“A mighty fortress is our God,
A bulwark never failing;
He, amid the flood
Of mortal ills prevailing.”
There can be no doubt but that Luther’s sturdy, unshakeable, unflappable confidence in God as his refuge, his strength, his mighty, impenetrable fortress is what ultimately accounted for what he was able to accomplish in bringing about what we know as the Protestant Reformation.
The same could easily be said of Elijah, as he faced the treachery of Ahab and Jezebel and the prophets of Baal.
The same could be said of Daniel, as he fearlessly confronted the power and pressures that came from Nebuchadnezzar and Belshazzar.
And what was it that empowered the Apostle Paul as he stood in the presence of his Jewish persecutors or his Roman captors? The same God, who for all of these folk proved himself to be a mighty fortress, a bulwark never failing.
Don’t let the fame of these people suggest that God is any less a mighty fortress for you in the midst of your daily struggles or the minor trials that come your way. Psalm 46 is a powerful word of encouragement for the Christian troubled by the lingering memory of a moral lapse, or the parent in agony over the rebellion of a teenage son or daughter. This is a message of hope for the believer who lost his job because he refused to compromise his integrity, as well as the woman who lost her husband to cancer. This is a psalm for you, no less than for the OT Israelite, such that you can confidently declare:
“The Lord of hosts is with us [ME]; the God of Jacob is our [MY] fortress” (v. 7)….
……This God, dear friend, “is with us [YOU]” (v. 11a). This God “is our [YOUR] fortress” (v. 11a).
Not even Martin Luther was immune to depression and frustration and fear. When he came face to face with his enemies, he would often turn to his young friend and co-worker, Philip Melancthon, and say: “Philip, let us sing forth the forty-sixth Psalm.” And this is how it sounded:
“A sure stronghold our God is He,
A timely shield and weapon;
Our help he’ll be, and set us free
From every ill can happen.
And were the world with devils filled,
All eager to devour us,
Our souls to fear shall little yield,
They cannot overpower us.”