"Since He is ours, we fear no powers, not of earth nor sin nor death. He sees and blesses in worst distresses; He can change them with a breath. Wherefore the story tell of His glory with hearts and voices; All heav'n rejoices in Him forever: Alleluia! We shout for gladness, triumph o'er sadness, Love Him and praise Him and still shall raise Him Glad hymns forever: Alleluia!"
The powers of earth, sin, and death are frightening. We may experience that fear as we consider the threats of terrorism or war or when we face illness or death, our own or of those we love. Yet as our hymn verse reminds us, since Jesus is ours—and what is more, we are His!—"we fear no powers." These fearsome forces once gathered against Jesus. Earthly powers, the religious leaders and the Roman authorities, joined forces to oppose and condemn the Savior. Weak and helpless, nailed to the cross, Jesus fell victim to those earthly powers, to sin, death, and Satan. Yet even then, those frightening powers were not in control. Everything that happened to Jesus was done "according to the definite plan and foreknowledge of God" (Acts 2:23b).
According to God's plan for our salvation, Jesus shed His blood as the atoning sacrifice for the sins of the world. He suffered in our place the penalty of death that we deserved. On the cross, He was overcome by those death-dealing powers, but on the third day after His death, Jesus was raised to life, never to die again. He overcame the powers of earth, sin, and death, powers that are now subject to Him. The risen and exalted Lord now reigns at the right hand of God, "with angels, authorities and powers having been subjected to Him" (1 Peter 3:22b). As Jesus Himself said after His resurrection, "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to Me" (Matthew 28:18b).
Jesus overcame the powers arrayed against Him. "Since He is ours" and we are His, we do not need to be afraid. Those powers cannot overcome us as we stand, firm in faith, against them. Jesus "sees and blesses in worst distresses." We may not readily see the blessings of His conquering might, but we trust Jesus' promises. He has conquered in the fight. All authority is His and now we have a story to tell, the good news of our mighty Savior, who went down into death and the grave for us and rose up in the victory over every threatening power. Through faith in Jesus, we "triumph o'er sadness" and "tell of His glory." With sins forgiven and hope restored, we sing today the glad hymns of praise that will continue in Jesus' presence forever.
WE PRAY: Jesus, I am Yours and You are mine. When I am afraid, comfort me with the promises of Your Word. Amen.
This Daily Devotion was written by Dr. Carol Geisler. It is based on the hymn, "In Thee Is Gladness," which is number 818 in the Lutheran Service Book.
1. What is the biggest fear you have? Has it changed over the years?
2. How does knowing that Jesus has been given "all authority" help to ease your fears?
3. How are we able to help others who grapple with fear in their lives?
To Download Devotion MP3 to your computer, right click here and select "Save Link As" or "Save Target As" or "Download Linked File As"