Hope and Faith Amidst Ukraine's Conflict

Vlad Chazov
Director, Derek Prince Ministres Ukraine
Vlad Chazov
Director, Derek Prince Ministres Ukraine
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The Power Of Hope In Ukraine

“If, two years ago, someone had told me that two more years would pass and there would still be no end to the war on the horizon, my heart would have broken. But by now, it has been a long time and the war is only getting more intense.”

These words come from Vlad, from DPM Ukraine. In a recent email, he expressed his gratitude for the support and faithful prayers he has received during the war. He also shared some personal insights on the need to trust God and the power of hope – especially in times of war. We feel these powerful truths will bless you too. So let’s continue to listen to Vlad’s testimony.

The Power of Hope

“It is difficult to describe the situation in a nutshell. But although it seems like a lot changes every day, at the same time the basic gist remains the same. In the spring of 2022, at the start of the war, I listened to an audiobook by Viktor Frankl, a Jewish man who survived a Nazi concentration camp. He wrote that people die more from moral pressure than from physical pressure. The first to die were those who thought the war would end soon - they had a short-term hope. The next to die were those who came to believe that the war would never end - they had lost all hope. Only those who lived with hope every day survived.

According to Viktor Frankl, moral pressure is far more deadly than physical difficulties and dangers. In this sense, everyone can have his own war. Some are battling their cancer or a relative's illness, some are under moral pressure as Christians, suffer from injustice, perhaps some are being mistreated by their brothers in Christ (which is probably the hardest part) - all such people need faith in God and hope for the next day, just as Ukrainians do today.

Hope rooted in God

In his teaching The Source of Hope, Derek Prince also attests to the power of hope:  

Faith is based on God’s Word, the invisible; hope is based on faith. Faith is present, it’s a substance which we have here and now; hope looks to the future. But the only valid kind of hope is that which is based on present faith. Any other kind of hope is mere wishful thinking; it may come true but there’s absolutely no guarantee.
My personal definition of hope, as it is in the Bible, is this: Hope is a serene, confident expectation of good. Hope is not just passive; it’s confident. The writer of Hebrews speaks about maintaining the boast of our hope.
Now, the ultimate focus of all Christian hope is the return of Christ. This is the blessed hope set before all true believers. It is the hope and it has two main effects on the way we live. First of all, it motivates us to holy living. The second effect that this hope has is that it releases us from the bondage of time. The people of this world are just shut up in a little prison of a few brief years that God allots to each and who knows how long they are in any life. Beyond that, they have nothing. But we live in time but our hope takes us beyond time into eternity. Hope liberates us from the prison of time.

A Heavy Heart

Vlad continues, “Viktor Frankl’s experience made me consider the situation in Ukraine. I realized we are going through far greater suffering than plain open warfare. My heart was heavy because of the moral side of the event more than because of the physical hardships and dangers.

It is hard for me to know that my motherland Russia is attacking and killing Ukrainians around me, who once welcomed me very warmly as a foreigner and among whom I have been living very comfortably since 1994. This is a heavy moral burden, apart from the war itself. I have never met a manifestation of so-called Ukrainian Russophobia, Nazism, or anything else that today is declared the main reason for the war "to protect Russians and the Russian language in Ukraine".

What adds to this burden is that many Russian brothers in Christ believe the false propaganda. This is deeply painful because many of them owe their spiritual birth to numerous Ukrainian missionaries and even pastors, especially in remote corners of Russia like in the Urals and Siberia, which Western missionaries did not reach.”

To Trust– Or Not To Trust

“During a prayer meeting in our church, it dawned on me that in biblical times there were no worldly security systems, no international humanitarian organizations, no United Nations, no one to look after your refugees - nothing like that. Nobody owed anyone anything; no weapons for defense, no food or money. Meanwhile, Israel was located at the crossroads of mighty, aggressive empires. They just had to trust in God and God alone.

How does this relate to the situation in Ukraine? I realized that we are actually in danger of falling under the curse of relying on flesh if we put our hope in other resources and people. The prophet Jeremiah describes this in Jeremiah 17:5. If we open our hearts too wide to trust in people, we risk inner destruction.

On the other hand, we have to trust people. We cannot live in negativity and suspicion. From the moment we no longer trust each other, humanity will die. So how can we reconcile these two? We know that even Jesus Himself loved people and at the same time did not entrust Himself to anyone (John 2:24).

In 2 Corinthians 8:5, we find a helpful revelation to building balanced relationships. The apostle Paul is speaking about the support they received from the Macedonian churches, saying they not only received "…what we hoped for, but they gave themselves, first to the Lord, then also to us according to the will of God." This was a revelation to me - we are to give ourselves completely to the Lord, and having learned His will, to give ourselves to others - to build relationships through Christ.”

Prayer for Ukraine

“I have often wondered about Paul's request to his followers to pray that the Lord would deliver him from unreasonable and unfaithful people (see 2 Thessalonians 3:2). Paul had enough spiritual experience and discernment, so why did he not simply pray about it himself? I sometimes wish that someone would pray for me to be more open and loving to people! But apparently, Paul had a different problem - he feared getting hurt by his openness to people on whom he might be wasting part of his life. Only what God builds is stable and reliable, and will not disappoint our hearts.

That is why I pray that Ukraine will become “one nation before God” and build its relationship with Him and through Him. If we begin to understand this even just a little, and take one step, then I believe, God in His turn, will take a hundred steps towards us. In His hand are the hearts of all kings. All earthly events are under His control. And from His hand we have to accept everything, no matter how it seems to us at the moment, good or bad. That is our challenge of faith.

Meanwhile, I thank you for your support and prayers. May the Lord bless you, your home, your church, and your country!”

Proclamation

A proclamation from the Bible: The God of Hope

Ongoing Ministry

Hope in God also gives strength to Vlad and his team to continue the work of DPM. “This year we translated and published the book “Blessing or Curse” for the first time in Ukrainian. We are translating two more books into Ukrainian right now. Plus, we have already dictated 8 new audiobooks in Russian and Ukrainian this year. We have reprinted prayer and proclamation cards for the fourth time and have already distributed hundreds of thousands among the military, the wounded, refugees and simply civilian Ukrainians.”

Join In Prayer

  • Peace and Reconciliation: Pray for peace and reconciliation between the people of Ukraine and Russia. Pray for an end to the conflict and for diplomatic solutions to be found.
  • Safety and Protection: Pray for the safety and protection of civilians caught in the conflict, as well as for the safety of soldiers and peacekeepers. Pray for an end to violence and for humanitarian aid to reach those in need.
  • Wisdom for Leaders: Pray for wisdom and discernment for political leaders in both Ukraine and Russia, as well as for leaders of other nations involved in mediation efforts. Pray also for spiritual leaders on both sides of the conflict, that they may be guided by God's wisdom and a commitment to peace. May they be stewards of God in bringing healing and forgiveness, offering biblical guidance and support to those affected by the conflict.
  • Healing and Unity: Pray for healing and restoration for communities affected by the conflict, including those displaced from their homes.
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