Friday, November 9, 2018

Daily Devotion: The Persistent Man

Statue honoring Andrew "Old Hickory"
Bible Reading: II Timothy 4:1-8

Key Verse: Verse 7 - "I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith:"

Key Words: I have fought a good fight

They called him Old Hickory because of his tenacity and grit. His mother chose the name Andrew on March 15, 1767, when she gave birth to him in an old run-down shack somewhere in South Carolina. He was a wild, quick-tempered boy who had no interest in school. At the age of 13, Andrew answered the call for soldiers to come fight against the British. He was taken as a prisoner of war before he turned 15. It was then that Old Hickory discovered pain. A British officer scarred his face by hitting him with the butt of his rifle. It seems as though “Old Hickory” had refused to shine the officer’s boots. So it was that Old Hickory was introduced to pain.

Although he bore the scars of that blow for the rest of his life, his fiery disposition never changed. He was indeed a fighter to the core. He chose to settle arguments by dueling rather than by discussion. That is the reason he lived most of his life with two bullets wedged into his body. Old Hickory’s tenacity brought him national recognition. As a result, politics called and Old Hickory, one never to run from a good fight, answered the challenge. He served a term as Senator and then ran for President, but pain struck again. This time the pain of defeat. He lost a narrow race for the presidency to John Quincy Adams. Four years later he ran again and this time he won. But pain struck again when Rachel, his wife, the love of his life, died two months after his presidential victory.

Sometime later one of the bullets wedged in his body from his dueling days had to be surgically removed. He endured the surgery without any anesthetics.

Even his political career was filled with pain. A nasty scandal split his cabinet, but in spite of the rift over the scandal, he still left office more popular than when he was sworn in.

Old Hickory said, “It was the pain more than anything else which drew from him his greatest qualities.” And so it was in the life of Andrew Jackson, the 7th President of the United States. Pain, he said, had made him great!

Pain humbles the proud, it softens the stubborn, it melts the heart. Pain operates alone; it needs no assistance. By staying it refuses to be ignored, by hurting it reduces its victims to profound anguish.

I have tried and cannot find a single person in Scripture or in history that God ever used who had not been broken by pain. So today could it be, dear believer, that if you are going through pain and have been broken by it, that God is on the verge of greatly using you?

What to do:
✞ Pain will either break you or make you. It’s your call.

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