by Ernest Easley

Striving through the Fire
Dr. Ernest L. Easley
Daniel 3:1-30

Let's see if you can complete this statement: ''when it rains ... it pours.'' It's like those 4 friends who went mountain climbing one weekend. In the middle of the climb .. one of them slipped and dropped about sixty feet and landed on a ledge below.

Hoping their friend was alive, one of them yelled down the hill, ''Joe, are you ok?'' From the ledge, Joe yelled back up the mountain, ''I'm alive .. but I think I broke both my arms.'' To which one of his friends said, ''We'll toss a rope down to you and pull you up. Just lie still.'' Joe said, ''Fine.''

A few minutes later after dropping one end of the rope ... they started tugging and grunting together ... working to pull their injured friend to safety. When they had him about 3/4s of the way up .. they remembered he said he had broken both of his arms.

''Joe. If you broke your arms, how in the world are you hanging on?'' Joe responded, ''With my TEEEEEEEEEEEEETH.''

When it rains .... it pours! Especially in our day when you determine to live for God! I hear people talking about those who are ''going through the fire.'' ''Oh .. so-and-so .. they are really going through the fire these days.''

Folks .. I'm no prophet of doom, but I am a realist. And being a realist I need to tell you that if you determine to love God and serve God and worship God .. you're going to spend some time in the fire.

Now if there was anybody who knew about ''Striving through the Fire'' .... it was Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego. They certainly could relate to Psalm 66.12, ''.. We went through the fire and through water; But You brought us out to rich fulfillment.''

And then there is Isaiah 43.2c-3 to which many believe those three Hebrews fulfilled when Isaiah said, ''When you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned, nor shall the flame scorch you. For I am the LORD your God, the Holy One of Israel, your savior. Verse 5, ''Fear not, for I am ...

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