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Ps 46:1-2 tells us ‘God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear.’ When we fear, it’s because we’ve lost sight of who God is. He is our fortress. (Ps 46:7, 11) He is mighty. (Zeph 3:17) He is strong. (Ps 62:2, 11)

Martin Luther wrote a hymn based on this psalm entitled ‘Ein feste Burg ist unser Gott’ (‘A Mighty Fortress Is Our God‘). It’s a hymn which proclaims who God is among the trials and darknesses of life. Our power may not be able to accomplish anything (as verse 2 says), but the ‘right Man’ fights for us, Jesus Christ, the Lord of hosts. The prince of this world ultimately cannot touch us (verse 3), because He is judged: ‘ein Wörtlein kann ihn fällen’, ‘one little word can fell him’!

There is defiance in this hymn, the kind of holy defiance which refuses to bow down to the devil and be cowed by him. This kind of defiance is seen in many of Rend Collective’s anthems:

‘Let our praises remind all the darkness

Of how great and how mighty our God is,

For the battle belongs to the Lord, and no one else.

We are standing in holy defiance;

We’re declaring aloud in the silence

That the battle belongs to the Lord and no one else, no one else.’ (‘Marching On’, Rend Collective)


“Defiant against the darkness

I will declare Your goodness

In the highs, in the lows,

In the winter of my soul.

Defiant until the breakthrough,

Trusting the mountain will move,

In the highs, in the lows,

You will never let me go.’ (‘Defiant’, Rend Collective)


‘We will not bow down to sin or to shame.

We are defiant in Your name.’ (‘More Than Conquerors’, Rend Collective)

Gareth Gilkeson comments that there is a difference between denial and defiance. ‘Denial is pretending everything’s fine, and we’re being false. God doesn’t want us to be false with Him. He wants us to be real.’ But when we stand on God’s word when life is tough and choose to believe Him rather than our physical eyes, when we declare over despair that God is our hope, we enter into a holy defiance which can change not only us but the circumstances we face.

Fear has to flee when God is present. When we see God as He is – that mighty fortress, that all-conquering hero, the Alpah and Omega who has triumphed over death and the grave – we are set free from fear and can find joy in the unlikeliest of places.