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Faith in the Fire

Living for Jesus  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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Introduction

Good morning,
i hope and pray you are well today. And I want you to know that I am blessed to see you hear today.
Today is the Lord’s day! We are called to rejoice and be glad in this day.
I was working on a message this week dealing with the coming of Christ into the world....preparing for Easter.
This morning I want you to know I had planned to preach on the Old Testaments
And then something happened.... Thursday evening the Lord spoke to me and pushed to another passage.
A passage we know well, but with so many people going through great trials, troubles in life I believe it will be a source of encouragement for you.
This morning you may feel desperate, you may feel like you don’t know what to do, you may feel like you are about to drown in your circumstance...
I want you to know this truth...
The Lord is with you.
You do not have to run away… you do not have to flee...
The Lord is with you.
So this morning I hope you to hold on to this verse
Isaiah 41:10 ESV
fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.
Now tied with this verse I want you to also hold a finger in Daniel chapter 3. Now there is a passage we are well familiar with, is it not.
The three Hebrew children face a great trial and they hold fast to the truth the Lord is with them.
From the passage in Isaiah and the story of the three Hebrew children, I hope you will have great faith and hold on. Trusting God no matter what happens.
So where can we begin today?

1. Fear Not...

Fear is a terrible emotion my friends.
Fear can immobilize, Fear can push away and Fear can keep us from believing and trusting God.
Q. What are you afraid of?
Let’s return to our text with the prophet Isaiah.
Isaiah 41:10 ESV
fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.
The Lord tells us “fear not, for I am with you....
Now as
Anyone can say to you in the middle of your circumstance, don’t be afraid...
A family member, a friend, or myself, we could tell you to fear not… do not be afraid. but words of encouragement from others is not enough at times.
The Lord will take care of your situation....
Yet we doubt, we wonder and yes fear can set in.... it is not if you will be afraid, Circumstances make us afraid, worried, upset. I believe we all will face a circumstance that has the potential to cause us to doubt, to take hold of fear...
How will you act… Your faith, what you practice and believe everyday will be the tools that will help shape you hen difficulties arise.
Now lets turn over to and lets look again to the story of the three Hebrew children...
Now we know Nebuchadnezzar had set up a golden idol, 90 feet tall. a image that represents the dream Nebuchadnezzar had in Daniel chapter 2...
And ole Nebuchadnezzar desires all to worship the statue, literally Him. In fact, why not… God said the Kingdom he commanded was the head… He is important that even God takes notice...
Daniel 3:3–6 ESV
Then the satraps, the prefects, and the governors, the counselors, the treasurers, the justices, the magistrates, and all the officials of the provinces gathered for the dedication of the image that King Nebuchadnezzar had set up. And they stood before the image that Nebuchadnezzar had set up. And the herald proclaimed aloud, “You are commanded, O peoples, nations, and languages, that when you hear the sound of the horn, pipe, lyre, trigon, harp, bagpipe, and every kind of music, you are to fall down and worship the golden image that King Nebuchadnezzar has set up. And whoever does not fall down and worship shall immediately be cast into a burning fiery furnace.”
Daniel 3:3–6 ESV
Then the satraps, the prefects, and the governors, the counselors, the treasurers, the justices, the magistrates, and all the officials of the provinces gathered for the dedication of the image that King Nebuchadnezzar had set up. And they stood before the image that Nebuchadnezzar had set up. And the herald proclaimed aloud, “You are commanded, O peoples, nations, and languages, that when you hear the sound of the horn, pipe, lyre, trigon, harp, bagpipe, and every kind of music, you are to fall down and worship the golden image that King Nebuchadnezzar has set up. And whoever does not fall down and worship shall immediately be cast into a burning fiery furnace.”
Daniel 3:8–12 ESV
Therefore at that time certain Chaldeans came forward and maliciously accused the Jews. They declared to King Nebuchadnezzar, “O king, live forever! You, O king, have made a decree, that every man who hears the sound of the horn, pipe, lyre, trigon, harp, bagpipe, and every kind of music, shall fall down and worship the golden image. And whoever does not fall down and worship shall be cast into a burning fiery furnace. There are certain Jews whom you have appointed over the affairs of the province of Babylon: Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. These men, O king, pay no attention to you; they do not serve your gods or worship the golden image that you have set up.”
Daniel 3:8–11 ESV
Therefore at that time certain Chaldeans came forward and maliciously accused the Jews. They declared to King Nebuchadnezzar, “O king, live forever! You, O king, have made a decree, that every man who hears the sound of the horn, pipe, lyre, trigon, harp, bagpipe, and every kind of music, shall fall down and worship the golden image. And whoever does not fall down and worship shall be cast into a burning fiery furnace.
Daniel 3:13–18 ESV
Then Nebuchadnezzar in furious rage commanded that Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego be brought. So they brought these men before the king. Nebuchadnezzar answered and said to them, “Is it true, O Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, that you do not serve my gods or worship the golden image that I have set up? Now if you are ready when you hear the sound of the horn, pipe, lyre, trigon, harp, bagpipe, and every kind of music, to fall down and worship the image that I have made, well and good. But if you do not worship, you shall immediately be cast into a burning fiery furnace. And who is the god who will deliver you out of my hands?” Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego answered and said to the king, “O Nebuchadnezzar, we have no need to answer you in this matter. If this be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of your hand, O king. But if not, be it known to you, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the golden image that you have set up.”
In the matter of a few days the world changes, the lives of all the people were changing, worship the big, big idol or die...
In the matter of a few days the world changes, the lives of all the people were changing, worship the big, big idol or die...
For all the people of Judah, the situation was changing… bow down and worship a false god…
Many were afraid, many just did whatever the the King commanded… would it really hurt any one or thing....
Daniel 3:
These three men, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego were not afraid…
They were servants of the God, the Lord most high,,, they would not all fear to rule their life or faith.
Isaiah said “Fear not, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God.”....
Are you afraid of your circumstance or do you trust the Lord?
There will always be someone, something, some group saying you cannot, you don’t desire it, you’re not good enough…
Will we believe the Lord or something else…fear not.
We believe it out of fear....

