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The Friend that Never Fails

I have often wondered what it was like to gather around David’s campfire and listen to the stories of the Mighty Men. At times, I can almost hear the crackle of the fire, as they recounted the events of the day and dreams of tomorrow.

How many campfires over the years? How many tales told between brave men who became trusted friends?

But on the day their hometown of Ziklag was destroyed and their families taken captive, even the mightiest of men turned on their leader.  When they had all cried until they could cry no more, the friends David trusted most wanted to stone him.

The goodness of the past had been swallowed by the difficulties of the present.

I Samuel 30:6 says that the former shepherd went off and “strengthened himself in the Lord his God.” Notice that it says, “HIS God…”. The Lord was not a distant deity to David.  He was the One who had stayed closer than a brother through all of life’s difficulties and disappointments.

David refused to allow the circumstances of that day to disprove the faithfulness of God, because he knew the true nature of His Friend.

It’s wonderful when we’re surrounded by companions and supporters, but there are immense treasures in the times when everyone else walks out – and you encounter God as the one who chooses to stay.

It’s a moment of choice.  Will we consider most who has left… or Who is ever present?

Strengthening ourselves in the Lord is a matter of focus.  We are completely aware of what is occurring, but we’ve chosen to attend most to God’s steadfast love and unchanging nature towards us.

As we intentionally contemplate the times in our lives that He has been ever faithful, overwhelmingly kind and relentlessly good…  strength, hope and courage rise.

We are learning by experience that we are not alone. We will never be alone.

And like David on that difficult of all difficult days, the way forward comes into view. Maybe it’s just a next step… sometimes a leap of faith, but we take it.  We know, by relationship and experience, in Whom we have believed and that He will keep us.

In the story of Ziklag, it’s interesting to note that by the end of that week, David will become king.  In a matter of days, his long delayed destiny will manifest. Only God knows our next chapter and when the page will turn.

Is God the author of these difficult times? No.  But He excels in using what was meant for your destruction as a doorway to your next level of life and love in Him.

As Graham wrote in the acknowledgements of Keys to Brilliant Focus:

“Love never fails. It bids you to stand on its shoulders and reach into the next level of your destiny.”

So, where can you strengthen yourself in the Lord, remembering His faithfulness, goodness and kindness?  Whether your situation is great or small, each one becomes an opportunity to step up into a new level of relationship with God.

That’s how we can always walk in victory. Our situation may or may not resolve quickly, but our friendship with God has deepened… and that’s a win.