Illustration: The Fire
H. A. Ironside told the story of pioneers who were making their way across one of the central states to a distant place that had been opened up for homesteading. They traveled in covered wagons drawn by oxen, and progress was necessarily slow. One day they were horrified to note a long line of smoke in the west, stretching for miles across the prairie, and soon it was evident that the dried grass was burning fiercely and coming toward them rapidly. They had crossed a river the day before but it would be impossible to go back to that before the flames would be upon them. One man only seemed to have understanding as to what could be done.
He gave the command to set fire to the grass behind them. Then when a space was burned over, the whole company moved back upon it.
As the flames roared on toward them from the west, a little girl cried out in terror, “Are you sure we shall not all be burned up?” The leader replied, “My child, the flames cannot reach us here, for we are standing where the fire has been!”
What a picture of the believer, who is safe in Christ!
On Him Almighty vengeance fell,
Which would have sunk a world to hell.
He bore it for a chosen race,
And thus becomes our Hiding Place.
The fires of God’s judgment burned themselves out on Him, and all who are in Christ are safe forever, for they are now standing where the fire has been.
(Illustrations of Bible Truth by H. A. Ironside, Moody Press, 1945, pp. 34-35)
From Matthew Kratz’ Sermon "But It’s Not Fair: Unjust Suffering"
Related Sermon Illustrations
Contributed by Eric Olson on Nov 12, 2002
“Wisdom is the God-given ability to perceive the true nature of a matter and implement the will of God in ...read more
Contributed by Paul Decker on Nov 19, 2002
A small storeowner was being pressured to sell his store to the owners of a large department store who had bought every building on the block, except his. Frustrated by the man’s refusal to sell, they eventually opened their huge store on either side of the small one, with a big banner running ...read more
Contributed by Jim Luthy on Nov 12, 2002
A.W. Tozer wrote, "Revivals come only to those who want them badly enough. The problem is not to persuade God to fill us, but to want God sufficiently to permit him to do so. The average Christian is so cold and so contented with his wretched condition that there is no vacuum of ...read more
Contributed by Donnie Martin on Nov 11, 2002
Waiting for God is not laziness. Waiting for God is not going to sleep. Waiting for God is not the abandonment of effort. Waiting for God means, first, activity under command; second, readiness for any new command that may come; ...read more
Contributed by Billy Kryger on Nov 11, 2002
Poem: Praise The Lord Praise Him when the sun is shining, When the winds of trouble blow, When you see no silver lining, On the clouds that hand so low. Praise illumines clouds of sorrow, Turns the gray skies into gold, Giving promise of a ‘morrow Bright with blessings ...read more
Contributed by Chris Jordan on Apr 27, 2008
Even though the Christian life is primarily characterized by abundant life and joy, there are seasons where the Lord allows us to go through dark valleys. It is often during those wilderness times that we encounter God, and our faith is strengthened.