… in order that the genuineness of your faith, which is more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to result in praise, glory, and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ.
— 1 Peter 1:7
One of America’s greatest presidents was born on this day. Although he entered the White House as a non-believer, by the time of Gettysburg, there is strong evidence he had met the Savior (especially when seeking solace after the death of his beloved son).
Jesus was on the mind of Lincoln when he died. You history buffs will remember that 1865 was the year that the Civil War ended. In that same year, on Good Friday, Abraham Lincoln, sixteenth President of these United States, died. He was sitting in a box in Ford’s Theater, not listening to the play, but talking to his wife. He uttered his last words. “Mary, now that the war is over, [it was just over that day] what I would like to do more than anything in the world is to take you on a trip to the Near East. We could go to Palestine. We could go to Galilee where He walked. We could go to Bethlehem, and then we could go up to Jerusalem …”
BANG. The shot rang out that was also heard around the world and ended the life of Abraham Lincoln. The last phrase completed from his lips was, “We could go to Bethlehem.” He never did … in this life.
He became a great president because he was tested by fire. Great and hard-earned wisdom was found in him, as he let the refining work of God’s Spirit ultimately mold his life.