A Thorn (5)

So to keep me from becoming conceited because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations, a thorn was given me in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to harass me, to keep me from becoming conceited.  Three times I pleaded with the Lord about this, that it should leave me.  But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, my power is made perfect in weakness, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.  For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities.  For when I am weak, then I am strong.                    2 Cor 12:7-10

Paul speaks with an honesty that is refreshing.  After all, if Paul can have harassment, trouble, and hardship, what makes you and I immune?  It’s also encouraging to know that Paul found God to be silent and eventually to hear that God wouldn’t remove Paul’s trouble(s).  Yesterday, we were challenged with seeing those troubles as opportunities for growth rather than things that destroy or damage us.

It’s at this point that Paul speaks of being strong – but only after realizing he’s weak.  He’s weak on his own; however, when he perceives God moving in tough times, Paul is encouraged.  There’s nothing to big for God.  God is not surprised by anything and has our best interest at heart.  Regardless of what might come in our lives, God has our back.  That’s encouraging.  That’s empowering.  That’s good news.  And it’s a promise God wants us to realize.  His power is made perfect.  He wants to humble us.  It’s only then that He will be exalted.  Be blessed!

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5 Responses to “A Thorn (5)”

  1. Diane Chilson Says:

    I really want to listen to what Paul says, his message through his intense suffering tends to get ones attention! In prison facing possible execution and yet he sends this message in Philippians 4:4-7

    4 Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice. 5 Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; 6 do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. 7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

    We want to say … ” are you kidding” when trouble or pain in our own lives is a heavy burden! ( I sure can cry like a baby) but I have to say, I really want to have a relationship with God like that of Paul’s in times of trouble! What a blessing Paul’s example can be when we are heavily burdened.

    It can be a great relief to know that Gods plan surpasses ours in times of pain and trouble, Understanding that we are not in control has benefits! And to know that God is bigger than our problems is a great relief!

    Thank you Mike for teaching us how Big God is!

  2. “Understanding that we are not in control has benefits!” Yes, yes, yes!!!

  3. nmpreach, Thanks for this. I think it helps me to see all of this in terms of mission. In a sense we all have that same calling that was given to Paul, to proclaim and live out the kingdom of God in Jesus, and that together. So it helps me to consider that when thinking on this passage.

    • Missional is definitely something Paul, and you and I are called to Ted. And it’s good to be reminded that struggles or suffering comes when we’re doing what God has called us to. Thanks for reading!

  4. Leah Alexander Says:

    I feel the same way as that passage every day. My choices sometimes makes others think I’m weak. I know; however, that I’m actually strong because it is the Lord who has blessed me with the things I have at this very moment.

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