“Hold firmly to the word of life…” One of my favorite people to read about in church history is Martin Luther. In the 15th century, Luther was coming to terms with his faith. After a lightning strike that nearly missed him, he fell to his knees in fear and dread of God. He vowed to be a monk if God would save his life. Could he ever do enough to appease God? The more Luther tried to please God, the more separated from God he felt. Everything changed as he meditated on Romans 1:17, and it all came to light for him, “The Good News tells us how God makes us right in his sight. This is accomplished from start to finish by faith. As the Scriptures say, ‘It is through faith that a righteous person has life.’”
Martin Luther finally understood—we don’t gain God’s acceptance by our efforts, but by Jesus’ effort for us on the cross! As he understood the reality of grace, that we don’t earn God’s righteousness by effort but receive it by faith, everything changed. He spent the rest of his life speaking out, standing on God’s Word alone, not on any human tradition. He refused to compromise.
What’s interesting about Martin Luther is that he was riddled with health issues and anxiety all of his life. He was weak in many ways; yet, he understood where his true strength came from. From that place, he wrote the powerful song, A Mighty Fortress. You see, if we’re going to stand strong in the face of troubles—persecution and all types of adversity—we have to stand in the right kind of strength. The strength that puts no confidence in our own wisdom, abilities, or efforts, but casts it all on God, “holding firmly to the word of life."
Take some time to consider where your strength is coming from for the trials in your life. Are you standing on the promises found in God’s Word? Pick one promise from God’s Word and memorize it this week.