March 1st Devotion

Comfort in God’s Strength – Chuck Swindoll

If Martin Luther's great hymn, "A Mighty Fortress Is Our God," is any indication, he often turned to Psalm 46 for comfort. When you read his story, you can appreciate why.

In 1520, after more than three years of conflict with the Church in Rome, the Pope warned Luther in a public letter that he would be excommunicated if he did not recant his teaching that salvation is by grace alone through faith alone in Jesus Christ alone. Luther responded by burning the letter publicly and publishing a pamphlet titled, Why the Pope and His Recent Book are Burned and the Assertions Concerning All Articles. In 1521, Pope Leo X issued a letter announcing Luther's excommunication, which prompted the Holy Roman Emperor, Charles V, to issue orders of arrest. Charles declared, "We want him apprehended and punished as an infamous heretic, as he deserves," and placed a generous price on his head. Naturally, this made Luther a prime target for any sovereign wanting favors from the Pope and the powerful King Charles V. Consequently, nearly every king and petty ruler in the world made Luther's capture a priority.

On his way home from the official announcement by Charles V, Luther was stopped by a masked horseman and taken to a castle in central Germany. Fortunately, he had not fallen into the hands of enemies, but was taken into the protection of Frederick III, the only man powerful enough to oppose Charles V. Luther spent the next year in the Castle of Wartburg, a walled fortress perched on a 1,200-foot precipice. From here, Luther translated the Greek New Testament into German and laid the foundation for the Protestant Reformation.

It may be from here that Luther found solace in Psalm 46. Sitting in a mighty castle, protected by a rugged terrain and a high position with only a drawbridge for access, guarded by one of the most powerful men in the world, Luther found comfort only in his God. With virtually the whole world against him, he had the truth of the gospel on his side, and that gave him confidence. He rested in the assurance of Psalm 46 and penned the words to an anthem praising the power of God. In 1853, Frederick H. Hedge translated Luther's German lyrics into the English lines we know so well.

A mighty fortress is our God, a bulwark never failing;
Our helper He amid the flood of mortal ills prevailing.
For still our ancient foe doth seek to work us woe;
His craft and power are great, and armed with cruel hate,
On earth is not his equal.

Did we in our own strength confide, our striving would be losing,
Were not the right man on our side, the man of God's own choosing:
Dost ask who that may be? Christ Jesus, it is He;
Lord Sabaoth, His name, from age to age the same,
And He must win the battle.

And though this world, with devils filled, should threaten to undo us,
We will not fear, for God hath willed His truth to triumph through us.
The Prince of Darkness grim, we tremble not for him;
His rage we can endure, for lo, his doom is sure;
One little word shall fell him.

That word above all earthly powers, no thanks to them, abideth;
The Spirit and the gifts are ours, thru Him who with us sideth.
Let goods and kindred go, this mortal life also;
The body they may kill; God's truth abideth still;
His kingdom is forever.
Posted in
Tagged with

No Comments






10 nations 5th bowl judgment 6th Bowl Anxiety Armageddon Attributes of God Autism Battles Battle Be on Guard Be still Bearing with one another Being Still Bible Blessing God Bowl Judgment #2 Bow Busyness Comfort Coming of Jesus Contentment Content Courage Crown of righteousness Directing our paths Disappointment Discipleship Earthquakes Easter Encouragement End times Eric Lidell Eternity Evil Exemplary prayer Faith over fear Faith wavers Faithful with Litlle Feeding the Fire Fellowship with God Free Generosity Giants Gideon Giving thanks God at work God in our midst God is working God's Help God's Holiness God's Involvment God's Timing God's Whispers God's call on your life God's delays God's direction God's pleasure God's will Grattitude Guarding our words Hearing from God Heart of Service Heart of the problem Hidden Blessings His Love Hope If Only Incomparable Word Jesus' Kingdom Jesus' return Jesus Lightning Listen for His voice Listening Little by little Living godly Love Loving God's word Moments More Need New Covenant Not Looking back Obstacles One world religion People Persistence in prayer Pour in spirit Power Praising God Pray without ceasing Prayer life Prayer Pray Progress Protection Proverbs Purpose Rainbows Reading the bible Reason Redemption Rejoicing Rock Self-Focus Serviing Setbacks Shepherd Singing Spiritual Vitamins Standing tall Stepping out Still on the throne Striving Thank God Thankfulness The Good News The Prize The Tongue The Word The gift Thunder Time with God Trumpet Two witnesses Vision Waiting patiently Waterfall Weak Weary Soul Wisdom Worry Worship You matter Your race all together antichrist assumptions balancing things best laid plans blessings coming of the Lord continuing in sin daily bible study darkness delight in the word of God delight distractions doubt drinking water endurance everyday faith family breakdown fear forest for the trees godlessness godliness godly life good times grace growing up grumbling hard times hearts towards heaven heat joy kings of the east knowledge lasting Covenant living for Jesus longing for God loving one another make a way mark of the beast miracles missing names of God needing Answers nothing goes right patience peace pleasing God prepared provision rapture relationships running searing seas turned to blood season set example setting out sing unto the Lord sin spend time with Jesus sunburn thanksgiving thanksgivi thought life trusting God two-witnesses unanswered prayers understanding unfulfilled desires waiting walk faithfully walk in the light walk with God walking with God want water to blood waver in prayers weapon white horse willingness word of God world chaos yes to God