Mighty Fortress

Ten years ago the residents of Central Florida were in the thick of a hyperactive hurricane season.  The storms were lined up one after the other and presented a merciless onslaught of wind and rain.  During one of the storms, I huddled with the rest of my family in one of our bedroom closets.  While we listened to the intense wind battering the house, we also prayed and sang some worship songs to the Lord--the One who has the power to still the most treacherous storms and provide protection in the midst of danger. 

When Martin Luther penned his well-known hymn, A Mighty Fortress Is Our God, he eloquently captured the Biblical truth that because God is more powerful than any storm or evil force, He can be completely trusted.  God alone is a fortress and refuge that will never fail.  While my house remained standing during the hurricanes, it did sustain some minor roof damage and, if the hurricanes would have taken a slightly different path, the outcome would have probably been much worse.  The force of the storms could have easily overwhelmed my house.  What a joy to know the fortress-like character of God!  The opening line of Luther's hymn says, "A Mighty Fortress is our God.  A bulwark never failing."   A bulwark is a wall built to provide strong defense, a protective barrier against danger.  Luther wrote what the Bible teaches: God, our fortress, refuge, and defender, never fails.

Psalm 91 is a powerful testimony to God's ability to protect His people at all times.  The Psalmist begins by writing:

Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.  I will say of the Lord, "He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust."  (vv. 1-2)  

Then, a few verses later, the Psalmist reveals an important outcome of trusting in God's protection: The removal of fear.

You will not fear the terror of night, nor the arrow that flies by day, nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness, nor the plague that destroys at midday.  (vv. 5-6)

We are often tempted to fear the most at night, especially when the lights are turned off and we start to think that every little sound in the house is a dangerous intruder.  One night, I was abruptly awakened from my sleep by a noise in the kitchen.  I immediately jumped out of bed (with my heart beating a hundred times a minute!) and ran to the kitchen only to discover that the "intruder" was the ice maker on the refrigerator.  

What are the fears that fill your mind in the night?  

What keeps you awake?  

What terrors keep you rolling and tossing?  

Remember, your God is a mighty fortress.  By placing your trust in Him you will experience an amazing peace in your life, even at night.


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