Links Daily Devotional

Links Players president and teaching professional Jeffrey Cranford encourages troubled new golfers and new believers.

A Bible study for today’s devotion is available for printout as a pdf file. Click here.

From the Beginning 2: Be Encouraged

Then they returned to Lystra, Iconium and Antioch, strengthening the disciples and encouraging them to remain true to the faith. (Acts 14:21-22, NIV)

Golf is no easy game. I have a friend who tried it a number of years ago and while he liked it well enough, he never got very good. Now he tells me he’ll wait until he retires to pick it up again. Still, he recently regaled me with the story of the best shot he ever hit.

They needed encouragement to remain true to the faith, to their belief in Christ and devotion in following him.That’s how hard golf is. Out of the thousands of shots we’ve hit, we can remember the one or two that were truly great or really fun. If golf were easy, we’d have too many good memories to choose from. We’d be looking for a deejay to set our highlights to music.

Some things, when they’re hard, make us laugh. Golf makes us cry. It frustrates us and discourages us and causes us to declare, “I quit!” (though we know full well we’ll be back tomorrow).

Unfortunately, faith can be the same way. For all the excitement of the new birth, our troubles don’t disappear. We’re still gripped by a besetting sin. Our old friends won’t join the party with us. The work of the church just looks like so much volunteerism. And that guy in your small group who knows every nuance of Revelation won’t shut up about his millennial views. Must we go on?

As the apostle Paul progressed through his first missionary journey, he faced militant detractors and honest doubters. By the time he looped back to the cities where he started, he had been both exalted as a god and stoned by an angry mob. Disciples were being won, but death was never out of the question. I don’t know about you, but it would take a lot of encouragement to keep me going at that stage.

Yet it was Paul and his companions who did the dispensing of strength and encouragement. By now, Paul had lived many years in the faith. In his commitment, he encountered plenty of troubling disturbance, but he was all in.

Paul’s hearers were in a different place. Their faith was only months old, as was the opposition that came with it. They needed encouragement to remain true to the faith, to their belief in Christ and devotion in following him. You might know just what they were feeling. The newness has worn off and the hard work has begun. Be encouraged. Take strength from Jesus. Walk on. Endure. The rewards will come.

Jeff Hopper
August 25, 2017
Copyright 2017 Links Players International
The Links Daily Devotional appears Monday-Friday at

Other devotions in this series:
From the Beginning 1: Getting Started
From the Beginning 3: A Dry Season