Election Day 2020 in Belarus - Focus on Jesus
As those of you in the United States brace yourselves for the impact of whatever happens on November 3rd, perhaps the events around the August 2020 elections in Belarus might offer some perspective. Following is an article with helpful scriptures written by one of the small group leaders in the church in Minsk, Olya Putseyko, and a recent video from Christian Ray, featuring news footage and an encouraging glimpse into the life of this small church, which needs and deeply appreciates our prayers.
Focus on Jesus
by Olga Putseyko -- Minsk, Belarus
In our country (the Republic of Belarus), this was an election year. More people than ever before in the history of our nation took to the streets in protest on the night of the election, due to the very large number of violations which occurred during the election process. The civil authorities employed harsh methods to keep order, which incited still more protests. A lot of information began to appear on the internet regarding legal violations committed by the current administration during its last 26 years in power.
In order not to succumb to the general atmosphere of outrage in our society due to all the facts which have come to light, I have needed to pray a great deal and seek understanding from God. What helps me to have a more objective view of our circumstances is not just one or two scriptures – but many, especially from the Old Testament stories of the Israelite nation. Every judge, sent by God, every king of Israel and Judah -- even those who more or less followed the will of God --in some way or other broke the law. And every person in civil authority will be held accountable and judged by God.
Romans 14:4 Who are you to judge someone else’s servant? To their own master, servants stand or fall.
Romans 8:28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.
What Good Could Possibly Come from This?
As I put my trust in God I can see blessings, even from difficult times like these.
1 Timothy 2:1-2 I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people— 2 for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness.
My prayers for the civil authorities have become much more deliberate. Prayer is certainly our strongest weapon. The example of Gideon, when 300 warriors were chosen, instead of several thousand. Then God himself gains the victory through unbelievable circumstances, when we, his people, are ready to humble ourselves before him and long to hear him and be led by him.
Philippians 3:20 But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ….
Even these hard circumstances are like a test of my own faith: where is my home, my citizenship, after all?
2 Corinthians 5:16-19 So from now on we regard no one from a worldly point of view. Though we once regarded Christ in this way, we do so no longer. 17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come:[a] The old has gone, the new is here! 18 All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: 19 that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them.And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation.
Having been reconciled to God, the way I think, the way I live, the way I choose to act, is new and different – not like the vast majority of people.
Romans 12:1-2 Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice,holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. 2 Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.
I’m called to change and to think in a new way.
Focus On Jesus
1 John 3:23 And this is his command: to believe in the name of his Son, Jesus Christ, and to love one another as he commanded us.
I understand that I am called to preserve unity in the church through Jesus Christ. That is to say, that my focus needs to be Jesus.
It would be good to pray for the repentance of the President, Alexander Grigoryevich Lukashenko, that he would sincerely love the people of Belarus from the heart; that he would stop the propagation of lies; and to pray for him to understand godly wisdom for himself and wisdom in his leadership.
Photo credit: Максим Шикунец - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=93201623)