2. Depend on the Lord...

Who do you depend on the most in life…
You, someone else or the Lord.
Now people really want to say the Lord.... but that doesn’t always happen in life…
Consider the car breaks down, hundreds of dollars are spent and you wonder where the next meal will come from… The roof needs to be replaced… what will you do.... Then the doctor calls and asks, can you come back in, he needs to see you about some test results...
Some things we can do, we can get busy and try to sort throw the best laid plans of mice and men. We try to fix it....
Some we cannot … and we worry, fret and just fall a part
Or perhaps in the midst of concern, worry, frustration .... you turn your face once again toward heaven and give it to God, asking Him for help.
Remember our first Scripture passage.... Isaiah 41:10...
Isaiah 41:10 ESV
fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.
Remember the passage.... four things i want you to see...
A. Fear not. B. Be not dismayed C. I will strengthen D. And I will uphold you...
When I look at that passage - I can see two crucial thoughts…
The battle belongs to the Lord.... and He promises to help us.
Now we will come back to this thought in a minute
Think about those three Hebrew Children, man… they had a decision in front of them and they decided to stand with God… to be counted on His team and word got to the King..
You see there were always men who were native Babylonians who were jealous of those men who were doing do much better (God’s favor was with them) Remember .... you can look at it.
Well they always kept an eye on Meshach, Shadrach and Abednego… and like we read in .... those Babylonians were ready to turn them in...
Daniel 3:12 ESV
There are certain Jews whom you have appointed over the affairs of the province of Babylon: Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. These men, O king, pay no attention to you; they do not serve your gods or worship the golden image that you have set up.”
What a predicament.....
The king, he really liked these three men. So he called them in to give them another chance...
Daniel 3:14–15 ESV
Nebuchadnezzar answered and said to them, “Is it true, O Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, that you do not serve my gods or worship the golden image that I have set up? Now if you are ready when you hear the sound of the horn, pipe, lyre, trigon, harp, bagpipe, and every kind of music, to fall down and worship the image that I have made, well and good. But if you do not worship, you shall immediately be cast into a burning fiery furnace. And who is the god who will deliver you out of my hands?”
Honestly, the King didn’t have too do anything of the sort… but He liked these three, he could depend on them, they were good workers and some of these Hebrews were ones who had become entrusted in powerful offices...
So the King gave them another chance....
But the decision of the three Hebrew children had not changed....
Daniel 3:16–18 ESV
Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego answered and said to the king, “O Nebuchadnezzar, we have no need to answer you in this matter. If this be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of your hand, O king. But if not, be it known to you, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the golden image that you have set up.”
Wow, they have great boldness… not because they didn’t think the King wouldn’t harm them… no they depended on the Lord.
Do you see their thought....
King… we don’t even have to consider choices… We will not bow down and serve your gods or worship the image you have set up…
Why were they so certain?
Their faith… they said our God is able to deliver us, and out of your hand… but even if he doesn’t.. we will not bow down.
Consider this thought....
Faith doesn’t mean God keeps you away from the storm, or that God will keep trouble from your door step… Faith is believing that God will take care of you while you are in the storm.
The battle always belongs to the Lord....
They had this type of faith.
what kind of faith do you have my friends?
Is it a faith that depends on God?
If not, what will you do about it today
Now lets look at one more thought...

