On Mortal Ills Prevailing

The news has been pretty wretched lately. It’s always wretched, but lately it seems like disaster after disaster has happened, all in the last couple of weeks and months. Every time I get on Facebook, somebody’s posting a meme about the horribleness of this political candidate or a news article about that bombing in that place or a blog post about reactions to this unjust current event or a series of pictures about that ungodly court ruling. I am overwhelmed with bad news.

When I get overwhelmed, I retreat, ignore, and bury myself in a book. I feel helpless and harassed and only want to get away from what is causing it. Not the most helpful or proactive response, but part of feeling helpless is feeling helpless to do anything to stop feeling helpless.

This morning I was listening to some old favorite music. I grew up on Christian music greats of the 1980s and 1990s, and I get a great wave of nostalgia when I listen to certain songs I grew up on. A couple of them suddenly became an antidote to helplessness. They didn’t give me tips for going out and dealing with issues. They reminded me of the exquisite, brilliant, Good News, which is sweeter and stronger and more prevailing.

There is a Savior
What joys express.
His eyes are mercy,
His word is rest.
For each tomorrow,
For yesterday,
There is a Savior
Who lights our way.

(“There Is A Savior,” by Sandi Patty.)

And in His eyes, they glimpse the power
That sees the heart of all men.
And He knows His Father’s mind,
He speaks His Father’s words,
For He comes in the name of the Lord

There is strength in the name of the Lord.
There is power in the name of the Lord.
There is hope in the name of the Lord.
Blessed is He, who comes in the name of the Lord.

(“In The Name Of The Lord,” by Sandi Patty.)

A mighty Fortress is our God,
A Bulwark never failing;
Our Helper He amid the flood
Of mortal ills prevailing:
For still our ancient foe
Doth seek to work us woe;
His craft and power are great,
And, armed with cruel hate,
On earth is not his equal.

Did we in our own strength confide,
Our striving would be losing;
Were not the right Man on our side,
The Man of God’s own choosing:
Dost ask who that may be?
Christ Jesus, it is He;
Lord Sabaoth His Name,
From age to age the same,
And He must win the battle.

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:
The Prince of Darkness grim,
We tremble not for him;
His rage we can endure,
For lo! his doom is sure,
One little word shall fell him.

That word above all earthly powers,
No thanks to them, abideth;
The Spirit and the gifts are ours,
Thru him who with us sideth.
Let goods and kindred go,
This mortal life also;
The body they may kill;
God’s truth abideth still;
His kingdom is forever.

(“A Mighty Fortress Is Our God,” by Martin Luther.)
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