"It is incredibly encouraging to realize that the Bible addresses the world as we know it. God makes it very clear that he understands the Heat we face every day. It isn't always pleasant to read the honest stories of Scripture, but it is comforting. We realize that we will never face an experience, no matter how dark or difficult, that would be a shock to our God. The hope and help God offers his children reflect his knowledge of the full range of human experience..."
"Life on earth is a wilderness. Each day we face unexpected difficulties, and even blessings knock us off our path! In it all, God works to expose, change, and mature us. He has not forgotten you or the promises he made to you. He has not left you to the limits of your power and wisdom. In ways that are glorious, yet often hard to understand, God is in your Heat. He calls you to turn from questioning him to examine yourself. Where do you question his goodness, grace, and love? Where do you toy with the idea of going back to "Egypt"? When do you neglect daily Bible study and worship? Where do you struggle with anger, envy, disappointment, and blame.?"
-How People Change, Paul David Tripp and Tim Lane
One of the most helpful things I've learned in the past few years is this concept of Heat and Thorns/Fruit. We all face Heat in a variety of ways. While the Heat can be difficult, it does not dictate our response to it. It only reveals what is already inside. Heat has a way of doing that. But what has been even more encouraging to me is that God is in my Heat. He has ordained my Heat. He has promised to sanctify me in my Heat. And he will bring me through it. I am not left to myself and my own sinful responses. I have a God who is there and who will never leave me or forsake me. If you are struggling with lasting, biblical change in your life (like me), this book is so helpful in identifying sin and providing hope for change. It was an encouragement to my soul.