After the events of the last three years, there is understandably heightened anxiety and uncertainty about the future. However, as believers, the good news is that our hope is found in Christ! We can take comfort that even during seasons of great adversity God remains sovereign and will help us navigate the road set before us.
One hero of the faith who encountered adversity throughout his life is German pastor, Martin Luther. Luther faced many trials as he led the charge for the reformation of the Catholic church. He was excommunicated and declared an outlaw and a heretic. Later he faced the threat of the bubonic plague, which brought devastation and ravaged the lives of people across Germany.
In 1527, Luther was urged to leave Wittenberg and save his own life because of the plague. However, he considered it his responsibility to remain and minister to those who were sick. He even transformed his house into a hospital to care for those with the plague. During these years filled with trials and death, Luther wrote his most famous hymn A Mighty Fortress Is Our God. This amazing hymn was inspired by Psalm 46, in which Luther describes the steadfast confidence and trust we have in God.
A mighty fortress is our God,
a bulwark never failing;
our helper he, amid the flood
of mortal ills prevailing.
Luther said, “We sing this psalm to the praise of God, because God is with us and powerfully and miraculously preserves and defends His church and His word against all fanatical spirits, against the gates of hell, against the implacable hatred of the devil, and against all the assaults of the world, the flesh and sin.”1
Luther followed Christ with unwavering devotion amid great adversity. He saturated everything he did in life with prayer depending upon the grace of God. As we pray, let us ask God to mercifully protect us and trust Him to be our refuge and strength as we face adversity.
God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear. (Psalm 46:1–2 NIV)
Bill Gemaehlich is the EVP/COO operations at Insight for Living Ministries
1. C. H. Spurgeon, The Treasury of David, vol. 1b, Psalms 27-57 (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1968), p. 344.