Many of us are familiar with the salutation we find in I Timothy 1:2, where Paul wrote: “Grace, mercy and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord.” These words should be a comfort and encouragement for every Christian believer. In a world characterized by sin and misery it is easy to lose focus on Christ and instead fear the storms around us. As the Cloete family is preparing to go to South Africa, these words are foundational to enjoying peace of mind. The many tasks and obstacles surrounding us are insurmountable, humanly speaking. Practical issues such as fund raising, an international move, leaving loved ones behind, and then going to a turbulent and violent country can easily lead to distracting thoughts that may cause fear, anxiety, depression, and a number of other problems. The temptation for us is to ignore God’s promise of blessing, and focus on the “encumbrance and sin which so easily entangles us”. (Hebrews 12:1b) Giving in to such temptation never has good results, and must be avoided with the intensity of a gazelle fleeing a pursuing cheetah.
As we are walking this road it also is comforting to know that this is not our work, but that of the Lord Jesus Christ. We are only servants in the kingdom that cannot be shaken, ruled by the King of kings and the Lord of lords. In II Corinthians 10:3-5 we read that we are ourselves involved in warfare, and that our weapons are divinely powerful and strong enough to bring down fortresses! He gave us His Word by which “we are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ.” (II Cor. 10:5). These words should make us stand still and consider that the world cannot possibly be victorious over Christ, and we who place our trust in Him can expect His grace, mercy and peace. As believers we are securely under His protection. We receive His love and benevolence undeservedly, and He provides us rest in a world beset by storms.
It is therefore with this goal in mind that we ask you to regularly pray for us and that the Lord will open the doors to have His kingdom advanced. All for the glory of the Lord Jesus Christ. — by Rev. Louis Cloete, Missionary Candidate to South Africa