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The longer Jesus waited, the harder Jairus tried not to show his frustration. But, his daughter would breathe her last if the Healer did not arrive in time.

When his servants appeared, relayed the news, the looks on their faces revealed all.

Too late…

But Jesus interrupted.

Do not be afraid; only believe. 

Believe in what?!? She’s dead!

Still, He had spoken words of promise. To Jairus.

Against all reason, he chose to let go of the fear and believe. Just as Jesus said. He followed close behind the Healer, not letting Him out of his sight, clinging to hope. And his belief carried him home, comforted him until Jesus’ healing power accomplished the impossible.

How easy it is to believe when hope lies within reach, visible, tangible, in a person, a bank account, a circumstance, a planned event… and we hang on with all we’ve got.

But when the person disappoints, or the money is needed elsewhere, or the thing we counted on or the date we circled on the planner fails to happen… and hope dies.

Our trust dies with it.

Fear and frustration grow in place of trust, in our refusal to keep believing. Just as weeds take over where life-sustaining, beautifying plants are no longer nurtured, where water ceases to flow.

When all else crumbles, when our fragile dreams and hopes fade into nothing, then our empty hands can reach for His and find a depth of trust we’ve never known.

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The young man who struck the giant was in many ways still a boy whose sole responsibility was herding sheep. Yet, it was he who carried the giant’s head by the beard. (Such proud boasts roared by him who most believed to be so mighty.) Causing the opposing army to run in fear.

Losers became victors. Because of faith in the heart of a least likely warrior.

Now Saul was afraid of David, because the Lord was with him, but had departed from Saul. Therefore Saul removed him from his presence, and made him his captain over a thousand; and he went out and came in before the people.  And David behaved wisely in all his ways, and the Lord was with him. Therefore, when Saul saw that he behaved very wisely, he was afraid of him. But all Israel and Judah loved David, because he went out and came in before them. 1 Samuel 18: 12-15

Fear filled Saul’s heart as David rose in favor, endeared to the Israelites. Disobedience and lack of trust drove Saul to respond in fear, pride, resentment, insecurity. Which led to insanity.

Then death. As he never repented, he never experienced the blessings God was willing to give.

And Samuel said to Saul, You have done foolishly. You have not kept the commandment of the Lord your God, which He commanded you. For now the Lord would have established your kingdom over Israel forever.  But now your kingdom shall not continue. The Lord has sought for Himself a man after His own heart… because you have not kept what the Lord commanded you.  –  I Samuel 13:13-14

He died in battle, defeated by his enemies, defeated in more ways than one.

While Saul lived, David never knew from one day to the next if he would live to see the next day. From 1 Samuel 18 through 30 he remained a fugitive, running and hiding from a king bent on annihilating the man chosen to take his place. (With no relief from the hunt until Saul’s death, chapter 31).

Some of David’s songs were written as prayers to God in his times of trouble, for refuge, safety, relief from tormentors. Psalms 34, 42, 43, 44, 52, 54, 55, 56, 57

In his weakest moments he reminded himself of God’s faithfulness. Every Psalm ends with praise.

israel-107951_1280David won the love and respect of God’s people. For a while he led God’s people with wisdom, courage, humility, faith, an example of dependence on the Lord. And God blessed the nation and its king.

As long as David feared God, he had nothing to fear.

Saul feared man instead of God, and lost everything. Even his last words and final actions were encased by fear.

As believers we so need to learn where to place our fears, and how to hold on to faith.

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