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Hope for the Week

"Life is not tried, it is merely survived If you're standing outside the fire."  "Standing Outside the Fire".....Garth Brooks 1993

     When I hear this song it makes me think of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. We learn in the book of Daniel of the stand these three young men took for their belief and faith in God. In the story, King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon made a golden statue and passed a decree that whenever music was played, all the people would bow down and worship the statue. Anyone caught not worshiping the statue would be cast into a fiery furnace. When the three young men heard of this, they immediately refused to bow to anyone or anything but God. Word spread quickly to the king and he gathered the boys together and asked if this was true. The boys were quick to answer and let the king know that they would not bow. They were not afraid of the fiery furnace for God would save them from the fire and from the hand of the king. If God chose not to save them, so be it, they would worship Him anyway. So the king had the boys bound up and thrown into the furnace. The fire burned so hot that the Bible says the men that cast them in were killed instantly from the heat. Now, here is the good part. Nebuchadnezzar looked into the furnace and asked his servant: "Did we not cast three men into the fire?" His servant replied: "This is true o king." The king answered with this: "He answered and said, Lo, I see four men loose, walking in the midst of the fire, and they have no hurt; and the form of the fourth is like the Son of God."   Daniel 3:25   Nebuchadnezzar had the boys removed from the fire and worshiped God because no other god could do these things. The boys were promoted in power under the king.
     How many times do we miss out on blessings, miracles, and seeing God's power in our lives because we are scared of the fire? Scared of being "burnt." Sometimes to see what God can really do we must be tried by fire. God does not tell us that we won't be asked to do difficult things to accomplish His will, but he does promise that He will be with us through it all and will never put more on us then he gives us the ability to bear. Sometimes these fires are to do just that, show us how strong we really are. Another thing the fire does is purify us. Just like gold, the fire will remove the imperfections from our lives. As a Christian, if you want to thrive and not just be alive don't stand outside the fire. The 23rd Psalms says that He is with us through the valley of shadow of death, not the He allows us to skip over it. Going forward, let's look for those fires that God is going to use to make us better, more like Him and remember that it ALL works together for our good.

Have a great week, and if the fire rages, He's in it with you!
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