Thorn In The Flesh - Christian Daily Devotions

June 10 2006

Thorn In The Flesh - Verse of the Day : And lest I should be exalted above measure by the abundance of the revelations, a thorn in the flesh was given to me, a messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I be exalted above measure.
-2 Corinthians 12:7

Daily Bible Reading Plan

Morning : 2 Corinthians 12

Evening : 1 Chronicles 17-18

Thorn In The Flesh

God gave Paul deep and intimate spiritual experiences. In 2 Corinthians 12:1-6, He was taken into the third heaven--the throne room of God. He was given a vision of heaven.

Divine encounters like Paul's will change a person's life. Though we walk by faith and not by sight, nonetheless, we must ask God for greater spiritual encounters with Him and visions of the heavenly realms.

However, despite Paul's "abundance of revelations," a thorn in the flesh was given to him. Who or what is this thorn in the flesh?

Some theologians speculate that it might be a constant opposition by some men to hinder his ministry or to discourage him. Some think that it could be a recurring physical infirmity such as poor eyesight or epilepsy. The former seems more probable because in the Old Testament, human enemies are often called "thorns in your sides" (Num. 33:55).

Paul prayed three times for deliverance and relief. He wanted God to remove the thorn in the flesh because it bothered and hurt him. It was distracting him from doing his work and made him physically weak. However, God did not take away the thorn even after Paul had prayed three times for God to remove it. Why did God allow this thorn to torment him?

June 10 - Thorn In The Flesh - Christian Daily Devotions

Firstly, God wanted to guard against Paul from being puffed up (2 Cor. 12:7). This thron was to keep Paul in the fact that he was no better than other men. There was a danger that he might think too highly of himself because of his many revelations of God and heaven.

Secondly, God wanted to reveal His power in Paul. He said to Paul, "My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness" (12:9). The weaker the vessel God has chosen, the more God is glorified when the vessel begins to do great things for God.

Thirdly, God wanted to teach Paul to live "for Christ's sake" (12:10). When the apostle Paul was struggling from his weakness, it gave Jesus the chance to infuse power into him and to overcome the weakness for him. Paul's weakness gave Jesus a chance to prove Himself strong.

Hence, Paul said that he took "pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses" (12:10). The power of Jesus often comes to you when you are at your lowest, your weakest. So, when you are at your weakest, you can also be at your strongest in Christ Jesus!

June 10 - Thorn In The Flesh - Christian Daily Devotions

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