Martin Luther saw miraculous answers to prayer and experienced courage in the most excruciating situations that can only be explained as a manifestation of the gift of faith, as mentioned in I Corinthians 12:9. This gift of faith is not the faith for salvation, nor the faith by which we live out our daily lives. It is, rather, a supernatural manifestation of God's own faith in our heart for a particular situation.
Faith for Healing
An example of such faith in the life of Luther occurred when he received word that his friend and colleague, Frederick Myconius, lay dying in the last stages of tuberculosis. When Luther read this report, a supernatural and bold faith rose up in his heart. He then penned a letter to Myconius in which he said, "I command you in the Name of God to live because I still have need of you in the work of reforming the Church. The Lord will never let me hear that you are dead but will permit you to survive me. For this I am praying, this is my will, and may my will be done because I seek only to glorify the Name of God."
Myconius said that when he read the letter it seemed as though he heard Christ say, "Lazarus, come forth!" Luther's words were fulfilled. Myconius was healed and outlived Luther by two months.
On another occasion, Luther's close friend and colleague, Philip Melanchthon, became extremely ill and was at death's door. Luther is said to have fervently prayed, using all the relevant promises he could repeat from Scripture. As he prayed, a supernatural faith rose up in his heart. He then turned, and taking Melanchthon by the hand, said, "Be of good courage, Philip, you shall not die."
Melanchthon immediately revived and soon regained his health. He later said, "I should have been a dead man had I not been recalled from death itself by the coming of Luther."
Faith to Face a Thousand Goliaths
When Luther stood before the tribunal at his trial for heresy in the city of Worms, it was a setting that would strike fear into any heart. There sat the emperor in all his royal dress and entourage and around the room were bishops, cardinals, personal delegates of the pope, dukes, princes and counts, all in their splendid garb and titles. The historian, Philip Schaff, called it "a fair representation of the highest powers in Church and State—a numerous array of dignitaries of every rank."
They were there to demand that this insignificant monk, Martin Luther, from the insignificant town of Wittenberg stop preaching and writing those "heretical" doctrines about faith and the priesthood of all believers.
In contrast to the tribunal he faced, Luther was dressed in his simple monk's cowl. It was David versus Goliath multiplied a hundred times over.
A table had been placed in the room with Luther's books on it. He was first asked if these were his books. He looked them over and replied in the affirmative. He was then ordered to recant.
Luther seemed overwhelmed by the imposing authorities assembled before him, and in a voice that could barely be heard, he asked for more time to consider their demand. The emperor gave him one day.
Backing in his lodging place, Luther poured out his heart to God. As he prayed, there came a bold, unshakable faith into his heart. Later in life, he wrote about that moment, saying, "I was fearless. I was afraid of nothing. God can make one so desperately bold."
Luther returned the next day and was again ordered to recant. He clearly and unequivocally stated that he was willing to recant, but only if he could be shown by Scripture and reasonable arguments that he was wrong.
The medieval church was not in the habit of discussing its demands with accused heretics, and they angrily demanded that Luther recant then and there. Knowing his life was on the line, Luther did not flinch, but quietly and confidently stated:
I consider myself convicted by the testimony of Holy Scripture, which is my basis. My conscience is captive to the Word of God. Thus, I cannot and will not recant anything, because acting against one's conscience is neither safe nor sound. Here I stand! I can do no other! God help me! Amen!
This was a significant turning point in church and world history. From that moment, there was no stopping the Reformation. Luther's boldness unleashed a groundswell of support that spread across Europe and eventually around the world.
He was so bold, in fact, that some of his friends thought he was too bold. Frederick the Wise, Elector of Saxony, in giving a report of Luther's performance, said, "How excellently did Father Martin speak before the Emperor and Estates. He was bold enough, if not too much so."
This Gift of Faith Is for You
Do you feel a need for faith, courage and boldness? There is a gift of faith that God can manifest in your heart that will result in miracles or enable you to face a trying situation with unshakable faith. Look to Him now and yield to His Holy Spirit. Faith from heaven will flow!
This article was derived from Dr. Eddie Hyatt's latest book, The Charismatic Luther, with the subtitle Healings, Miracles & Spiritual Gifts in the Life of the Great Reformer, now available from Amazon in Kindle, and soon to be available in paperback. Check out his website at www.eddiehyatt.com.
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