Going through the fire with Jesus

Photo of Robin Harris Kimbrough

Dr. Robin Harris Kimbrough

Many of us know the old Chaka Khan hit, “Through the Fire.”   In the song, she declares that she will go through anything just to be with her man, even through the fire.

Although many of us have struggles in relationships or trying to reach some type of goal, the worse challenge anyone can endure is one involving fire.

Fire is hot.  Fire is dangerous. Fire is uncontrollable. Putting out a fire is very difficult. We can all testify that we have been through the fire, but if we are willing to go through the fire, we will blessed on the other side.  Some of us know the story of Meshach, Shadrach, and Abdengo, the three Hebrew boys.

These Hebrews were a part of a group exiled to Babylon (along with another famous character, Daniel).  They refused to go along with some of the happenings in Babylon, including indulging in certain foods and most importantly they refused to turn away from their allegiance to God.

They were willing to go through the fire for their worship.   Meshach, Shadrach, and Abedengo must literally go through the fire, because they refused to worship a golden idol King Nebuchadnezzar had built.    Even after receiving chance after chance to worship the idol in lieu of going into the fiery furnace, they refused to do it.

On their final refusal, they made this declaration:  “If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to save us from it, and he will rescue us from your hand, O king. But even if he does not, we want you to know, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up.” (Daniel 3:17-18).  How many of us are willing to go through the fire for the sake of worshipping God?    Going through the fire means enduring circumstances and hardships, which attack our faith, make us feel uncomfortable, and bring out our deepest and innermost fears.  It is a very hot place.  It makes us sweat and can of us all choked up.  We’ve all been through the fire.   These three friends in our text remind us if we are in the fire, we are not alone.   Even after turning up the heat to its hottest point, the three Hebrew boys stood, but they were not alone, the guards noticed an additional person in the fire—someone with the face of God.

We know who that fourth person is; it is the presence of Jesus Christ in body and spirit.

To get through our fires in this life, we must believe that we are not in it alone.    Jesus Christ, his grace and love, makes us fire proof.    Whatever this life throws at us, it will not burn us up because Jesus protects us from the fire by transforming what was meant for bad for good.

This is why the Hebrew boys came out of the fire without any signs of being burned or a scent of smoke.

If Chaka Khan is willing to go through the fire for her lover, surely we go through the fire for our Savior, and the good news is he is with us through the fire.     The songwriter said it best, “I’ve seen the lightening flash.  I’ve heard the thunder roll.  I have felt sin’s breakers dashing trying to conqueror my soul.  I heard the voice of my Savior, Telling me still to fight on, He promised never to leave me, never to leave me alone.

Go on through the fire with Jesus Christ.