When we think of Paul, we think of the man who wrote a good part of the New Testament, made three missionary journeys, and was always successful.
That is partially true. God revealed to Paul things He revealed to no one else. Paul was concerned about pride. God needed a humble servant, always looking upward. So God also put Paul in various positions so he would have to rely completely on God.
Second Corinthians 12:7-10 explains how God humbled Paul. Then Paul’s reaction.
“And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure.8 For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me.9 And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.10 Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.” (2 Corinthians 12:7-10)
The thorn in the flesh was used to keep Paul humble. After God chose not to take it away, how did Paul react? He praised God. He gloried Him in his infirmities. He took pleasure in his infirmities, reproaches, necessities, persecutions, and distresses for Christ’s sake. God’s grace was sufficient for Paul and is sufficient for us.
God wants His children to be obedient and humble. He will put us in positions so that we must trust in Him. Will we choose to be humble and walk with God or not? How will we respond when God gives us a thorn in the flesh?
Tom Stearns, WASI Chaplain, 907 715-4001