Links Daily Devotional

Strong Resistance

He is my loving God and my fortress, my stronghold and my deliverer, my shield in whom I take refuge, who subdues peoples under me. (Psalm 144:2, NIV)

The juggernaut remains. The U.S. side at the 2014 Ryder Cup heads home with nothing more than they have possessed after each trip to Europe since 1993. If you hear even one of them say, “Next time we’ll get it done,” feel free to reply with the trite but precise, “Good luck with that.”

Unless, maybe, that someone speaking a bit of overconfidence is a fella named Patrick Reed.

Since his claim to top-five status after his win at Doral this spring, Reed has been roundly lambasted for suggesting such an ability. His record from March to September was often blemished with cuts. He managed only two other top-10 finishes, though these did come later, in weeks near Gleneagles.

Then came the Ryder Cup matches. And by Sunday, major champions Darren Clarke and Johnny Miller, along with former European captain Colin Montgomerie, were all speaking most highly of Reed. “The Americans could use a whole team of this guy” was the consensus. Maybe so.

You might recall that those who best knew a shepherd boy from Bethlehem—his own brothers—had taunting bits of criticism for young David when he appeared on the scene at the Valley of Elah. There the Israelite army stood on one side of the valley, quivering at the dare of the nine-foot giant, Goliath of Gath. “Send your best to fight me, one-on-one!” the mighty warrior called out. And no one knew what to do with the challenge. The man appeared altogether invincible.

About then, David showed up, sent by his father to bring food to his enlisted brothers. But Eliab, the eldest, lit right into David: “I know why you’re here. You’re a conceited kid with a wicked heart. You just wanted to escape your shepherd’s work and watch the battle.” He might as well have said it this way, “You’re a boy among men, you little nuisance. You don’t belong here.”

But David exhibited a confidence beyond those few years of his life. In his heart he had one conviction: we cannot let this blasphemer beat us, no matter how strong he appears.

I don’t know where Patrick Reed’s pluck comes from, but the source of David’s resistant courage was clear. David fell upon the strength of God, the one who had delivered every marauding beast into his hand as he protected his father’s flocks. These may have seemed like small victories, especially to those unwilling to believe in him or with him. To David, they were the certain evidence that the juggernaut could fall.

What overwhelming force stands in your way? You can stand aside and watch the battle as David’s critics did. Or you can trust the God who is your stronghold and deliverer and enter the fray to which you have been called.

Jeff Hopper
September 29, 2014
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