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And Saul’s son Jonathan went to David at Horesh and helped him find strength in God. 1 Samuel 23:16

David was just a simple shepherd boy given a huge opportunity by God. Being a shepherd was a lonely existence in which you would sometimes spend months alone in the hills with just a bunch of sheep, facing the elements, attack by wildlife and tending to a bunch of animals prone to wander off.

All that changed when David was thrust into the political spotlight as a result of God’s choice for him to be king. He must have felt every emotion imaginable during this time of his life. Loneliness and fear may have gripped him from time to time in the hill country. But he learned during that time to trust God for safety, wisdom and provision.

He no doubt was overwhelmed when the Prophet, Samuel, anointed him and informed him and his family that David would be the next King of Israel. The excitement of the possibilities no doubt grew when he was invited into the palace to live with King Saul. Here he learned the political ins and outs of ruling a country.

He learned to be patient during the confusing times when the king tried to kill him during Saul’s frequent fits of rage and anger. Where was God’s promise? Why did he bring me here only to face more danger? David knew how to fight lions and bears, not kings.

There must have been times he was ready to give up on God’s promise. To return to the hills and tend sheep as his family had done for years. But something kept him going. One of those things was a friendship with Saul’s own son, Jonathan. Time after time Jonathan intervened on David’s behalf, risking his own life so that David would be safe.

Jonathan had nothing to gain and everything to lose being David’s friend. David was the one person who stood before him and the throne. He was well aware of the fact that in order for David to be King he would have to die. Yet he encouraged David to be strong and encouraged his faith by telling him to stay strong.

In each of our lives we encounter hardships and trials. These are painful life experiences that seem to want to sap the energy and strength from our very lives. During these times we need to seek out good, Godly friendships. We need people who we can rely on to encourage us during the down times, be honest with us when we need to hear honesty and listen to us when we just need to vent.

Surround yourselves with sincere, Jesus following friends who lift you up and spur you on to greatness. Godly friends are those who selflessly encourage us to rely on God and pursue the very best for our lives.

PRAYER: Dear Jesus, thank you for the examples you give us in the Bible of true friends such as Jonathan and David. Lead me into circles of your followers who will listen to my dreams, be patient with my struggles and lead me into a closer relationship with you so that I can attain all you want me to be. Amen.

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