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Thoughts and insights from Jubilee Church Wirral

Wars and rumours of wars

By Helen O’Brien, Life Group leader, Jubilee Church Wirral

For the youth and the elderly and everyone in between.

For some of you, the war in Ukraine is the first conflict that you have experienced, and maybe you think some of us older people are not taking it seriously enough or being as worried about it as you may be. I think that might be true, or maybe we are just better at hiding our fear or we have learned to trust God who says in His word:

”Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to your life?”
Luke 12:25

In my lifetime there have been more wars than I can count. I was born in 1965, 20 years after the Second World War. Both my parents had experienced bombings and been evacuated. When I was 17, Argentina invaded the Falkland Islands a British territory at the bottom of South America.

The Cold War was in full swing. When I was 21 America bombed Mu’ammar Gaddafi, the leader of Libya, we thought he would retaliate by bombing American army posts in Germany. I was living in Germany at the time. Nine days later, Chernobyl blew up. The radioactive cloud passed right over the part of Germany where I was living. At the age of 25 the first gulf war happened and at 29 there was a genocide in Ruanda. The second gulf war happened in 2003. There was a war in the Balkans from 1991-2001. The Balkans are in Europe.

The Falklands are the tiny islands circled off the coast of South America

The Balkans in Europe

There were also wars in Afghanistan, Syria and many other places. The northern Irish conflict affected my family. My uncle would get calls after every bombing to give blood as he has a rare blood type. Each and every time I heard about a new war or a rumour of war I started to worry but eventually I realised that if I really believed in God I had to trust him and read His word.

All that time spent worrying was wasted time.

“Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”
(Matthew 6:34).

It is not easy to NOT worry. We need to practise finding rest in Him when we do feel worried? This verse spoke to me this week.

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.”
(Matthew 11:28-29)

Worrying doesn’t change anything but we need to give our worries a place to go. Give them to God.

The title of this blog is taken from Mark 13:7-8.

“And when you hear of wars and rumours of wars, do not be alarmed. This must take place, but the end is not yet. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be earthquakes in various places; there will be famines. “

Jesus warned his disciples about wars and rumours of wars. He then went on to warn the disciples about how they would be persecuted by the Romans. We can draw great comfort from the words about wars and rumours of wars, it is not a new phenomenon but Jesus said: “The end is not yet.”

It is very distressing to listen to the news and feel so helpless but we have a weapon more powerful than any tank. We have prayer. The battle in the Ukraine is not just an earthly battle but a spiritual battle and we can join that fight.

Ephesians describes putting on spiritual armour.

“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armour of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armour of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled round your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.”
(Ephesians 6:10-18)

Please join the prayer meetings and add your prayers to ours. Pray for the people in the Ukraine and remember, however hard it seems, God has a plan.

Michael and Helen O'Brien Jubilee Church Wirral

Helen O’Brien with her husband Michael

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