Fiery Trials


Fiery Trials

Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you… 1 Pet 4:12.

Many are the afflictions of the righteous; but the LORD delivereth him out of them all…  Psa 34.

No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper…  Isa 54:17.

When the enemy shall come in, like a flood the Spirit of the Lord shall lift up a standard against him..  Isa 59:19.

Fear thou not for I am with thee; be not dis­couraged; for I am thy God:  I will strengthen thee, I will help thee:  yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of My righteousness…  Isa 41:10.

Multitudes of God’s people are going through strong testings.  Some of the things many in the Body of Christ will face can be overcome only by and through BIBLE FAITH.

Now this is the victory which overcometh the world, even our faith… I John 5:4.

Satan has diabolical schemes and strate­gies set to discourage and defeat the church of the living God.  All hell is breaking loose and, like it or not, more is on the way.  If we are not in the fire we are not doing much for God.

However, this is not the time to be distressed and dismayed… it is the time to believe.  It is the time to trust.  It is the time to have confidence in God.  It is time to have absolute trust in the Word.   The world is nervous.  Governments are ner­vous.  Leaders and statesmen do not know where to turn or what to do.  Only those who are strong in God will see it through.  This is not the time for Disney World Christians… it is the time for those who will face the fire, charge ahead and refuse to back up.

There are many fiery trials and fiery fur­naces that will try our faith.  Satan uses these to discourage and defeat the believer. They are de­signed to destroy our faith and to make us lose confidence in God.  They are set before us to move us into fear and to make us get into doubt.  They are sent by the devil and they are sent to destroy us.

Notice the story of the Hebrew Champions recorded in Daniel chapter 3:

They were in a strange land 

They were “out of place” because they were God’s People and they were confined to a pagan land.  If you are born again, you do not “fit” in the world.  You are in a strange land and your citi­zenship is in another country. You are actually an alien on earth.  You are “out of place.” You are looking for a city whose Builder and Maker is God.

They were in a strange land because of who they were.  They were God’s children and they were being held in captivity.  They were hated by the world and rejected by the world.  They were a threat to the kingdom of darkness and Satan planned for their destruction.  They were targets of paganistic and false religions.  We are a threat to Satan’s kingdom and we need not be surprised when opposition arises and when af­flictions come.  Remember, the Word says,  Many are the afflictions of the righteous: but the LORD delivereth him out of them all   Psa. 34:19.    

Nebuchadnezzar was in charge 

He was a pa­gan king.  He was against God and against God’s people. Satan is the ruler of this world system.  He is against God and he is against the God in you and me.  He purposes to destroy God’s peo­ple and to bring the Church into bondage.  Satan may be “in charge” of this world system, but we have more power than he has.  Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.   1 John 4:4.    

They had opportunity to become like the Babylonians but instead they chose to stick with God

They were tempted. They had op­portu­nities to compromise, cop out and cooperate with the devil, but they were committed to their calling.  We can choose whom we will serve.  The decision is ours.  It is up to us.  Whom we serve determines whether we live or whether we die; whether we succeed or whether we fail.

They refused to compromise

They would not bow and would not burn.  But if not, be it known unto thee, O king, that we will not serve thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up… Dan. 3:18.  

They decided to stay with God and to honor their convictions.  They made a decision and they stuck with it.  They were determined and absolute with their faith.  They did not even consider anything other than obeying God and God’s Word.  They did not value their physical lives; they had rather keep themselves pure and clean than escape the fire.  They were committed.  The only thing that mattered to them was stay­ing with God.

They refused to get discouraged because of a difficult and impossible situation 

Sit­ua­tions are not supposed to affect us… we are sup­posed to affect situations.   Situations do not change God.  God is changeless.  God is im­mutable.  Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, to­day and forever.  Do not judge the Word by your situation,  judge your situation by the Word.

We are not the only saints who have ever been in a hard place.  The devil wants you to think that you are the only one with such an impossible circumstance.  He wants you to believe that your problem is bigger and “badder” than anybody else in the world.

Consider Paul and Silas and their problem described in Acts chapter16.   Consider the Apostles who were beaten and im­prisoned time and time again.  John was left on the Isle of Patmos to die.    Look at the saints who paid with their lives through martyrdom.  Check out the heroes listed in Hebrews 11.

