October 8, 2018
READ: Jeremiah 16:19-21
Lord, you are my strength and fortress, my refuge in the day of trouble! (v.19).
During a tumultuous year, Martin Luther wrote what became one of his most treasured hymns. Ill and suffering with depression, things got worse for Luther when the plague hit his town. But, inspired by Psalm 46, he chose to proclaim God’s character and His triumph over evil with the words “a mighty fortress is our God, a bulwark never failing; our helper He amid the flood of mortal ills prevailing”. This hymn has been called the “Battle Hymn of the Reformation” for its impact.
Jeremiah also identified God as his fortress. Due to Judah’s disobedience, the prophet had been called by God to bring His message of the nation’s destruction. Jeremiah lived during the last forty years of Judah’s existence as a kingdom, witnessed the destruction of Jerusalem and spent the latter part of his life in Egypt.
The prophet had remained faithful to God and suffered much as a result. His message regarding Judah’s need for repentance wasn’t popular among his people. He was mocked, thrown into prison and charged with treason.
Yet he didn’t lose his hope in God. He persevered and learned that God is “my strength and my fortress, my refuge in the day of trouble!” (Jeremiah 16:19). At the start of Jeremiah’s ministry, God had made him a promise: “They will fight you, but they will fail. For I am with you, and I will take care of you. I, the Lord, have spoken!” (1:19). And as always, God was true to His word.
We all go through difficulties, sometimes of our own making, and sometimes completely undeserved. In all our struggles, we need a Fortress to protect and comfort us. May we, like Jeremiah, discover God as our Fortress—the One who will be with us when the enemy attacks and who will never fail us.
—Estera Pirosca Escobar
365-day plan: Acts 2:14-40
Read 2 Sam. 22:1-7 and meditate on David’s experience of God as his Fortress.
How have you experienced God as your Fortress? Why is it possible to praise Him and trust in Him even when you’re going through challenges?