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Set Free in the Fire
By Joel Osteen - Sep 11, 2015

In the Scripture, when the three Hebrew teenagers would not bow down to the king's golden idol, it made him very upset. He was going to have them thrown into a fiery furnace. He had their hands and feet bound with cords and threw them in. However, the only thing that was burned in the fire were the cords that were holding them back. The fire didn't stop them; the fire separated them from their limitations. It was meant to destroy them; but in fact, it made them better. They came out with a new confidence, with a greater trust in God. Not in the fire, but on the fire.

Just like the three Hebrew teenagers, when you find yourself in the fire, you can stay in peace knowing that God is not going to let harm come to anything that you need. That difficulty is not going to leave you broken, scarred or defeated. All it's going to do is burn off any limitations that are holding you back. It's going to separate anything that's not God's best. You're going to come out prepared for the next level—totally free!

All through the Scripture we see this principle. All of the great heroes of faith went through their "trial by fire" experiences. Remember Peter? He was hot tempered; he used bad language. He told Jesus, "I'll never deny You. I'm Your main disciple. I'll be with You through thick and thin." But when he was put where the fire was turned up, so to speak, in the heat of the moment, he denied that he knew Christ.

When you're under pressure, when the fire is hot, that's when you find out what's really on the inside. That's when impurities in your character come to light. If you'll work with God and let Him refine you, you will come out better. This is what happened with Peter. He didn't stay where he was. He went on to be an amazing leader in the church. One day he ministered and 3,000 people came to know the Lord, the most ever recorded in the Scripture. He was so powerful that his shadow caused people to get healed.

Today, know that the fire isn't going to consume you; it's going to refine you and set you free. On the other side of that trial, you will be stronger, more alive, wiser and more powerful than you ever were before!

"These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith--of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire--may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed." (1 Peter 1:7, NIV)

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