Thorn in the Flesh

This was probably a physical condition that God permitted Satan to afflict on Paul to keep him humble as he was receiving many spiritual revelations; however, there is no direct mention as to what this ailment was. Three times Paul begged God to remove it, but the answer each time was “No, my grace is sufficient for you; my power is displayed best through human frailty or weakness’’ (2 Cor 12:7-10). The Lord was more concerned with building Paul’s character and preventing pride, so gave Paul more overwhelming grace and more compensating strength. Situations like this require greater dependency on the Lord as we are easily discouraged. Job endured terrible circumstances yet was able to glorify God.  How do I respond to a pain or irritation that God, in His wisdom and love, does not remove from my life?  Do I let it work for or against me and co-operate with God for allowing it?

It is of utmost importance to discern and clarify the mind of God (His will) as whether was is causing you continual annoyance is an issue that we need to come against in Jesus name, breaking its influence and overcome or is it something that although we would not naturally choose it, this is something that God can utilise for our good and His glory. Joseph acknowledged his experience although intended by his evil brother to harm him, God turned around for good (Gen 50:20). It is essential to have the divine perspective on the issues in our lives. If we are released from this trial rejoice in Christ, if it something we have as an ongoing challenge it is essential to maintain a right attitude that we are His children and He has our best interest at heart. So regardless if the 'thorn' we struggle with is physical, emotional, or spiritual, we can be sure that God has a purpose for it and that His grace is all-sufficient as we allow it to develop His character in us.

Jesus said, “If anyone wants to be my disciple they are to deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me” (Mt 16:24; Lk 14:27). Although a cross is not something we would naturally choose, it is that which will bring about death to the self-life so we can live more as Christ would have us do.

   I choose to love you God regardless                                             – Habakkuk 3:17,18

At salvation we gave our lives to Him, and it is His right to decide the path we travel and the various experiences of life which are all designed to bring us into conformity to Christ (Rom 8:28,29).

See also: challenge, character, cross, fruit (spiritual), God's will, grace, irritation, perspective.



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