And though this world, with devils filled, should threaten to undo us,
We will not fear, for God hath willed His truth to triumph through us.
Martin Luther wrote those stirring words during the height of the Reformation, as he and his friends faced fierce physical persecution—and even death—for their faith. For almost 500 years, “A Mighty Fortress Is Our God” has been a rallying cry for the church, buoying heavy hearts in the midst of Satan’s attacks.
And while we don’t often encounter the same level of persecution Luther did, his words remain a powerful encouragement to this day. They’re a helpful reminder of the Lord’s sovereignty, especially in the face of institutionalized immorality and the aggressive perversion of God’s design.
We shouldn’t be surprised when a government full of unrepentant sinners institutes sinful laws and policies. We shouldn’t be shocked when immorality is celebrated and purity is ridiculed. And we shouldn’t be scared when the church is vilified as the enemy of progress, science or society at large.
In fact, no persecution, in any form, should surprise us. Christ Himself warned His followers that they would face fierce opposition: “If the world hates you, you know that it has hated Me before it hated you” (John 15:18: “Do not be surprised, brethren, if the world hates you.”
In fact, the surprise is not that Western society has turned against the church in America, but that it ever tolerated the influence of the church in the first place.
This is where we remind ourselves of the great comfort and freedom we know in serving a sovereign God. While the appetite for His Word and tolerance for His people may wax and wane in society, the light of His truth cannot be extinguished. He is still on His throne, and nothing that happens to us is outside of His plans or His control.
The true danger for the church, then, is not any external threat that the culture presents to us. They can mock us, fine us, outlaw us and even kill us—God’s truth will march on.