Thorns are part of the Christian experience. Just like the pathway to our destinations in life are not always straight. There are often curves, mountains, valleys or seas to cross before making it to any intended destination. Likewise, in Christianity, the path to spiritual growth and making heaven eventually is fraught with different challenges. Just as purified gold cannot come without consistent exposure to fire – temptations and trials are the spiritual tests and examinations to proof believers’ worth on earth and in heaven.
Sadly, many misconstrue what Christianity is all about. To millions of devotees, Christianity is a bed of roses – that it’s bye to the devil and the challenges of life. Jesus however had this to say in Mathew 13:20-21. “The seed falling on rocky ground refers to someone who hears the word and at once receives it with joy. But since they have no root, they last only a short time. When trouble or persecution comes because of the word, they quickly fall away.
Hence, as Christians we can’t possibly avoid trials and temptations even if we wanted to. Just like gold, we must pass through the fire, like Malachi 3:3 says. “He will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver; he will purify the Levites and refine them like gold and silver. Then the Lord will have men who will bring offerings in righteousness.
The Test of Faith
Until we’re tested, tried and overstretched beyond measure without drifting or bending our stand for Jesus, we can’t boast of being there yet. In 1 Corinthians 1:8 and 4:16-18 Paul said, “For we would not, brethren, have you ignorant of our trouble which came to us in Asia, that we were pressed out of measure, above strength, insomuch that we despaired even of life.
If we don’t have thorny issues, life and heart trying situations, how then will we know our spiritual worth? If we can bear and pass the tests the devil often throw at us through rebellious children, stubbornly minded and uncooperative spouse, denial of our right to promotion, car and housing benefits and others without loosing our temper angrily. Or threatening to fight, only then can we claim to be serious about making it to the believers’ final destination (heaven). (Matthew 5:8, Hebrews 12-14)
How can we overcome when faced with perplexing situations?
We’ll be better able to bear thorny situations when:
- We affectionately seek a better country (heaven). This will help us bear the thorns of life and endure till the very end. (Hebrews 3:14)
- We don’t look at the mountainous problems but at the Jesus who is bigger than any challenge life can throw at us.
- We simply walk away to quench the burning heat around us when we’re faced with temptation. (Leviticus 10:1-3)
- We distant ourselves from taking ungodly counsels.
- We declare war in the place of prayer against demonic thorns robbing us of our peace, joy and fulfillment.
Finally, we would overcome life’s thorns and thistles when we make the decision to make heaven by all scriptural means.