1Samuel 23:16-17 NLT Jonathan went to find David and encouraged him to stay strong in his faith in God. (17) “Don’t be afraid,” Jonathan reassured him. “My father will never find you! You are going to be the king of Israel, and I will be next to you, as my father, Saul, is well aware.”
As we continue our journey through the Scripture looking at verses where we can glean principles on how to walk and/or help others walk free from fear, let’s look here at this conversation between Jonathan and David.
Jonathan the son of King Saul and covenant friend to David, who was anointed to be king instead of Saul, meets with his good friend. The circumstances couldn’t have been much worse. Saul is in hot pursuit of a fleeing David and bent on having him killed. Jonathan is stuck in the middle of honoring his beloved father and his covenant friend and seeks to comfort and encourage David who is running in fear.
“Don’t be afraid,” the NLT translates Jonathan saying to his friend. The NKJV says, “Do not fear…” The Message Bible says, “Don’t despair.” I imagine having the man you’ve admired and faithfully served chasing you with thousands of troops to kill you would be quite a despairing and fearful situation. Yet the Scripture records that Jonathan shared a few sentences with David and encouraged him. David was in a hopeless and scary situation, yet Jonathan said something encouraging to him and brightened his day. Encourage means to implant or inspire courage, to embolden, to revive someone in spirit. That is exactly what Jonathan’s words did.
Notice the first thing Jonathan said. He told David, “Don’t be afraid.” Sometimes people just need to be told to stop fearing or FEAR NOT! Then Jonathan then went on to speak words building the confidence in David, telling him Saul wouldn’t find him. In other word, Jonathan said, “you’re safe.” Next, Jonathan paints a picture of the future taking David’s mind off of his present difficulty and focuses them back on Word of God to the promise of God. We should also note Jonathan’s tone here. He spoke this to David full of faith, “You are going to be the king…” Lastly, Jonathan tells David, “…and I will be next to you…” He lets David know that he’s on his team and will be there for him. These are some powerful points. Let’s look at them again. David is in a state of hopelessness, deflated with fear, but his friend Jonathan fills him with courage by telling him.
- Fear not! “Don’t be afraid”
- You are safe. “It’s going to be ok.”
- God said. “Remember God’s promise.”
- I believe it. “I’m know it is true.”
- I’m on your team. “I’m here for you and we’ll be together in the victory.”
Surround yourself with people that will speak these things to you in difficult times and don’t hesitate to be the encourager that others need in theirs. Fear Not!
Lonnie Hilton, FCF Int’l National Director said, “…all of us need encouragement and the wonderful part about encouragement is this: anybody can do it!”
2 Corinthians 13:11 NLT Dear brothers and sisters, I close my letter with these last words: Be joyful. Grow to maturity. Encourage each other. Live in harmony and peace. Then the God of love and peace will be with you.