothy 2:1-2
Pray. Go to God on the behalf of all people. Pray for those in need, pray for leaders, pray for military men and women, pray for peace, pray for hope.
Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus. – Philippians 4:6-7
4. Share the Gospel
At the end of the day, we do not know what tomorrow brings. We do not know how much time is left, so there must be an urgency to fulfill the Great Commission.
Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. – Matthew 28:19
It is our mission to share the gospel with as many people as possible and I don’t know that it’s ever been as necessary as it is right now.