A Mighty Fortress

“God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble” (Psalm 46:1)

Most know Martin Luther as the leader of the Protestant Reformation. If you were to associate Luther with only one book of the Bible, it would probably be Romans. His conversion resulted from its study. But Martin Luther also loved the psalms and Psalm 46 was one of his favorites, serving as inspiration for his writing the hymn, A Mighty Fortress Is Our God.

In Luther’s life, there was great personal necessity in the promise of this psalm. The Reformers generally and Luther in particular had known great challenge and uncertainty as they stood in opposition to the Catholic Church. Luther also experienced his share of pain and suffering in his personal life. Perhaps to a different degree and certainly because of different circumstances, we also can rest in the promise of this psalm as pain and suffering is a reality for us all.

In a figurative sense, a “refuge” refers to a shelter that provides protection from things capable of causing harm. We can rely on God’s strength when things come against us, and we can trust that He is sufficient to help us in times of trouble. Our God is more than adequate in the midst of the instabilities of life. Psalm 46 teaches this very truth. Lutheran scholar, H.C. Leupold wrote of Psalm 46 that, “Few psalms breathe the spirit of sturdy confidence in the Lord in the midst of very real dangers as strongly as does this one”.

Who knows the depth of your troubles but you? Whatever its cause, you can trust the Lord knows and that He is sufficient to meet your need. For our part, we simply continue to lean on God’s grace, resting in the security that He alone provides. Our God is A Mighty Fortress.

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