"Thorns" are presented as a normal part of living. The first thorn appeared in Paradise when Adam and Eve had to decide to have faith in God and eat from the Tree of Life or listen to their hearts and eat from the Tree of Knowledge. After their "fall" God said that thorns would grow and would be a new addition to their world (Genesis 3:18). Literal thorns would grow in the grow and metaphorically thorns are be a part of our world.
These thorns originate in varying ways. God placed a thorn in Adam and Eve's life. It is the thorn of decision - to have faith in God or not. It was hard for Adam and Eve (read the opening verses of Genesis 3) and it is hard for us. Jesus taught the 12 and they had to try to understand. Jesus described them as hard hearted, dull and even little of faith (Matthew 14-15). The decision of faith is a "thorny" issue. Faith is an invisible entity (Hebrews 11:1). It requires believing in an invisible God and believing in a Savior we have not seen. For we humans, embracing an invisible reality is "thorny." It requires much of us to believe. Beyond belief itself God introduces "thorny" issues like telling Abram he would have a son when he was old and Sarai was barren (Romans 4). Read all of the trials Paul faced in 2 Corinthians 12 (especially his "thorn in the flesh). God's thorns are never sinful or a temptation to sin but they are indeed throny for us who choose to believe. Call them trials, hardships or sufferings but here I call them thorns. God issues them and if we are to see Him one day with them we must deal. Then there is the thorn of a "groaning" world and the thorns created by the Liar and people who live for him. Comments coming on those next. foree