Links Daily Devotional

After the Humiliation: Good News

THIRD IN A SERIES ON THE GOSPEL JESUS PROCLAIMED

“I am… the life.” (John 11:25, 14:6, NASV)

What is your greatest memory of a US Open Championship? Maybe Erin Hills watching Brooks Koepka tie Rory McIlroy’s all-time scoring record.

One memory in my photo bank is Tiger Woods, hobbling down the 91st hole of Torrey Pines GC, playing on a torn ACL, two knee injuries, in sudden-death combat with Rocco Mediate. He wins the hole and captures his third US Open title and 14th major. His last.

Like Mandela, you may feel trapped in a prison, but the Messiah has crafted a plan to lift you up.A second is one many of you and hundreds of millions others saw the day after this past Memorial Day: a mugshot of Tiger. His face hung down as if he’d awakened from something more painful than his worst moment at Torrey Pines. A police report said he had been in an accident, charged with a DUI, and escaped injury. Except for humiliation from the event.

Tiger was quick to apologize and accept responsibility for his actions, which included the misuse of prescription drugs he’d been given for his back pain.

A third photo in my memory bank is of Earl Woods, Tiger’s deceased father.

I never met Earl, but I’ve read enough about him to know he was a skilled combat-trainer. A Green Beret Vietnam vet who risked his life for our nation. I’ve wondered, What would Earl say to Tiger now?

I’m certain Earl would not have judged him. Rather, I imagine him saying something like, “Tiger, I believe in you. Always will. I believe you have done and will do what Mandela told you you’d do when we met with him in South Africa. I remember what he said, ‘Help lots of people all over the world.’”

Of course, I don’t know what he would say, but I believe it would not condemning. Instead a good message.

If I have learned anything from my past 60 years of daily study in the Greatest Book ever written, is that God’s Word for man is good.

Strangely, this Good News was born in a valley of humiliation.

Its main character was misjudged, then stripped naked and crucified for a crime he did not commit. But out of the bottom of humiliation, he demonstrated to the world, great good can come out of great wrong.

Many great people have arisen from their humiliation:

A famous king, David, fell one evening, committed adultery, then lowered himself to killing the woman’s husband. He wrote the 51st Psalm afterwards, a song of his humiliation. Yet, in spite of sin he became a “man after God’s heart” and one of the most beloved kings in history.

Nelson Mandela was a man of quiet faith, though he stood in the pulpit to unashamedly proclaim the Messiah of Easter. He too endured the humiliation of 27 years of prison before vindicated and chosen to lead his nation. And become a role model to the world.

If I ever had a few minutes with Tiger, or anyone else reading this who finds themselves in a valley of humiliation, I would say, “There’s good news especially for you.”

Like Mandela, you may feel trapped in a prison, but the Messiah has crafted a plan to lift you up. Find it and you will have a legacy you never imagined. It unfolds in Scriptures, especially in the four stories of the Messiah penned by Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.

God’s promises stand today as they did when God’s people felt they had lost everything: “I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope…. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart” (Jeremiah 29:11,13).

Jim Hiskey
June 26, 2017
Copyright 2017 Links Players International
The Links Daily Devotional appears Monday-Friday at www.linksplayers.com.

Other devotions in this series:
1 A Large Mistake
2 The Key Fundamental
4 The Garland
5 Much Ado About Much
6 The Living King and His Enduring Kingdom
7 The Kingdom Message