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Forged in the Flames

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God uses the hardest times in our life to make us who we need to be

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Israelites in captivity
Nebuchadnezzar sets up golden image of himself
The three boys are betrayed

The Source of Their Trial

Though many of us have seen pictures of a huge eagle's nest high in the branches of a tree or in the crag of a cliff, few of us have gotten a glimpse inside. When a mother eagle builds her nest she starts with thorns, broken branches, sharp rocks, and a number of other items that seem entirely unsuitable for the project. But then she lines the nest with a thick padding of wool, feathers, and fur from animals she has killed, making it soft and comfortable for the eggs. By the time the growing birds reach flying age, the comfort of the nest and the luxury of free meals make them quite reluctant to leave. That's when the mother eagle begins "stirring up the nest." With her strong talons she begins pulling up the thick carpet of fur and feathers, bringing the sharp rocks and branches to the surface. As more of the bedding gets plucked up, the nest becomes more uncomfortable for the young eagles. Eventually, this and other urgings prompt the growing eagles to leave their once-comfortable abode and move on to more mature behavior.
Deciding something was wrong, the man took scissors and snipped the remaining bit of cocoon. The moth emerged easily, its body large and swollen, the wings small and shriveled.
He expected that in a few hours the wings would spread out in their natural beauty, but they did not. Instead of developing into a creature free to fly, the moth spent its life dragging around a swollen body and shriveled wings.
The constricting cocoon and the struggle necessary to pass through the tiny opening are God's way of forcing fluid from the body into the wings. The "merciful" snip was, in reality, cruel. Sometimes the struggle is exactly what we need.
Isaiah 48:10
Isaiah 48:10 KJV 1900
Behold, I have refined thee, but not with silver; I have chosen thee in the furnace of affliction.
Their situation wasn’t a punishment
They were already in a good place
God wanted to move them deeper
How they handled their trial determined what their outcome was
Others were affected by how they acted

Peter’s low point

Peter didn’t become the man in Acts until the fish on the cliff
He was at the lowest point of his life
God used the trial to move him towards who he needed to be
Peter’s situation was partly his own doing
He was convinced he could only be a fisherman
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