Meditation Monday // A Mighty Fortress
This Monday I’m meditating on Psalm 46:1 “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.”
Since it’s Reformation Day, it seems fitting to meditate on this verse.
The theme of this entire psalm is confidence in God in the face of monumental troubles. In fact, it was this verse that inspired Martin Luther to write the hymn “A mighty fortress is our God.” This hymn is a celebration of the sovereign power of God over all earthly and spiritual forces, and of the sure hope we have in him because of Christ.
Whether our troubles and uncertainties come in the form of a diagnosis or a sudden loss, we can bank our hope on the truth that God is our protection. Jesus promises to never leave or forsake us (Matthew 28:20) and he promises to send us “another helper” (John 14:16).
It’s cool to note that in 1 John 2:1 John tells us the “advocate with the Father” is “Jesus Christ the Righteous.” The Greek word for “advocate” in 1 John 2:1 is the same word translated as “Helper” in John 14:16. Jesus was the first Helper who, after He ascended, gave us another Helper. What a comfort!
Whether our suffering is from sin or circumstance, it’s important to remind ourselves that our protection is not in better conditions, but instead in the ever-present help of the Holy Spirit, who comes to our defense when our hearts or the devil condemn us for our sin, reminding us of the truth that Jesus has paid for our sin and that we are accounted righteous before the Father.
The hymn "A Mighty Fortress" reminds us how Martin Luther, and others, preached the truth in love in the face of many obstacles and hardships. And how they did so not in their own strength, but by relying on our God who is our protector, looking to Jesus who is the perfecter of our faith, and by keeping in step with the Spirit who gives us the power to proclaim the gospel and encourage the believers in our lives.
Because the Spirit of truth has been given to us, we can be confident that the truth will remain in us and that we will be kept in perfect peace when our thoughts are fixed on God (Isaiah 26:3).
Luther says of music, “Next to the Word of God, music deserves the highest praise. The gift of language combined with the gift of song was given to man that he should proclaim the Word of God through Music.”
When our hearts are feeling weary and life is feeling uncertain, let us remember that our God is a mighty fortress, an ever-present help in trouble. And then we ask Him to help us trust him through the trials and uncertainties, that we would be confident in Him, and that He would give us more of himself.
Then, let us sing with Luther, “Let goods and kindred go, this mortal life also, the body they may kill, God’s truth abideth still, his kingdom is forever.”
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