TITLE: Our Fortress In the New Year.
Christ is risen. He is risen, indeed.
TEXT: Ps 46: 1- - ESV God is our refuge and strength, a very present[b] help in trouble. 2 Therefore we will not fear though the earth gives way, though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea, 3 though its waters roar and foam, though the mountains tremble at its swelling
A Mighty Fortress is our God.
The night before he was to appear before an imperial council, Luther repeated those words so that the sad spirits of his fellow reformers might be revived. So strengthened were they by the power of God as their mighty Fortress that they stood firmly before that council and protested against the many errors of the church in their day.
A century later, when Protestantism lay bleeding on the battlefields of religious warfare ,Gustavus Adolphus, king of the Swedes came down to protect the cause of Christ. He led his troops into battle at Breitenfeld singing "A Mighty Fortress is our God.
A year later, at Lutzen, when a heavy fog prevented his forces from attacking, the king ordered his musicians to play that song. When the sun broke through the lifting fog, Adolphus knelt to pray, saying, "Jesus, Jesus, Jesus, help me today to do battle for the glory of Thy Name!"
For several hours the outcome was doubtful. Before noon the young king was mortally wounded. Instead of losing heart, his soldiers found help in God, their mighty Fortress. At the end of the day, the victory was theirs.
As we begin another year, we hope that you, too, reviewing the past and surveying the future, may take refuge in heaven's strength. We are only a few hours into the New Year, When it is over the 12 months which seemed to stretch out forever will close.
We will be 52 weeks closer to the grave; 365 years closer to judgment. What, assurance do we need for the sorrows of yesterday. On what can we depend other than God, our Fortress.
That is why, I ask you to start the new with this confidence, from the book of Nahum:
The LORD is good, a refuge in times of trouble. He cares for those who trust in him
, For their size, the prophecies of Nahum say more about war and grim destruction than do any of the other 65 books of Scripture.
But as the prophet speaks of the fall of Nineveh, and envisions international tumult, long-drawn bloodshed, and wide-spread sorrow, he comforts those who put their trust in God with this sustaining hope: The LORD is good, a refuge in times of trouble. He cares for those who trust in him.
Nahum wants us to know that when you are outnumbered by your enemies, hard-pressed by the terror of conflict, you can find refuge, rest, protection and power behind the walls of faith in God.
Heaven's truth has never made a mistake and Biblical promise had never miscarried.
Examine the book of Nahum with its score of predictions depicting Nineveh's fall long before that city's end, and remember with what startling detail these prophecies were fulfilled. Can any Psychic Hotline come close? It has always seemed to me that such evidence of God's ability to execute His threats and keep His promises should convince even the most doubtful that The LORD is good, a refuge in times of trouble. He cares for those who trust in him,
THE PRAYER: Lord, there are many causes and leaders who want my loyalty. Help me remember that You have always been there as my Fortress where I am safe and secure. This I ask in my Savior’s Name. Amen.
The music which introduces and concludes our devotions was written by Guy Baumann. He along with three of his brothers perform on the album: The Baumann Brothers which may be ordered here: http://thebaumannbrothers.com/index.html