Joy

In the

Furnace
By Debbie Guinn

Copyright ©2009.

Scripture taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1960,1962,1963,1968,1971,1972,1973,1975,1977,1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission. Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 Biblica. Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved. "Scripture taken from The Message. Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002. Used by permission of NavPress Publishing Group."

Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. James 1:2-4 (NASB)

Dedicated to my dear friend, Sandy Millen… A true example of what it means to have joy in the furnace.

Contents
Introduction 6 Study Format 7 ………………………………………………………………… …………………………………………………………………

WEEK ONE: 9 WEEK TWO: 25 WEEK THREE: 45 WEEK FOUR: 65 WEEK FIVE: 85 WEEK SIX: 109

Principle 1 - The Furnace is Inevitable Principle 2 - God is Always with Me in The Furnace Principle 3 - God Sets Me Free in The Furnace Principle 4 - God Heals—Not Harms—Me In The Furnace Principle 5 - God Works His Perfection in The Furnace Principle 6 - God Receives All the Glory through The Furnace

Group Discussion Questions 133

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Introduction
March 2007. Once again, I found myself celebrating the debilitating effects of Multiple Sclerosis. Yes, I said celebrating. To be more specific, I was having a colossal pity party. “But God, I have so much to do, and everything takes so much effort. Even the simplest of tasks are impossible. I don’t think I can take much more of this.” No one, not my family or friends could help me. I felt afraid and lonely, just wanting it all to end. My circumstances overwhelmed me, and I was desperate to find peace. To put it bluntly, I was sick of being sick. I opened my Bible to the book of Daniel, to the story of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, who miraculously survived a literal fiery furnace. The more I studied, the more I considered my own furnace. God began speaking to my heart, revealing what He does in and through the flames of my own trials. Yes, I believe that all trials—yours and mine—serve as tools in God’s master plan for our lives. While I was unable to do much physically, God did plenty spiritually. He taught me how to be truly thankful for trials, rather than simply choosing to be happy in spite of them. I discovered it is possible to rejoice—yes, even get excited—about the toughest, most painful of trials. Recently, I heard Beth Moore comment on writing Bible studies. She explained that she writes what she finds interesting as she studies God’s Word, hoping that others will find it interesting as well. That is exactly why I have written, Joy In The Furnace. Studying God’s Word excites me, and I simply cannot wait to share the truths God shared with me, praying they will benefit all—including you—who find themselves in their own fiery furnace. Father, I praise You. May You alone be glorified through the words and message of this study. And may each one who makes the journey through these pages find strength and encouragement as they drink from the Living Water of Your Word.

Study Format
Joy In The Furnace is a six-week study. Each week is divided into five days of homework containing four different focus sections: • DAY ONE: Principles of the Furnace (by weekly topic) This section is primarily reading on your part, where each week you will discover each of the six joy producing principles found in the story of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. • DAY TWO: Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego’s Furnace This section contains a review and application of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego’s furnace. You will examine their story and ponder thoughts concerning their experience. • DAY THREE: Others in the Furnace This section shows how each principle is exemplified in the lives of others throughout the Word. The primary purpose is to reinforce each principle as demonstrated by more than just three men in the fiery furnace. Secondarily, this section will challenge you to dig into the Word of God, developing a deeper love for studying the Bible. • DAY FOUR: A Deeper Look at Others in the Furnace This section continues our journey through God’s Word, identifying each principle with those from Scripture who encountered the furnace. Your

study of the Word will lead you to understand that these principles are not only reserved for men and women of the Bible, but also hold true for you. • DAY FIVE: My Personal Furnace This section will take the truths you have learned and apply them to your own personal furnace(s). As you honestly work through these questions— with your Father—you will find true, lasting joy in your furnace.

* Group Discussion Questions are located at the back of the book. They are meant to stimulate meaningful discussion. It is my hope that the focus of discussion groups would be on sharing, praying for and ministering to each other regarding current furnace experiences.

WEEK ONE

The Furnace is Inevitable
I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. John 16:33a (NIV)