Links Daily Devotional editor Jeff Hopper talks with contributor Tracy Hanson about the fact that God looks at our heart.

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

OCTOBER 2, 2015

MATTERS OF THE HEART, PART 8

“Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me.” (John 14:1, NIV)

What is the one thing you always do before you take the club back at the beginning of your golf swing?

Often when you watch golf on television, you’ll hear some good discussion about a player’s pre-shot routine. And here’s the summary of all those observations: It’s not important what’s in your routine, it’s important that you have one. More than that, it’s important that you stick to it.

When pressure comes, even the best athletes in the world can subconsciously tweak their long-practiced patterns. They become unnaturally quick or unnecessarily deliberate. Whatever has been normal suddenly isn’t. And this change can have every kind of adverse effect on an athlete’s performance—far more than the change in circumstances around them might.

Maybe too often, life mirrors sport. Here is another example. Trouble comes. There is no getting around that. But what we do when trouble presents itself can have real bearing on the long-term impact of the trouble, both on us and those around us.

In reading the account of the Old Testament prophet Daniel, we are often familiar with the basic details. He was an honorable man, ranking highly among the king’s advisors. But other jealous leaders seized a chance to entrap Daniel: they went after his worship of God. Yet when the troubling “no-win” scenario was brought to Daniel, he did not panic. We don’t even know if his pulse quickened. What we do know is that Daniel did just as he had done before. He went to his knees in prayer, a thrice-daily pattern he had apparently followed for years. The continued action became the evidence his enemies needed to condemn Daniel. In the den of his judgment, Daniel could have found himself in the mouths of lions; instead he found himself in the hands of God. Protected. Saved. Honored anew.

There is no such guarantee for those who are faithful. It was Daniel’s own friends who, when threatened with the fiery furnace, told Nebuchadnezzar, “Even if our God does not protect us, we will not bow down to your idol.” They too adhered to their routine of faith, not knowing the outcome, but trusting the One who did. Whom will you trust in such a moment? How firm is the faith you fall back on?

Jeff Hopper
October 2, 2015
Copyright 2015 Links Players International
The Links Daily Devotional appears Monday-Friday at Links Players.

Tracy Hanson spent 15 seasons on the LPGA Tour. She continues to enjoy athletic activity, along with travel, reading, and writing. For more information about Tracy, visit her website.

** Special announcement: With great pleasure and excitement, we announce today the addition of Tracy Hanson to our Links Players staff as Director of Ladies Ministry. Tracy will continue to write bi-weekly devotions, as well as helping us create new resources for women’s Fellowships and coaching leaders in those Fellowships. As with all our regional staff, Tracy is supported by donations of those who share her vision for ministry. You may donate any time at our web site, indicating in the “Note to Links Players” that you would like your donation to go to the Ladies Ministry.

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