Good afternoon! I hope you’re enjoying this amazing weather and beautiful day! Our Lenten devotional for today was written by Mark Tentinger. Mark is a Junior from La Vista, Nebraska, and he’s studying Mechanical Engineering at TCU. I’ve recently gotten to know Mark through his leadership role as President of BYX, which is one of two Greek organizations that is also a Student Religious Organization on campus. As I’ve gotten to know Mark this year, I’ve come to appreciate his calm and peaceful demeanor. As I was brainstorming which students I wanted to invite to write a devotional this semester, I asked several students to recommend peers who they thought would do a great job. More than once Mark’s name was mentioned, so I was excited to extend this opportunity to him and grateful when he agreed to write it. After reading his devotional, I’m so glad he did. I invite you to find a quiet moment to reflect on his words for us today, and allow them to challenge you in a new way as the end of our Lenten experience draws near. Blessings on your journey…
March 15, 2016 By: Mark Tentinger
“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 he will deliver you from the snare of the fowler and from the deadly pestilence; he will cover you with his pinions, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness is a shield and buckler. You will not fear the terror of the night, or the arrow that flies by day, or the pestilence that stalks in darkness, or the destruction that wastes at noonday. A thousand may fall at your side, ten thousand at your right hand, but it will not come near you. You will only look with your eyes and see the punishment of the wicked. Because you have made the Lord your refuge, the Most High your dwelling place, no evil shall befall you, no scourge come near your tent. For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways. On their hands they will bear you up, so that you will not dash your foot against a stone. You will tread on the lion and the adder, the young lion and the serpent you will trample under foot. Those who love me, I will deliver; I will protect those who know my name. When they call to me, I will answer them; I will be with them in trouble, I will rescue them and honor them. With long life I will satisfy them, and show them my salvation.”
Lately, I have been searching the scriptures for comfort, hope, and strength as responsibilities for classes and organizations pile up. Psalm 91 resounded with me because it emphasizes placing our trust in God. I found this appropriate for the Lenten season because this is a time for introspection and contemplation upon our personal relationships with God. When life gets stressful I tend to turn inward, and only inward, instead of trusting and relying upon God as the Psalmist urges us to do. When I think I am facing a problem alone and that I can only rely on myself it is easy to slip into despair and hopelessness. This scripture is important because it reminds us that no matter what challenges or struggles we face, if we face them with audacious trust in the God whose love for us never ceases, we will be delivered from our trials into safety and comfort.
However, this audacious faith and trust is not a one-dimensional trait. Satan attempted to use this very verse to tempt Jesus during his time in the desert. Though Jesus trusts God more than any of us could ever fathom, he does not test God by throwing himself off of the temple. Likewise, we must respond with caution to the safety and reassurance that God provides. We can trust wholly in him to provide and protect us, but we must not be so audacious as to make claims on behalf of God. Our response to this fantastic and undeserved love that God pours out for us should be to pour that same love out to others so that they might know the same trust and comfort.
Lord, may your refuge and fortitude inspire us to be courageous and loving in our faith.