Song: Mighty Fortress

Mighty Fortress

Verse 1
though the earth may fade away
the mountains fall into the shore
and the waters roar with foam
we shall not fear
we shall not fear

we take refuge in You God
we take refuge in You God

a mighty fortress is our God
He will not fail
You will not fail us
He is with us through it all
You are our God
You are with us

Verse 2
though our trials may not cease
and the pain seems limitless
we will still stand firm in God
we shall not fear
we shall not fear


Verse 3
though temptation still persists
and we are weak with watered eyes
we will still cling desperately
to Jesus Christ
to Jesus Christ


The song Mighty Fortress was inspired by the great hymn “A Mighty Fortress Is Our God” written by the great reformer, Martin Luther.  I originally decided to try and take the hymn and adapt it as a contemporary song for my congregation at Coopersville Reformed Church, but because of the unique sound and structure of the song, I decided it would be better to make an original song that was similar to Luther’s hymn.

I decided to go back to the scripture passage that inspired Luther to write the song, Psalm 46, and work from there

God is our refuge and strength a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear though the earth gives way, though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam, though the mountains tremble at its swelling. Selah

There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God, the holy habitation of the Most High. God is in the midst of her; she shall not be moved; God will help her when morning dawns. The nations rage, the kingdoms totter; he utters his voice, the earth melts. The Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress. Selah

Come, behold the works of the Lord, how he has brought desolations on the earth. He makes wars cease to the end of the earth; he breaks the bow and shatters the spear; he burns the chariots with fire, “Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!” The Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress. Selah

Like Luther, I tried to be aware of the struggle we all have with sin and temptation as well as the frustration and doubt that comes from suffering.

Verse one is very similar to Luther’s hymn, as well as the pre-chorus and the chorus.  But as we move to verse two and three I try to focus us, as the worshipers, to recognizing our struggles before God and trusting Him in the midst of trials, pain, sin and temptation, and the overwhelming feeling of heartbreak we feel during all of these things.

Verse three is my favorite of the three verses, and I try (when leading the congregation in singing) to emphasize the words by eliminating almost all of the music.  As we sing this song as a congregation I want us all to be able to pray to God together, “God, even though temptation still persists in my life, and I am broken, beaten down and weak.  I will still cling desperately (thinking about the wordplay from the hymn “Rock of Ages“) to You”



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