There was a time when the great Protestant reformer Martin Luther wanted to die. In 1517 his 95 Theses rocked the Roman Church by declaring salvation was only by faith and Divine grace. By 1521 the German doctor of theology was declared a heretic. He was excluded from the important summit of leading theologians called the Augsburg Diet in 1530. Isolated in a Saxon fortress unable to sleep with all kinds of physical ailments assaulting his body he began to doubt his purpose and calling. At a point of despair, he began to desire to die.
“I will not die, but I will live and proclaim
what the Lord has done..” Ps 118:17
Luther was a musician and found comfort in playing the lute. He wrote to Ludwig Senfl, a respected church composer, “I hope that my end is near. The world has no use for me and despises me, and I am weary of the world and despise it. Let the Good Shepherd take my soul.” He also asked for a copy of a hymn “I Will Both Lay Me Down in Peace and Sleep.”
Senfl sent a copy of the hymn, but also sent a song from Psalm 118:17 “I will not die, but I will live and proclaim what the LORD has done.” This song greatly impacted Martin and he later wrote on his wall "Non Moriar Sed Vivum”— "I Will Live and Not Die!"
The song freed Martin Luther of his doubts and depression and he once again became the man who fought for Biblical truth. The song, with its music and lyrics, led Luther back to life and victory. He rediscovered his purpose and divine destiny.
Notice three spiritual principles at work. First, the music washed Martin’s mind and spirit. Secondly, there is an element of praise in the song (Ps 118:1,14,21) and the message is positive and uplifting. Thirdly, it is scripture that he is playing and singing. God’s Word is anointed and full of spiritual power.
As I have stated so many times God created music for a powerful purpose. see podcast. Song impacts the emotions, touches our soul, and feeds our spirit—the real essence of who we are—spiritual beings. Our mind and body adjust under the healing power of the music of God.
So many people have been healed emotionally and mentally when they came under the influence of worship songs. Our emotions, mind, body, and spirit can be healed through the listening of music. Our hardened and hurting hearts are melted by the melodies, rhythms, and harmonies that wash over us. Then add to that the presence of God that is revealed in praise and worship songs (Ps 22:3) we become freed from the destructive forces that try to defeat and destroy us.
I want to encourage you to not loose heart during times of oppression and depression. If you find yourself struggling please play the music of God. Fill your heart and home with the praises of God and watch your melancholy melt.