He was poor. He was sent away from home at 15. He was confused about his purpose and full of fear. He was nearly killed in a furious storm. He disappointed his father. He suffered from various ailments including arthritis, heart problems and depression. He lost his beloved daughter. Trying to stand up for what he believed in, he was mocked, hunted down, isolated, and betrayed by those he thought his friends. He was threatened with death upon multiple occasions.
Yet despite all these things, he loved to sing. He was intelligent, educated and thoughtful. He was hospitable and openhearted. He adored his wife. He steeped himself in Scripture and therefore at the cross of Christ he found his comfort.
He recognized that despite the enemy of our souls being cruel and powerful, crafty and very practiced in the tearing down of souls, God is our bulwark (n. a solid wall-like structure raised for defense; a rampart. from Merriam-Webster)
He recognized that when we rely on our own strength, we fail miserably. It is only when we lean wholly and fully on our Lord Christ that we will have victory. His triumph over sin at the cross and His resurrection from the dead proves that there is no enemy that could possibly defeat our Lord Sabaoth – the Lord of Hosts.
He reminded us that even though we may be filled with fear because of our outward circumstances. The world may rob us of the comforts that we think we deserve, the relationships that should be filled with joy, and even our health and some their very lives, yet God will work in and through us, building His kingdom.
If you haven’t figured it out yet, I am referring to Martin Luther and his hymn, A Mighty Fortress Is Our God. As we worship on Sunday, let’s focus on the words of the hymns that we sing. Remember that they were penned by real people in real situations who have walked this walk of faith before us and are a part of the great cloud of witnesses of Hebrews 12:1. Revel in the corporate Body of Christ that goes beyond geography to ages past and future.
Photo: Castelo de Sao Jorge, Lisbon Portugal