It’s been a year and a week since Russia commenced its full-scale invasion of Ukraine.

Since then, we have seen the people of Ukraine bravely stand against the aggressors under the courageous leadership of Volodymyr Zelensky.

Vladimir Putin’s initial hopes of steamrolling Ukraine and further expanding his territory seem to have been dashed.

Even so, this has come at a great human cost, with scores of Ukrainians and Russians killed in the war.

Even though this conflict is happening on the opposite side of the world from where we are in Singapore, it is very worthwhile for us to consider the lessons we can draw from this war.

Indeed, this physical war has themes that parallel the battles and conflicts within the spiritual realm, which is something that believers should be aware of.

As such, here are some reflections I’d like to share.

This world is fallen

This war is a stark reminder of the fallenness of this world – a reality that the Bible depicts from Genesis 3 onwards – and a very clear example of humanity’s propensity for evil.

Within the first few days of the invasion, social media was already littered with videos of buildings crumbling under the weight of bombardment and children screaming as it happened.

In the many months since, countless cruelties have been inflicted on the Ukrainian people by Russian soldiers.

The loss of human life seems so senseless, not only from the Ukrainians targeted by this invasion but also the Russian soldiers, many of whom are like lambs led to the slaughter on account of their leader’s lust for power.

It is a grim reminder that, even in a modern age with prosperity and the seeming enlightenment of the human race via technology and information, the horrors of war, its barbarity and death are still a reality.

It gets me thinking about why evil exists – and that’s something that I still cannot perfectly comprehend or explain.

I’m not alone: even the most brilliant of philosophers and thinkers have not been able to fully explain how and why evil continues on this earth.

We must remain aware of the ways evil continues to wreck our world. This will strengthen our empathy for the many around the globe who are suffering badly.

It will also remind us of God’s heart for them, especially since we are able to live lives of relative security and privilege here in Singapore.

We should rejoice in a Saviour who struck at the very heart of the powers of darkness with His death on the cross and His glorious resurrection.

At the same time, we should also take joy in the greater hope of a good God who reigns supreme amidst continuous chaos and destruction in our world.

We should rejoice in a Saviour who struck at the very heart of the powers of darkness with His death on the cross and His glorious resurrection.

This is the greatest hope anyone can hold on to amidst the darkness of this world.

Hold on to hope and faith

Amidst the darkness of this war, there are numerous stories of hope we can hold on to – such as those victims of this war who have held on to their faith.

To start, it is worth mentioning that the very fact that Ukraine is still standing is already something to thank God for.

The consequences for the rest of the world, had Ukraine folded in the way Putin hoped for, could have been more devastating than any of us thought.

The example of Volodymyr Zelensky (a non-Christian leader who we might disagree with on other issues) is an encouragement in how he stayed to defend his people rather than flee when given the chance.

Zelensky’s willingness to risk everything to defend his nation is a parallel to the ultimate sacrifice Jesus made to redeem humanity.

There are also stories of believers in Ukraine remaining steadfast in their hope in God amidst the suffering and devastation of the ongoing invasion. It is something that has already been mentioned by other writers on this publication as well as other Christian publications.

At the church I attend, a Messianic Jewish rabbi named Stewart Winograd, who founded the ministry Reach Initiative International, shared stories on this theme in the guest presentation he gave to our congregation. 

Winograd’s ministry has been quite involved with humanitarian involvement in Ukraine. He shared that ministers there turned their congregations into refugee centers to provide food, clothing and shelter.

These are examples of how believers can hold on to their faith in God, and continue living out that faith even when facing grave hardship and brokenness.

Continue praying

To close, I hope that all of us in Singapore would continue to pray for all involved in this awful war.

Without doubt, we should continue to pray for God’s protection over innocent civilians who are suffering as a result of the invasion, and also the Ukrainians who had to flee the country and seek refuge.

I believe we worship a God who has a special heart for those on the margins, and the most basic way to show God’s love for them is to intercede on their behalf.

I would also urge us to pray for God to supernaturally work in the hearts of Vladimir Putin and the rest of his government.

No one is fully beyond God’s grace – just look at Saul of Tarsus early in the book of Acts!

We can hope in Jesus that somehow, some way, Putin and all the others responsible for this invasion would be brought to repentance.

Wars like this should strengthen our desire to see God’s Kingdom come and His will be done on earth as it is in heaven.

When US President Joe Biden visited Kiev on a surprise trip in February, he proclaimed: “One year later, Kiev stands, and Ukraine stands. Democracy stands”.

Those are inspiring words that reflect the encouraging example of how Ukraine has withstood this brutal invasion.

But more than anything, I am confident, and joyful, that it is God’s eternal Kingdom that continues to stand, no matter what happens on earth.

It will continue to stand in the years to come, and it will stand for all eternity.

As followers of Jesus Christ, we look ahead to the day when He will cleanse all wickedness and wipe away every tear!

  1. The world is fallen. Where do you see this fact play out in your life?
  2. How might God be working in your situation to redeem and restore?
  3. Ask Him what your role to play is!