2 Timothy 1:8
Be not thou therefore ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me his prisoner: but be thou partaker of the afflictions of the gospel according to the power of God;
The NCAA Golf Championships have been held this week at The Blessings golf course in Fayetteville, Arkansas. Oklahoma State was the overwhelming favorite coming into the tournament, but even more so after dominating the stroke play portion of play. The Cowboys won by 31 strokes over second place Vanderbilt and star Matthew Wolff won the individual title. Yesterday, they faced a formidable University of Texas team with a star of its own. Freshman Cole Hammer handily defeated Wolff and Texas won the match 3-2. Oklahoma State won the team championship last year, but the loss yesterday marked the third time since 2009 they have failed to win after garnering the number one seed. Inevitably if you make the choice and are fortunate enough to play golf or any other sport at a high level, there is going to be a great amount of heartbreak from defeat. Michael Jordan and Tiger Woods have both had their fair share of championships, but both also experienced a number of crushing defeats. Paul in his letter to Timothy warns him of the dangers associated with preaching and standing for the gospel. However, he tells him to be an active participant in these afflictions despite the consequences. During his preaching of the gospel, Paul experienced prison time, scorn and rebuke. Despite the cost, Paul deemed the gospel worth it all. Let us have the same desire to stand for the Christ and preach His saving power to the community around us. We will face consequences for our stance which could involve loss of friendships, jobs, or a general feeling of failure. However, He promises he will provide the power and ultimately the victory. Through Him is the only means to bearing the heartaches from spreading the gospel. However, through Him is also the only means by which we are redeemed and justified. Get afflicted!