On October 31, 1517, Martin Luther posted on the door of the Wittenberg Castle church in Germany 95 Theses challenging the teachings of Roman Catholicism. Reformation Day may be over, but November 1 marks an important date in Luther’s life, as well. That’s the day he had to begin earnestly defending his now publicly posted beliefs.
In the days, weeks, months, and years that followed, Luther had to provide justification for the controversial stand he had taken.
His statement before the Diet of Worms in 1521 summarizes Luther’s uncompromising commitment to his biblically sound beliefs: “Here I stand. I can do no other.”
Even when the Holy Roman Emperor Charles the V branded Martin Luther a heretic and an enemy of the State and banned all his writings, the humble monk refused to recant. Which is the subject of this week’s Here I Stand coloring page:
Here I stand; I can do no other
Martin Luther had an unshakable faith in the Word of God. And Scripture supports the stand he took. As believers, we all are called by God to stand firm upon the Truth of His Word.
- “Be on the alert, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong.” (1 Corinthians 16:13)
- “Therefore, take up the full armor of God, so that you will be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm. Stand firm therefore, having girded your loins with truth….” (Ephesians 6:13)
- “…for now we really live, if you stand firm in the Lord.” (1 Thessalonians 3:8)
- “The Lord stands at the right hand of the needy, to save him from those who judge his soul.” (Psalm 109:31)
- “I have written to you briefly, exhorting and testifying that this is the true grace of God. Stand firm in it!” (1 Peter 5:12)
- “Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling, and to make you stand in the presence of His glory blameless with great joy, to the only God our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen.” (Jude 1:24-25)
Luther’s source of strength — and ours
Where did Luther find the courage to face these trials? To stand strong in the midst of suffering and persecution? He found it the same place countless other such Christians have found it: in the abiding presence and empowering grace of God.
And we’ll find it there when it’s our turn to walk through the valley of the shadow of death. Who is to say how much longer we will enjoy the freedoms we’ve taken for granted for too long?
Already, in many parts of the world, Christians are being harassed, beaten, jailed, and/or put to death for refusing to renounce their faith. Such treatment may soon be coming to a neighborhood near you.
One thing we should NOT do is fear. Jesus Himself makes it abundantly clear that Christians should waste no time worrying about tomorrow. Our future is secure in Him.
What Jesus says should be our response to persecution
- “These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33)
- “But before all this, they will seize you and persecute you. They will hand you over to synagogues and put you in prison, and you will be brought before kings and governors, and all on account of my name. And so you will bear testimony to me. But make up your mind not to worry beforehand how you will defend yourselves. For I will give you words and wisdom that none of your adversaries will be able to resist or contradict.” (Luke 21:12-15)
- “But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you. Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” (John 14:26-27)
- “Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life? So if you cannot do such a small thing, why do you worry about the rest?” (Luke 12:25-26)
What to do instead of worrying
So if worrying is out, how should we respond to such weighty matters? Paul gives great advice for that: “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.” (Philippians 4:6)
Pray about it. That’s pretty straightforward, right? That’s the tack I take personally. Lay my burdens at the foot of the Cross. Leave my cares with Somebody who can do something about them.
And when worries try to creep back in? Banish them by meditating on scripture. Hide the Bible in your heart, against the day that you may no longer have easy access to it. Let the fortifying Word of God sink down into your innermost being, so that — if and when your time comes — you will be able to stand in confident strength upon its eternal truth.
All good food for thought as you work on this Here I Stand coloring page.
More resources you may like
Love studying the history and/or studying the Reformation? Then you may be interested in this post: Remembering the Reformation. In it, you’ll find lots of free printables and fresh ideas for making this historical holiday come to life.
Do you enjoy coloring? To access the 100+ free printable designs I’ve published on this blog, follow this link: Free Christian Coloring Pages Or check out my bound coloring books or my collection of vintage art-inspired devotional journals.