“In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.” —John 16:33
Sometimes the “thorns” in our lives are little splinters and sometimes they’re huge. Whatever their size, how can thorns be a blessing—these things that pierce you, pain you, and press in on you?
One of the Greek words in the New Testament that’s used for affliction is thlipsis.8 It means “to press together” as you would squeeze grapes to get juice. It’s a word that refers to affliction and distress. Whether the distress is from outward circumstances or from within our own hearts, we need to come to see thorns and afflictions from God’s perspective and to discover His purposes.
And He does have a purpose. We have a redeeming God who is in the process of making all things new. The fact that He is doing that doesn’t exempt us from having to experience difficulties, but it does give us hope. It gives us something to look forward to in the future, because we have God’s promise that one day there will be a world with no thorns.
8 “G2347 - Thlipsis - Strong’s Greek Lexicon (KJV),” Blue Letter Bible, accessed July 20, 2021, https://www.blueletterbible.org/lexicon/ g2347/kjv/tr/0-1/.
Make it Personal
Ask God to help you see the “thorns” in your life from His perspective.