Notice:

And what shall I more say? for the time would fail me to tell of Gedeon, and of Barak, and of Samson, and of Jephthae; of David also, and Samuel, and of the prophets:  Heb 11:32

Who through faith subdued king­doms, wrought righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, Heb 11:33 

Quenched the violence of fire, es­caped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, waxed valiant in fight, turned to flight the armies of the aliens. Heb 11:34 

Women received their dead raised to life again: and others were tortured, not ac­cepting deliverance; that they might obtain a bet­ter resurrection: Heb 11:35

And others had trial of cruel mock­ings and scourgings, yea, moreover of bonds and imprisonment: Heb 11:36

 They were stoned, they were sawn asunder, were tempted, were slain with the sword: they wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins; being destitute, afflicted, tormented; Heb 11:37

 (Of whom the world was not wor­thy:) they wandered in deserts, and in moun­tains, and in dens and caves of the earth.  Heb 11:38

 And these all, having obtained a good report through faith, received not the promise: Heb 11:39

The writer of Hebrews tells us to:

Consider Him (Jesus) lest ye be­come weary and faint in your minds…   Heb 12. 

Resist discouragement 

Discouragement will produce self-pity, com­plaining and question­ing God.  We will never be able to stand in the fire if we are discouraged and full of self-pity. It’s amazing to me how many believers enjoy having others “feel sorry” for them.  They seem to take comfort by wallowing in self-pity.

I often wonder just how they would or could fare in times that were comparable to those the New Testament believers faced.   I have been in places where people were not praying for money to pay the rent or the car note, but where they had to pray for their next meal… for food for their children and for shelter from the elements.  This nation has been and still is inundated with the grace and mercy and the blessings of God.  Go check your refrigerator right now and count your blessings.   We have absolutely no reason to be discouraged.  We are blessed. 

Make up our minds

It’s imperative that we fix our minds.  Stand still.  “Having done all, stand…!”  We should determine in our mind to never give up.  Never back up.  Never let up.  Never ease up.  These Hebrews refused to give in to defeat and they refused to compromise.   But “what if?”  But “just in case…”  What is our alternate plan?  SINK or SWIM.  Live or die.  Win or lose.  Get healed or stay sick.  Never ever consider backing down. God has no “plan B.”

 Rejoice in our trial

My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations;  James 1:2

Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience.  James 1:3  

            Faith has a proving ground.  Just like cars and trucks and other vehicles.  Trials and test­s are the proving ground for our Faith.  God does not cause them or bring them on, but they are the test track for our believing.  (1 Pet 4:12).  “Counting it all joy” when we are really hurting is difficult but it is not impossible.  Rejoicing is the opposite of complaining and griping and self-pity.  The sooner we rejoice, the quicker it will be over!  When we get to the rejoicing stage, the victory is at hand. 

The trial we are now in is purifying and re­fining  

Every trial is cleansing and tempering. It is working patience in us and it is causes us to depend totally on God.  It directs our attention to God’s ability.   It reminds us of God’s promises.  Trials keep us focused on that which is important.  It prioritizes our lives and gives us the courage to forsake and refuse those things which have become detrimental to our faith.

Above all, know that GOD IS ABLE.

If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery fur­nace, and he will deliver us out of thine hand, O king.   Dan. 3:17  

Now unto him that is able to do ex­ceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us…   Eph. 3:20  

Nothing, no matter what it is, is ever too “broke” for God to fix. God is able.  This is the Magna Charta of the Christian Faith!  Knowing that God is Able!  Believing that God is Able!  Being assured that GOD IS ABLE!  When we have a revelation of the ability of God then we can boldly confess “if God be for us, who can be against us?”  (Rom 8:31)

The Real Test

When we are in the fire, remember He is in the fire with us.  If you do not stay with God, where and to whom will you go?  The Christian walk is not an easy one but it is the best one.  It is not for the sissy or the coward or the lazy or the fickle.  It is for the Brave.  It is for the Bold.  It is for the Fearless.  It is for the Courageous.  Listen to these champi­ons:

Our God whom we serve is able to deliver us for the burning fiery furnace and He will de­liver us out of thine hand, O king,  but if not, be it known unto thee, O king, we will not serve thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up…   Dan 3:17-18.

NOW… what are we going to do when we face the fire?  What are we going to say when we face the fire?  How are we going to act when we face the fire?   What declarations will we make when we are about to be thrown into a situa­tion we do not deserve and which we do not under­stand?

Who is going to give in… us or the devil?  Which way will we go… God’s way or the world’s way?  Which will we choose the easy way or the right way?  What testimony will we leave?  What impression will we make on those who are watching us and waiting to see what we will do?

What will you do in the midst of the fire?  Always remember:

 GOD IS ABLE!

 

 

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