Martin Luther once said, “The devil, the originator of sorrowful anxieties and restless troubles, flees before the sound of music almost as much as before the Word of God . . . Music is a gift and grace of God, not an invention of men. Thus it drives out the devil and makes people cheerful. Then one forgets all wrath, impurity, and other devices.”
This is one of my favorite Luther quotes, both because I have always loved music and because it is so very true. During difficult days the first line of one of Luther’s hymns, “From Depths of Woe I Cry to Thee,” often flew into my head, even though I never knew the rest of the words and am uncertain if I had ever heard the tune. So I researched, and fell in love with Luther’s lyrics:
“From Depths of Woe I Cry to Thee”
Martin Luther (1524)
From depths of woe I cry to Thee,
Lord, hear me, I implore Thee.
Bend down Thy gracious ear to me,
My prayer let come before Thee.
If Thou rememberest each misdeed,
If each should have its rightful meed,
Who may abide Thy presence?
Thy love and grace alone avail
To blot out my transgression;
The best and holiest deeds must fail
To break sin’s dread oppression.
Before Thee none can boasting stand,
But all must fear Thy strict demand
And live alone by mercy.
Therefore my hope is in the Lord
And not in mine own merit;
It rests upon His faithful Word
To them of contrite spirit.
That He is merciful and just;
This is my comfort and my trust.
His help I wait with patience.
And though it tarry till the night
And till the morning waken,
My heart shall never doubt His might
Nor count itself forsaken.
Do thus, O ye of Israel’s seed,
Ye of the Spirit born indeed;
Wait for your God’s appearing.
Though great our sins and sore our woes,
His grace much more aboundeth;
His helping love no limit knows,
Our utmost need it soundeth.
Our shepherd good and true is He,
Who will at last His Israel free
From all their sin and sorrow.
(c) 2012 Joyously Saved