Have you ever noticed as you read the Bible that many times in the Word of God we see great victories rise out of what looked like utter defeat? We could name several.
In Mark 4:37-39 we see a great storm and then a great calm.
In Acts chapter 16 we see Paul & Silas bound and cast into prison. But they never lost their committment to the Lord. They never lost their praise and the power of God brought them out because of their singing and praising.
In King David's life several times we see what looked like total defeat turned into victory.
Even our Lord Jesus, to the world it seemed as though He was defeated as He bled and died at Calvary. But the greatest victory of all was taking place.
I want to just look at one case today in Daniel chapter 3. Let's read verses 15-17.
Daniel 3:15 Now if ye be ready that at what time ye hear the sound of the cornet, flute, harp, sackbut, psaltery, and dulcimer, and all kinds of music, ye fall down and worship the image which I have made; well: but if ye worship not, ye shall be cast the same hour into the midst of a burning fiery furnace; and who is that God that shall deliver you out of my hands?
Da 3:16 Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, answered and said to the king, O Nebuchadnezzar, we are not careful to answer thee in this matter.
Da 3:17 If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of thine hand, O king.
I want to point out 2 statements that these Hebrews made.
1. A statement of faith.
In verse 17 they said, our God whom we serve is able.... and he will deliver us out of thine hand, O king.
They were letting the king know that, "No matter what, however our God chooses to do things, King, we are out of your hands".
Sometimes it's important to let the devil know that no matter how things turn out it's out of his hands, because we have turned it over to God and trust Him to handle it.
The Apostle Paul said in 2 Timothy 1:12, ...for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day.
The reason your prayer life and devotional time is so important is because it causes you to know Jesus.
We know these young Hebrew men were faithful in prayer, but yet here they are in crisis. In fact, it was Daniel's faithful prayer life that got him into his crisis. And it was his faithful prayer life that got him out.
Prayer doesn't always keep us out of crisis, but it causes us to know the One whom we believe. And trust in Him brings us through the crisis.
Communication builds trust.
The Hebrews made a statement of faith.
Paul made a statement of faith.
Job made a statement of faith.
Jesus said, "Speak unto the mountain." Make a statement of faith in your time of crisis.
2. They made a committment.
"We will not worship the golden image."
Daniel 3:18 But if not, be it known unto thee, O king, that we will not serve thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up.
No truce! No treaty! No compromise!
There is no use to make a statement of faith if there is no committment.
Some years ago I watched a movie. It was just a movie, but these people were in a plane flying over the ocean. They began to have problems: First one thing then another. Finally someone said to the pilot, "Maybe we should turn back". He said, "We can't. We are committed now".
You see, they had passed the halfway mark. There was not enough fuel to turn back so they had to put all their efforts into reaching the other side. To turn back was to crash for sure.
Friends, we need to be committed. We need to put all our efforts into reaching the other side. Because if we turn back we will crash for sure.
We have many people today who seem to want to linger about the halfway mark. They are only committed until they feel the heat.
It is easy to make faith statements when there is a cool breeze at our back and life is good.
But look out! The devil is heating up the furnace as:
The bank says, "No more time".
The doctor says, "It doesn't look good".
Your family says, "You are carrying this faith stuff too far".
But let me tell you something. These men were loosed in the fire. I said, they were loosed in the fire.
Faith didn't keep them out of the fire. Faith caused the Lord of Glory to show up and get in the fire with them. I said He got in the fire with them. Their lives would never be the same again. The king's life would never be the same again.
Maybe you are in a crisis today. Maybe you have money, family, business, or health problems that look hopeless. Maybe you think Satan has won.
Listen to me. If you will put your faith in God, and stay committed to Him, He will show up in the mist of the fire. Jesus said, "I'll never leave you nor forsake you."
God is able to create an atmosphere of peace in a time of trouble right in the midst of your firey trial.
There is a place in Christ where we can be loosed in the fire; where we can have peace in the storm. But we must make a committment to Him and to His Word.
Jacob found himself alone with stones for a pillow, but he was not alone. After his dream he said, "Surely the Lord was in this place and I knew it not."
Today some Christians think they can serve God and live a half-hearted, lukewarm Christian life.
God shows up in the fire for those that are committed.
Are you committed?
Let's be like Paul and know whom we believe. Get to know God. If you don't know Him that's what this altar is for.