Have you ever wondered about those preachers (mainly on TV) who stand in front of packed churches telling the people about this "name it and claim it" religion where God just can't hardly wait until you get up in the morning so He can start blessing you another day? For some strange reason there have been days in my life where those blessings have been few and far between, or completely missing. Some of you have travelled the same road I have and know exactly what I'm referring to. What brought this subject up was Dolly on the piano learning how to play Through The Fire by Gerald Crabb.
One of the neat things about the Bible is that if some character, (even
the heroes of faith listed in Heb. 11), have a wart or flaw the flaw is
pointed out so all of us can know about it. There are a few people in
the Bible that there is nothing derogatory said about them. If they had
some flaw in their character we're not told about it. You would expect
these individuals to breeze through life if these modern day preachers
knew what they were talking about. One of these "perfect and upright"
people was Job, and look what happened to him! Another was Daniel;
another was Joseph; and three more were the Hebrew boys named Hananiah,
Mishael and Azariah. You know these last three better by the names
given to them by the Babylonian prince of the eunuchs: Shadrach, Meshach
Joseph's only "flaw" was being his father's favorite son from his
father's favorite wife, neither of which were his fault. He may have
seemed to be an arrogant little twerp to his brothers (ten of them were
half-brothers), but the Bible doesn't imply that. Yet he was hated by
his brothers, sold into slavery by them, unjustly imprisoned in Egypt,
and left to cool his heels in a dungeon. Not too many blessings from
Look at the other four guys I mentioned, probably teen-agers taken from
Jerusalem by Nebuchadnezzar into captivity in Babylon. When you read in
Dan. 1:7 that the man in charge of them was 'the prince of the
eunuchs,' it implies that Nebuchadnezzar had them castrated. How's that
for being the apple of God's eye? Daniel's devotion to God got him
thrown into a lion's den. The three young friends of his were equally
devoted to God and it got them thrown into a furnace.
That brings me to the title of this article. Notice God did not protect Daniel from the lion's den; He protected him in the lion's den. God did not protect the three Hebrew boys from the furnace; He protected them in the furnace.
Gerald Crabb hit the nail on the head when he wrote the song Through The Fire. Look at these words:
"He never promised that the cross world not get heavy, and the hill
would not be hard to climb. He never offered our victories without
fighting, but He said help would always come in time. Just remember
when you're standing in the valley of decision and the adversary says
'give in,' just hold on. Our Lord will show up, yes, and He will take
you through the fire again."
There's an old hymn titled God Leads Us Along and the chorus says, "Some thro' the waters, some thro' the flood, some thro' the fire, but all thro' the blood."
We're all delighted we get the privilege of eternity in Heaven by going
"through the blood," since it's Jesus' blood, not ours. We're not so
gung-ho about the possibility that we might have to go "through the
waters, flood or fire." In Isaiah Chapter 43 the subject is "Redeemed
and Restored Israel," and Verse 2 says: "When thou passest through the
waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not
overflow thee: when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be
burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee." A couple examples of
God's people having to go through the waters/rivers are Noah and his
family during the flood, and Israel crossing the Red Sea and the Jordan
River during their escape from Egypt.
We've all heard numerous sermons from Mark Chapter 6 about Jesus and
Peter walking on the water. There's something in that passage that I've
never heard anyone elaborate on. In Mark 6:45, Jesus tells His
disciples to get in the boat and go across the Sea on Galilee. We know
from the text that they had fed the crowd an evening meal (so it was
late afternoon) and it says straightway, or right after that, Jesus sent
them out onto the lake. He came walking on the lake, "about the fourth
watch of the night." This was the watch just before dawn, so they had
been out there rowing all night. What's really interesting, and that
I've heard no one comment on, is the last phrase in Verse 48. He is
walking toward their boat and it says, "and [He] would have passed by them."
You get the impression that if they had not cried out to Him, He would
have walked on to the other side and left them out there rowing in the
storm. Apparently the only reason He got into the boat and calmed the
storm is they "cried out [to Him]."
So when The Lord tells you to go through the water, the flood, or the
fire you need to know that you can cry out to Him and He may get in the
boat with you; and calm the storm. If you have been rowing your boat
into the wind for a while and making little progress, that may be the
reason; ask Him to get in your boat.