Links Daily Devotional

A Very Good Friend

One who has unreliable friends soon comes to ruin,
but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother. (Proverbs 18:24, NIV)

Jordan Spieth did not complete the career Grand Slam on Sunday at Quail Hollow Club. He did not win the PGA Championship. But his good friend Justin Thomas did. And they celebrated together again.

The Lord provides so much for us through people, and the deepest, dearest things he provides he provides through friends.The Spieth-Thomas back-to-back majors is reminiscent of the Open-Open trade-off achieved in 1996 by Steve Jones and Tom Lehman. The two brothers in Christ had encouraged each other with Scripture verses as they competed against one another in the final pairing of June’s US Open at Oakland Hills. Jones would beat Lehman and Davis Love III by a shot. It was Lehman’s second consecutive final-round disappointment at America’s national open, but it wouldn’t last long. A month later at Royal Lytham & St. Annes, the Minnesotan won the Open Championship. Later that year, Jones told the Links Letter, “I don’t think anyone was happier than I was when Tom won [that Open].”

Oh, how we need friends!

Among Solomon’s proverbs, we read this one: “A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for a time of adversity” (Proverbs 17:17).

Today is a day when I have a great sense of the meaning of that verse. A year ago this morning, I lay in the intensive care unit at Stanford Medical Center after a 10-hour surgery the day before. Master surgeons performed a delicate operation to remove a large cancerous tumor that had threaded its way between my esophagus and trachea and had ballooned down into my mediastinum and sat atop my heart.

My life friend, Laura, who is my wife of 30 years, was there. So were my parents, my sister, and my son. And also Marty Jacobus, the CEO of Links Players, and his wife Barbara, both of whom have faced grave challenges themselves as patients and spouses of patients.

Laura and I spent Sunday evening this week, then all day Monday, and yesterday morning with the Jacobuses. It was a time of rich remembering for us and for them. Our eyes were not always dry, as we considered losses and near-losses of close friends and lovers. Brothers, sisters, friends are made for times like this.

They are made too for celebrations, for sharing what God does big and fun in our lives. Like Spieth and Thomas, Jones and Lehman.

Do you have such friends? I can’t imagine a better gift to ask God to give to you. The Lord provides so much for us through people, and the deepest, dearest things he provides he provides through friends. What a friend we have in Jesus! What friends we have in those Jesus gives to us for our pleasure and our care!

Jeff Hopper
August 16, 2017
Copyright 2017 Links Players International
The Links Daily Devotional appears Monday-Friday at