“My brothers and sisters, what good is it if people say they have faith but do nothing to show it? Claiming to have faith can’t save anyone, can it? Imagine a brother or sister who is naked and never has enough food to eat. What if one of you said, ‘Go in peace! Stay warm! Have a nice meal!?’ What good is it if you don’t actually give them what their body needs? In the same way, faith is dead when it doesn’t result in faithful activity.” ~ James 2:14-17
We live in a moment in time where we are seeing upheaval and devastation taking place in many nations. As we watch events unfold in Ukraine, our hearts and emotions are stirred. We read newsfeeds, social media reports and mainstream media which captures eyewitness reports and images.
Various voices arise commenting on the advent of the beginning of WWIII and others heralding the return of Christ being imminent while others say ‘not yet’. Who does one listen to?
I have had the privilege of hearing first hand reports during on-line prayer gatherings from those within Ukraine. Each of them shared how they have been reaching out to fellow citizens, assisting in the distribution of food and gathering much needed resources from local citizens and, sometimes, even from bordering nations. Caravans of provisions are brought to cities hardest hit and rides offered out of the intense battlefronts to cities and communities on the other side of the country. Churches are open to house refugees, apartments sought and filled and homes of believers being opened in communities to offer any space available. Day by day there is a strong sense of being asked by the Lord to stay in the region. “Is now the time to leave with the family for safer destinations?” Yet, many have sensed to stay to help their fellowman.
Together, there is a knitting of hearts as these precious saints lift up their voices to pray in their native language, praying for God’s intervention and protection of people on all sides. The earnestness of their prayers strikes a chord within us.
Reports are shared by other believers, describing situations where God has intervened, prompting them to move to a new location just at the right time. There have been other occasions where they have sensed the protection of the Lord in dangerous situations where they have been protected as well as the provision of food, resources and assistance when exactly needed.
Many ministries, charities and organizations have mobilized themselves to respond in a variety of ways. Our hearts and prayers go with them to help those displaced, traumatized, wounded and grieving during this political struggle.
James encourages us in the above verses, to not only bless people with our words and prayers, but to tangibly demonstrate our faith by giving and providing for those in need. In this moment in time, we have an opportunity to express our faith through our ability to give materially to help those who are under intense suffering and trauma.
What will be the manifestation of your faith in these difficult circumstances?
*Discover those ministries and charities engaged in assisting Ukraine at https://www.cncf.ca/