Thursday, September 29, 2022

Ukraine - three lessons for life


All photos courtesy of Unsplash

In February, Ukraine quickly came to dominate news reports across the world. People who disagree about all kinds of things are united in sorrow at the heart-breaking turn of events and in sympathy for the men, women and children who are suffering so much. Many have worked hard and given generously to help alleviate their plight.

The sad comment of one Ukrainian MP was that “history is just repeating itself time and time again, and I don’t understand what is wrong with us humans and humanity, why we don’t learn from the lessons.” That is true, and in His Word, the Bible, God tells us that we should take heed to, and learn from, events in the world. We will consider three obvious, but vitally important, lessons from the current situation in Ukraine, which, if you pay heed to them and act upon them, will be for your eternal blessing.

Firstly, the war in Ukraine confronts us with the reality that we live in an imperfect world, where there is much misery and injustice. Paul’s words in Romans 3.16-18 are applicable to the atrocities taking place: “Destruction and misery are in their ways: and the way of peace have they not known: there is no fear of God before their eyes.” However, in this passage, Paul is not only describing brutal men, but is showing (verses 9-12) that we are “all under sin … there is none righteous, no, not one … there is none that doeth good, no not one.” So, if our revulsion at the war in Ukraine stops at condemning the actions of others, we have failed to grasp the main lesson: that it shows up our own state, for we are all part of humanity that has sinned against God, and the world’s sad condition reflects the fact that “all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God” Romans 3.23.

Secondly, we cannot fail to see how powerless we humans are to solve problems like this. World leaders are trying, but few hold out much hope of success; and the highly commendable relief efforts will hopefully lessen the misery, but will not remove it. What is true of this problem is also true regarding the root cause: sin. We cannot rescue ourselves, or each other, from the eternal consequence of our sins, which is banishment from God, in Hell. Only God could save us, and He provided salvation, by giving His Son, Jesus Christ, to be born in this world; to live a sinless life; to die as the sacrifice for our sins upon the cross; to rise again and to ascend to Heaven, where He is today, alive forevermore, and from whence He will return for all who have trusted in Him, and take them out of this evil world, to be forever with Himself. Believers are eagerly expecting the return of God’s Son “from heaven, whom He raised from the dead, even Jesus, which delivered us from the wrath to come” 1Thessalonians 1.10.

Finally, we are reminded how very uncertain life in this world is. Many mistakenly thought that war in Europe had been consigned to the history books. Millions of people who were going about their daily business have suddenly found themselves in great danger, and people are dying violently every day. The fear of chemical, or even nuclear, warfare is real. Although the people of Ukraine are seeing it more vividly than most other nations, James’ words are true of us all: “Ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away” James 4.14. Any of us, anywhere, could die at any time. Are you ready? Turn from your sins, and trust in Christ for salvation, while you still have the opportunity. “Behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation” 2 Cor 6.2.

Used by permission of Assembly Testimony Publications 


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