BlogsThoughts 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?”
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.”
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.”
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.”
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.
Helen O’Brien with her husband Michael
In the month of remembrance, Chris on remembering what Jesus sacrificed for us and how we need to act on it.
Helen on the importance of Friends and what God has to say about them in the Bible.
Andrew on evangelism, how we are all evangelists whether we like it or not, and how to evangelise easily.
Dawne on the parable of the lost sheep and the lessons we can take from it as followers of Jesus and members of His flock.
Yvonne on loss and how God has helped her deal with the loss of her mum and the impending departure of her eldest son to his first job
Nicki on serving at Newday and the impact it has had on all three Frodsham children and many, many others
Simon on the frustrations of not being able to get to sleep properly, and the Bible verses that help him stand firm against sleeplessness.
Gerry on how easy it is to be drawn into gossip. “If you can’t say anything positive, don’t say anything at all” isn’t just good advice, it’s Biblical wisdom.
Sylvia on being an encourager: “God knows our troubles. When we open up to Him, He’ll use other people to encourage us through His word.”
Lynne on doing what God wants us to do even when we really don’t want to do it – and why it’s important
Chris on the power of our words and how having a relationship with Jesus can give us the power of the right word at the right time.
Helen on why Psalms have taken the place of Proverbs as her favourite book of the Bible
Andrew Greenhalgh on being much better at giving advice than at taking it – and what happens as a result.
Chantal Robertson on how God and the gospel of Christ has never changed over time – even though the way we package it has.
Nicki on how she was planning to work in the marketing and advertising industry until God led her in a different direction.
Dawne challenges us to look at life with the enthusiasm, joy and exuberance of her Macedonian dog Floki and find joy in the everyday.
Jen on how taking the Alpha Course because she had nothing better to do on a Tuesday afternoon led to a life-changing wheelchair for her daughter Daisy and many others.
Gerry on how her ideas of what love truly is have changed over the years, and how love can be so much more than a feeling.
Matt Wilson on how God is weaving a tapestry – and knows what that looks like. He can see the big picture. Our part is to trust him with the threads he has given us.
Denise Griffiths on resolutions and why she has resolved not to make the usual New Year’s resolutions such as giving up chocolate, eating healthier or doing more exercise!
Vernon on the transience of life, and how, through all suffering, God’s steadfast love has the capacity to satisfy us every morning.
Andrew Greenhalgh on how he ended up going to church on Christmas morning for the first time at the age of 11 – and what it has taught him.
Helen on how preparations for Christmas vary from family to family and country to country. And what happened to Helen’s Lindt advent chocolates?