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"You're Hot"

(Especially For Tim and Michelle)

"But now, thus says the LORD, who created you, O Jacob, And He who formed you, O Israel: "Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by your name; You are Mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; And through the rivers, they shall not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned, Nor shall the flame scorch you."

Isaiah 43:1-2

Are you going through a trial today? Do you feel the heat being turned up in your life? Is your faith in God being challenged by your current situation? If so you are not alone, ever! Most everyone has heard the story of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego, the three Hebrew young men who refused to bow down to King Nebuchadnezzar despite his threats of death by incineration. Though the king threatened to turn up the heat seven times hotter than normal, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego were unwavering in their faith in God. Like Abraham, the father of faith who the Bible says, "He did not waver at the promise of God through unbelief, but was strengthened in faith, giving glory to God, and being fully convinced that what He had promised He was also able to perform" (Romans 4:20-21) these three young Hebrews were just as fully convinced. I like to think of it this way, their faith was on fire for God, hotter than the very furnace they were thrown into.

If you are in the midst of your own fiery trial today you've got to read all of Daniel chapter 3 and allow the Lord to remind you of a few things as you do. Trust me, no, rather trust God that your heart will be encouraged as you read this true story. For me, I was reminded as I read, faith doesn't prevent trials from coming our way, it merely provides us the opportunity to witness God exercise His sovereign plan right before our very eyes. Yes, God still performs miracles! Often times when facing life's difficulties we blame ourselves as if we were the solution to our own problems, robbing God of the opportunity to show Himself strong on our behalf. We often play the "What if" or the "If only" game trying to change the scenarios of our lives in hope of improving our outcome. We desperately want to be in control. Most of the time when we face a difficult challenge and begin to doubt we become short sided like the disciples who limited Jesus by their own questioning regarding the man who was blind from birth. In John's gospel the disciples asked Jesus saying, "…Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?" Jesus answered, "Neither this man nor his parents sinned, but that the works of God should be revealed in him" (John 9:2-3).

Have you ever considered that what you are going through might not even be about you, but rather for you? In other words, the very trial you are facing might just have been permitted by God Himself not to harm you but to set you free? The fire that Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego were thrust into didn't even cause one hair upon their head to be singed or for the stench of smoke to be smelled as they came out. The only thing that was burned up in the fire were the bindings that bound them and held them captive. The fire was used of God to free them from the bondage they had been placed in. What was true for them is just as true for me and you!

The best news of all in this story is that just like Jesus, the Son of God was there in the midst of that fiery furnace with Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego, Jesus has promised to be right beside you and me as we go through our own fiery trials in this life. Jesus told His disciples "I am with you always'", and the writer of Hebrews reminds us of His promise, "I will never leave you nor forsake you".

Just as Abraham and Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego were fully convinced you and I can be fully convinced too that whatever God has promised, He is also able to perform! What was it that helped these men of faith to not waver at the promises of God? It wasn't that they had faith in their own faith but rather they had great faith in their great God. True faith isn't something we well up within ourselves. True faith comes by taking God at His Word. They might have doubted themselves all day long but what they did not doubt was that God was true to His Word and that what He had promised to do He would faithfully accomplish. Nothings changed as God Himself has not changed, as He is the same yesterday, today and forever!

In the end, when Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego came out of that fire smelling like roses as God used their temporary imprisonment for their promotion. God never wastes a hurt in our life, loved one, but rather He turns our trials into our promotions too! If you are facing a trial today take to heart what James, the half brother of our Lord says, "My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing" (James 1:2-4). Don't forget, theres something greater waiting for you on the other side of the trial. Wait for it!

"And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose."

Romans 8:28


"Choose Joy"
"Walk, Don't Run"