Working Amid Thorns and Thistles

Sam Petitfils

“For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us. For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God. For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of him who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to corruption and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now” Romans 8:18-22

Most of us long for things, whether material or immaterial.  Some wish they had true peace in their lives, or freedom from stress and anxious care.  Others crave material wealth or fame, and a life of ease and prosperity. But in seeking these things, we seem always to come up short.  Even when people obtain their wildest dream, they live to witness their dream dashed upon the rocks of life.

Why:

The Bible reveals early on the source of man’s problems: sin, and the curse associated with it.  Man sinned and disobeyed God, and so God cursed man and his environment (the “ground”), see Genesis 3:16-19.  Thereafter, man would obtain the necessities of life only through toil and hardship.  Such conditions prevail today, and we long for conditions to change.

In the passage above from Romans, the Apostle Paul echoes this desire to be free from turmoil and pain.  It is a holy desire.  He identifies two places: our human bodies and the earth itself.  One day, our bodies will resemble Christ’s own glorious body (Philippians 3:21), and one day God will renew this earth in perfection, removing the curse altogether (Revelation 21:1-4; 2 Peter 3:10).  Then God will permanently remove the curse (Revelation 22:3).

So the source of our discontent does not reside in something we need to pump up our lifestyle, but in conditions brought upon us by sin.  What is the remedy for sin?  Jesus Christ and His glorious work on the cross frees our souls and places us on a course of blessing, peace and contentment.  When people turn form their sin and embrace Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, God releases them from the chains of restless discontent.  In Christ they have found the answer.

Child of God, look with hope to the reward Christ brings with Him to all who wait for Him (Revelation 22:12). We have not been completely delivered yet, for we still struggle with sin and live in a world crippled by sin’s effects.  But, soon, God will rescue us from sin’s tyranny, and usher in a permanent abode of peace, security, joy and eternal triumph.  On the other hand, do not look for any solutions outside of Christ.  Man on his own tends to complicate things with his attempts at ingenuity and problem solving.  He forever comes up short. Let’s look to Christ, “who abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel” (2 Timothy 1:10).  We need not look elsewhere, nor should we wonder why people fail at attempts to create a perfect life, the life of their dreams.  We already know that cannot be realized in this life, but God can change many things within us, and grant us peace, hope and joy amid an otherwise restless existence.  Look to Him who will make all things new at His return, and let’s live for Him until He does return, bringing His reward with Him.

 

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