Faith and Fear

Martin Luther gave this alarming assessment of the world of the 16th century…”The history of the centuries that have passed since the birth of Christ nowhere reveals conditions like those of the present. Men are so delving into the mysteries of things that today a boy of twenty knows more than twenty doctors formerly knew. …everyone must see and say either ruin or a change must come….This compels me to believe that Christ will soon come to judgment…”

Given the demise of human values and the reign of tyrannical leaders in church and state, Luther hoped that Christ would (must) return SOON to end their reign; but as Luther waited for that day, he never stopped living. His life-style was not dictated by this world and its princes, but by faith in the reign of Jesus Christ who proclaims: “In the end, all will be well”. Until then, Luther lived in the freedom that hope provided him.

Many folks today are paralyzed by fear. They fear the tyrants of our time and the terror by which they commandeer our freedom. They can’t commandeer our freedom, it can only be surrender to them. Faith guarantees our freedom! Don’t surrender it!

By faith, Luther attacked the ascending evil that daily threatened his life. He didn’t surrender his faith to it in fear. He knew the princes of this world could take his life, but that they could not take his soul…his freedom to live without fear. That faith and the freedom it supports is expressed in these words from “A Mighty Fortress is Our God” that Luther wrote under threat of martyrdom.

Though hordes of devils fill the land all threat’ning to devour us,

we tremble not, unmoved we stand; they cannot overpow’r us.

This world’s prince may rage, in fierce war engage.

He is doomed to fail; God’s judgment must prevail!

One little word subdues him.

God’s Word forever shall abide, no thanks to foes, who fear it;

for God himself fights by our side with weapons of the Spirit.

If they take our house, goods, fame, child, or spouse,

wrench our life away, they cannot win the day.

The kingdom’s ours forever!

In the end all will be well, if it is not, then it is not the end. For unto you is born this day in the city of David, a Savior who is Christ the Lord.

In His name have a Blessed, Peaceful New Year!