Links Daily Devotional

Trouble Brewing

Then some Jews came from Antioch and Iconium and won the crowd over. They stoned Paul and dragged him outside the city, thinking he was dead. (Acts 14:19, NIV)

The company line is this today: golf is a global game.

Of course, there’s a lot of company here. Both the PGA and the LPGA Tour are pleased to show how open the doors to the nations have become—international players, including the current top men’s and women’s players in the world, Rory McIlroy and Lydia Ko—hail from abroad, if indeed your abroad is the United States. And if it isn’t? Well, the point is proven all the more. Golfers and golf fans are everywhere.

But a bigger question haunts us all. What about those places where golf is not welcome, where nothing outside the confines of a certain political or religious ideology is welcome?

Golf may dot the globe, but it certainly doesn’t blanket it.

Among the hardest things to deal with on this planet are enemies. Indeed, even the thought of enemies is confounding. Why on God’s green earth should there be such a thing? And with the unavoidable headlines before us almost daily now, why should those called “Christians” to be hunted down and systematically murdered for simply living their faith?

The answer, of course, is sin. Hours after their door-opening sin, Adam pointed his finger at Eve and said, “She did it,” thereby making himself the first enemy. When, some years later, their younger son killed the elder, enemies had turned to violence. The pattern was in place.

And so, when Joseph had been forgotten, Pharaoh enslaved Joseph’s people…

And so, when David was praised by the masses, Saul chased him with soldiers and weapons, wanting nothing less than his life…

And so, when Jesus emerged from Nazareth, he was derided for his heritage and challenged for his teaching. For the clarity of his message, he was sent to the cross…

And so, when Paul preached that Jesus message, he was stoned and left for dead…

And so, the “People of the Book,” Jews and Christians alike have faced murderous enemies—sometimes one another—for centuries…

And so, trouble brews even today. Frightening and maddening as it may be, it is not surprising. Jesus said, “In this world you will have tribulation.” Yes, we do. How grateful we must be, then, that above all that we have Jesus, for it was our Savior who added, “Take heart! I have overcome the world.”

Jeff Hopper
April 29, 2015
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