Tuesday, September 17, 2019


About Me

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The Rev Andries Combrink is a Presbyterian Minister of the Gospel. He lives in Centurion, South Africa. 
To teach the Word of God is his calling,  based on the Reformed tradition. 

 

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It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God.’ Mt 4:4.

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Mar 14

Written by: Andries
Thursday, March 14, 2019 12:47:24 AM  RssIcon

We observe the Season of Lent in order to prepare our hearts and minds for the celebration of the victory of the risen Lord.
An important part of this preparation is to, through a closer walk with God, renew our relationship with the Lord, for only then will we be able to experience the life changing experience of his resurrection and will we at the end be able to proclaim with the world wide church: The Lord is risen! The Lord is risen indeed.
 
Psalms 91:1-2, 9-16: You who live in the shelter of the Most High, who abide in the shadow of the Almighty, will say to the Lord, "My refuge and my fortress; my God, in whom I trust."
 
For people living in the Middle East, the idea of a rocky shelter, like a shallow cave or overhang on the mountainside to protect one from the hot sun or from malicious enemies, would have been well known when this psalm was written.
But unlike a rock shelter that can eventually be overrun if attacked with enough force, the Psalmist declares that God cannot be overtaken by anything we may ever encounter. The idea of God providing refuge, and of God being our fortress, is a great comfort when his people feel overwhelmed by the challenges of a pilgrimage with God that stuns the very foundations of life.
 
The psalmist shares with us how the life of faith works. To believe that the LORD is my personal refuge is based on a choice to place every facet of my life in the hands of God, because I know through faith that God’s protection cannot be overcome by neither the stresses and tensions of life, nor the spiritual anguish of remorse, repentance and radical renewal.
 
God’s protection is discovered in relationship. God’s commitment to those who are in relationship with him, is sure. He will provide answers when nobody else can. God will be with us when we are destitute and in trouble. He may not always make the challenges to go away, but he will deliver us as we faithfully put our trust in him.
The refuge that is found in God alone will sustain people even when body, emotions and relationships take strain. When God is our refuge nothing will harm our relationship with the Lord that provides the support, inner strength and unfailing faith to endure the trials and final questions of life.
 
God’s presence during a challenging hour, is our refuge. God is our rock shelter of hope in the darkest day. During the Lenten Season we focus on seeking a closer and reconstructing walk with the Lord. Cynics may ask us – Why and what is the reason for your decisions based on faith alone?
 
The answer to the cynic’s questioning of our disciplined seeking of the face of the Lord, is that those who choose God as their refuge will hear the firm promise of Psalm 91:15 – 16:
When they call to me (the Lord), I will answer them; I will be with them in trouble, I will rescue them and honour them. With long (eternal?) life I will satisfy them, and show them my salvation.
 
May the Lord be your refuge and your strength as a pilgrim who journeys through the often barren land of remorse, reconciliation and firm new beginnings!
 
May the Lord be with you in Christ Jesus who suffered temptation for 40 days in the desert, the ultimate anguish of Gethsemane and the punishment of hell itself on the cross, when your Lenten journey takes you through deep valleys of uncertainty, fear and even spiritual pain.
 
May the loving fellowship of the Holy Spirit during this time provide the sure faith that your fortress, the loving God, is around you, that making the most drastic decisions are taken within the gracious arms of your eternal refuge, the Lord of grace and mercy, knowing that death itself has been defeated and that you have been rescued and have been provided with eternal life through the Redeemer’s victorious resurrection and eternal reign.
 
May our Lord be your refuge and fortress during the spiritual pilgrimage called Lent. 

 

Copyright ©2019 Andries Johannes Combrink

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