“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 545:17).

“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).

            Many of God’s people are undergoing 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…”  satan has diabolical schemes and strategies set to discourage and defeat the church of the living God.  All hell is breaking loose and more is on the way… 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 the 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 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.

            In the story of the Hebrew Champions in Daniel chapter 3:

            1.  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 “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.  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:  Ps. 34:19   Many are the afflictions of the righteous: but the LORD delivereth him out of them all.

            2.  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.  1 John 4:4   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.

            3.  They had opportunity to become like the Babylonians but instead they chose to stick with God.   They were tempted.   They had opportunities to compromise and to cop out, 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.

            4.  They refused to compromise.  They would bow and would not burn.  Dan. 3:18   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.

            They decided to stay with God and to honor their convictions.  They were committed.  The only thing that mattered to them was staying with God. 

            5.  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.

            6.  We are not the only saints who have ever been in a hard place.  Look at Paul and Silas.  Consider the Apostles who were beaten and imprisoned.  Look at the saints who paid with their lives through martyrdom.  John was left on the Isle of Patmos to die.   Notice:

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

Hebr. 11:33-39

Who through faith subdued kingdoms, wrought righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions,

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.

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

And others had trial of cruel mocking and scourgings, yea, moreover of bonds and imprisonment:

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;

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

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

The writer of Hebrews tells us to:

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

            7.   Resist discouragement.  Discouragement can bring on self-pity and complaining and questioning God.  We will never be able to stand in the fire if we are discouraged and full of self-pity.

            8.  We must make up our minds.  We must fix  our minds.  Stand still.  “Having done all, stand…!”  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.

            9.  Rejoice in our trial.

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

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

            Faith has a proving ground.  Just like cars and trucks and other vehicles.  Trials and testing’s are the proving places 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).  The sooner we rejoice, the quicker it will be over!  When we get to the rejoicing stage, the victory is at hand.

            10.  The trial we are now in is purifying and refining… it is cleansing and tempering… It is working patience in you and me and it is making us depend totally on God.  It directs our attention to God’s ability.

            11.  Above all, know that GOD IS ABLE.   Dan. 3:17   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.

 Eph. 3:20   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,

            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!  God is Able.  GOD IS ABLE!

            12.  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?  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 or the RIGHT?  What testimony will we leave?  What impression will we make on those who are watching and waiting to see us sink? 

If God be for us who can be against us….  Romans 8:31

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