Look up questions:

The Russo-Ukrainian War: Processing Fears

As of this post (2/25/2022), Russia has invaded the nation of Ukraine. This is the biggest escalation of military violence since the Russo-Ukrainian War began in 2014. This is a big deal—it’s the largest military attack in Europe since World War II. Obviously, that’s made a lot of people afraid. It also leads to questions about war, the end times, and so forth. As a ministry that gives answers from the Bible, we can give a Christian perspective about the situation, but that’s about all. Details and politics change very quickly. We’re just trying to cover the basics and help alleviate any fears you may be feeling.

I am so afraid.

It's normal to feel fear and anxiety when we hear about wars—even if they’re in other countries. Thankfully, as Christians, we don’t need to dwell on that fear. God never promises to answer ALL our questions, but He does remind us that He’s in control (Job 42:2; Isaiah 14:27). Whatever happens is no surprise to God. So we don’t need to panic. In fact, we should pretty much keep doing all the things we’re supposed to do—regardless of the political climate of our own country or the world.

What can I do?

The most important thing we, as individuals, can do right now is pray for those involved in this terrible war (1 Timothy 2:1-2; Romans 12:18). Pray for safety and peace for the Ukrainian people. Pray for an end to the senseless loss of precious life. And pray for the people of Russia. Residents of a country don’t always like what their government does and should not be universally blamed for the actions of their government. In this case, it seems the Russian people aren’t very happy that this is happening (Proverbs 29:2). War is always tragic. It’s not a game or entertainment. When people kill each other, believers in Christ feel sorrow.

If there are practical ways we can ease the suffering of people caught up in war, we should do it (Matthew 25:34-40). Our primary concern should be the people under threat. That must start with prayer, but it should not stop there. It can also include financial and material help, speaking up against ignorance or hatred, educating yourself and others on what's really going on, and so on.

I can't stop thinking about this.

Yes, it's a scary time. We do need to be careful that we don't obsess over every little detail we hear about the war. If news and social media is feeding your anxiety, put the phone down. Not everything needs to be recorded and put on the internet, and what’s uploaded doesn’t have to be watched/read. Even adults need to set limits. That’s not being a coward or weak. It’s just being sensible by setting boundaries for your heart and mind. Don’t get sucked into clickbait videos, articles, and other posts that are just going to make you feel horrible and sick without telling you anything important.

Even if we’re unsettled, we shouldn’t panic. Remember that God is in control. Some people see a major war break out and wonder if it’s a sign of the end times. It might be...but it might not. Even if it is, all those events are part of God’s knowledge and His plan (Proverbs 16:4). He doesn’t want us to switch gears when we suspect “the end is near.” Instead, we should live every day with a sense of urgency to pray, serve, and seek with confidence instead of with fear (James 4:14; 2 Timothy 1:7; Matthew 28:20).

Is the Russo-Ukrainian war a sign of the end times?

As it happens, most Bible interpreters think Russia has a large role to play in the end times. However, that’s almost all connected to attacks on Israel. You might hear the phrase “Gog and Magog” being used. That’s from a passage in Ezekiel that talks about a "northern kingdom" trying to conquer Israel, but the Bible says this kingdom is defeated. As of now, what’s happening between Russia and Ukraine doesn’t seem to be part of that prophecy. And, despite what some say, there’s no biblical reason to think Russia’s current president—Vladimir Putin—is the Antichrist.

Don’t forget that everyone feels unsettled when things like this happen. It’s good to talk to friends, family, and church members when fear strikes. Those conversations can give you a lot of reassurance, which is much better than trying to hide secret fears. Ultimately, God’s got this, and nothing that happens can change what He already knows (Romans 8:37-39).

—Jeff

ALSO SEE:

If you’re looking for more information about how to respond to news reports about war or Russia or the end times, our main Q&A site has some helpful information. The links below are a great place to start:

TL;DR

As of this post, Russia is attacking the nation of Ukraine. That’s a major historical event, but Christians don’t need to panic. We should pray for the people involved—including the many Russian citizens who didn’t want their country to do this. Other kinds of help, like donations to relief efforts, are important as well. We should be careful not to “overload” on news or media about the war. Russia is included in the Bible’s description of the “end times,” but the current fight isn’t part of those prophecies. Ultimately, since God’s in control, there’s no reason to fear or obsess (Proverbs 16:4). War always makes believers sad. Feeling grief over violence is a very healthy response. But anxiety and worry don’t need to come along with that. Talking to friends, pastors, and looking more at what the Bible says can help ease those fears (Romans 8:37-39).

Writer: Jeff Laird

Jeff is a staff writer with Got Questions Ministries and used to be a mechanical engineer. When he's not accidentally setting things on fire in his workshop, or petting strange dogs, he loves helping people better understand God’s Word and how it applies to our lives. Jeff's calling is to untangle the "big picture" of Christian faith, making it easier to understand.

PLEASE NOTE: The purpose of this comment section is to encourage healthy Christian community for teens around the world. All comments are moderated, so yours will show up as "awaiting moderation" every time. (Sorry!) ALL bullying, hateful, or misleading comments WILL be deleted. Jerks will be banned. (Not sorry.) Views/opinions expressed by commenters do not necessarily reflect those of 412teens or GotQuestions.org.