Hello blessed one of God, I hope you’re fine by God’s grace.
As I’ve shared with some of you lately, I have an issue which I am trying to deal with but the more I fail at succeeding once and for all, the more I get discouraged. I call this issue my “thorn in the flesh”.
That’s probably why today, The Spirit of The Lord directed my heart to the passage on Paul’s thorn in the flesh.
So, this message is directed to anyone who right now isn’t at his/her best. To someone who’s fighting something and who’s still not succeeding, to someone who’s struggling with sin and who really wants to serve God, to someone who’s battling depression/addiction or any health condition which makes them feel like giving up.
2 Corinthians 12:7‭-‬10 NLT

So to keep me from becoming proud, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger from Satan to torment me and keep me from becoming proud. Three different times I begged the Lord to take it away. Each time he said, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me. That’s why I take pleasure in my weaknesses, and in the insults, hardships, persecutions, and troubles that I suffer for Christ. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

So Paul is a servant of The Lord, he loves God and God has clearly shown him lots of wonderful things. God has been with him in the good and the bad moments, in the joy and in the pain, and right now, Paul is dealing with something he can’t control.
We do not know exactly what Paul’s thorn in the flesh is, it may be a physical condition, it may be a specific sin he is wrestling with (people don’t agree on this) etc. All we know about his issue is that it wasn’t any thing impossible to be solved by God a.k.a God could have solved Paul’s problem
Matthew 19:26 NIV

Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”

Paul did all that had to be done, he was going through a difficult situation and he asked for God’s help. Though he didn’t have an instantaneous solution he kept on praying (He insisted). He asked with faith. He did everything which was required to obtain a miracle.
Matthew 7:7 NIV

“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.

However, God didn’t answer Paul as Paul expected to be answered, and in the rest of this post we’ll get to understand why.

1. The Thorn is a Gift and it Serves a Purpose

2 Corinthians 12:7b NLT

So to keep me from becoming proud, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger from Satan to torment me and keep me from becoming proud.

The thorn is a gift. It may not look like one but it is one. It may not feel like one but it is one.
The devil may think he is using it to torture you, but in reality God is using all this to protect you from falling into something else.
In Paul’s case, the purpose of the thorn was to prevent him from becoming proud.
How about your case? Or my case ?

  • Has God permitted the mental disease to prevent you from mocking others who have one?
  • Has God permitted your fall because you were already getting proud ?
  • Has God permitted the period of drought to prevent you from becoming indifferent to others’ needs?

It is on purpose that you were given a thorn in the flesh.

2. God’s Response May Not match my Expectation

Paul’s facing something really disturbing for him, and Paul wants to be free from it in order to continue his life as a Christian normally.
This isn’t something Paul lived with before but it’s something he has to deal with now, and it’s definitely not comfortable.
Paul knows that God is God, that all things are possible to Him, that every knee bows down to The Name of Jesus, thus his thorn in the flesh will have to bow down to Him.
When Paul begs God to take the thorn away, Paul’s expectation is for God to take the thorn away, but , that’s not what God did.
2 Corinthians 12:8‭-‬9 NIV

Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in weakness.”

Paul expected God to take the thorn away but God didn’t take the thorn away. Why?

3. At Times God Will Speak to The Believer, Not The Storm

To teach Paul what He wanted to teach him, God needed Paul to have a thorn in the flesh.
Paul was a Pharisee, he had learned all his life to respect the law in order to please God, all his life before he became a Christian had been about what he could do for God, about his strength about his ability to please God.
Paul had been a Christian for a good period of time, and God had now found it useful to teach something new to Paul. This time around it wouldn’t be Paul’s strength which God would use it would be Paul’s weakness.
To put it in another way, this time Paul was going to be weak so that God would be strong.
This time, Paul would be obliged to rely on God’s strength, on God’s grace, on God’s power.
This time around Paul would learn to receive from God and not to give to Him.
This time around God was going to be strong for Paul, God was going to be perfect for Paul, God was going to be Paul’s source.
What God wanted to teach Paul through that was to rely on Him.
Some of us, love to have control over every single aspect of our lives. Fortunately for us, God permits difficult times, God permits thorns in the flesh so hat we will have no control and so that we will learn to rely on Him.
2 Corinthians 12:9‭-‬10 NIV

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

This is what Paul had to learn. He had to learn to rely on God for strength.
That’s why our challenge this week will be this.

  • When your spouse will annoy you, ask God to teach you forgiveness and patience
  • When you’ll feel weak again, ask God to be your strength
  • When you’ll feel sick/ like you have no control over your health, ask God to be your health
  • When you’ll feel depressed ask God to be your joy
  • When you’ll feel tired, ask God to be your energy

Everything you are not, ask God to be it for you.
Perhaps your thorn in the flesh has the sole purpose to make you take your mind off yourself and put it on God, for Him to be your ultimate Source.
Father Lord God Almighty, I thank You so much for making me realize today that the difficult seasons in my life are a gift which You use to protect me from pride and to instruct me. As from today, I choose to rely on You to be my strength when I am weak, my peace when I am anxious, my glory when I am unworthy, my source when I am needy, my supply, in Jesus Christ’s Name. Amen.
Thank you so much for reading.
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God bless you so much.
Victoria Eyog


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