3. Let God Fight the Battle...

Here is a great truth my friends, we can try to fight the battle in our own strength… or we can let God fight the battle for us...
Who do you think will have victory?
Look at his promise in
Isaiah 41:10 ESV
fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.
Do you see what the Lord says… There is no reason to fear, there is no reason to be so worried, upset and frustrated… I am your God!
I am your God,
I will strengthen you,
I will help you,
I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.
Now please understand this is not a promise to always give you what you want or to say, He is there ensuring all your dreams come true.
Do you believe God is able to keep you in the midst of the problems of life.
Do you believe that today?
Now please understand this is not a promise to always give you what you want or to say, He is there ensuring all your dreams come true.
He will be with us, while he protects us… but our ways are not His ways, and what we want, desire, hope for may not be apart of God’s plan or purpose for our lives.
If that’s the case, will you still trust Him?
The Children of Israel always figured God would protect them and keep His Holy city, and temple safe...
But God allowed Babylon to invade, to ransack and to carry the children off.. But He will still with His children...
And as bad as things were… God’s children still followed Him because of faith...
But none of that mattered,
Daniel 3:19–23 ESV
Then Nebuchadnezzar was filled with fury, and the expression of his face was changed against Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. He ordered the furnace heated seven times more than it was usually heated. And he ordered some of the mighty men of his army to bind Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, and to cast them into the burning fiery furnace. Then these men were bound in their cloaks, their tunics, their hats, and their other garments, and they were thrown into the burning fiery furnace. Because the king’s order was urgent and the furnace overheated, the flame of the fire killed those men who took up Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. And these three men, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, fell bound into the burning fiery furnace.
Man, can you imagine,
the King is angry
Daniel 3:
He sentences the three men to death
King orders the furnace heated 7 times hotter than it has ever been
And they bind Meshach, Shadrach and Abednego and they are thrown into a furnace so hot.... it kills the men who brought them to the furnace.
And suddenly everything changes....
Wow...
When God fights our battles expect great things regardless of the situation.
Now lets look back to our text in Daniel
Daniel 3:24–28 ESV
Then King Nebuchadnezzar was astonished and rose up in haste. He declared to his counselors, “Did we not cast three men bound into the fire?” They answered and said to the king, “True, O king.” He answered and said, “But I see four men unbound, walking in the midst of the fire, and they are not hurt; and the appearance of the fourth is like a son of the gods.” Then Nebuchadnezzar came near to the door of the burning fiery furnace; he declared, “Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, servants of the Most High God, come out, and come here!” Then Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego came out from the fire. And the satraps, the prefects, the governors, and the king’s counselors gathered together and saw that the fire had not had any power over the bodies of those men. The hair of their heads was not singed, their cloaks were not harmed, and no smell of fire had come upon them. Nebuchadnezzar answered and said, “Blessed be the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, who has sent his angel and delivered his servants, who trusted in him, and set aside the king’s command, and yielded up their bodies rather than serve and worship any god except their own God.
Daniel 3:24-28
Now think of this… Nebuchadnezzar bolts up with he sees the men are not consumed by the fire.... but as He looks into the fire He sees not three but 4 men...
Can you imagine… He sees Meshach, Shadrach and Abednego.... and the son of the living God.
I don’t believe its merely an angel… I believe it is another visit of the pre-incarnate Christ..
Jesus, the son of God is standing in fire, and He has protected them.
Listen my friends I want you to see this one point… faith didnt mean God would keep them from the fire… NO.
But faith said He was with them in the Fire...
That is the God we serve my friends, Jesus said He would never leave us or forsake us. That He would be with US, until the end of the world.
Then why are you fretting.
Why are you mourning?
Why......
These three men came out of the fire, not burned, their clothes were intact, their hair was not singed and my friends, there was no smell of smoke on thier body.
That is the God we sere.... He is the one who protects us, walks with us in the fire.
Faith in fire my friends....
Do you know Jesus today?
Do you know for certain you are saved today
Are you struggling with sin, He can deliver you.
Are you weighed down with a burden…trust Him that he is able
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