20 February 2018
Do you have a "thorn in your flesh?" Is it causing you a lot of pain and aggravation? I imagine most of us have read Paul's account of the thorn in his side, but I wonder if we appreciated the lesson he taught us in that account.
Grab your Bible and open it to 2 Corinthians 12. Paul begins the chapter by sharing a revelation from God given to him 14 years previously. He continues by saying because he had been given so many revelations from God he had also been given a "thorn in the flesh" from a messenger of Satan (12:7). Notice how he describes receiving this thorn. He doesn't say it was a infliction, or a curse, or a punishment; he said it was given to him. It was given to him to keep him humble or from "exalting himself." He tried three times to have the Lord remove this "thorn" so no doubt it was causing him pain. There are many speculations regarding what the "thorn" was. Some say it was physical - like gout, or malaria, or poor eyesight. Others claim it was more emotional such as guilt, or frustration. With all the speculation, one thing is certain - we don't know what it was.
Here is what I want us to see. Read verse 9. The Lord said, "My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness." Then Paul tells us, "Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me." Paul had seen the third heaven, had the Lord assure him He would be with when he spoke before the authorities, and had seen a man from Macedonia pleading for him to come there. But rather than boast about his relationship with the Lord, he rejoices in his weaknesses.
Tomorrow, I plan to expound on this a little more. But for know, just reflect on your weaknesses. Can you rejoice in them. Do you think God has given these to you to humble you and depend on Him for strength?