Summary: Sometimes we are called to suffer or carry on difficult issues and situation and although we ask and plead with God to remove those situations his response is always the same, "My Grace is Sufficient for You" We must learn to once again trust completely i
A Thorn in the flesh
2 Corinthians 12:7-10 - July 19, 2009
Captain Moy Hernandez, Jr.
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. Concerning this thing I pleaded with the Lord three times that it might depart from me. And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong. (This is God’s word and we believe it!)
There can be no doubt the apostle speaks of himself.
The apostle gives an account of the method God took to keep him humble, and to prevent his being lifted up above measure, on account of the visions and revelations he had.
We are not told what this thorn in the flesh was, whether some great trouble, or some great temptation. But God often brings good out of evil even when the enemy means it for evil in our lives.
If God loves us
Now this thorn in the flesh is said to be a messenger of Satan which he sent for evil; but God designed it, allowed it and overruled it for good. Think of this, prayer is relieve for every sore, a remedy for every difficulty; and when we are afflicted with thorns in the flesh, we should give ourselves completely to prayer.
If an answer is not given to the first prayer, nor to the second, we are to continue praying. Troubles are sent to teach us to pray; to teach us to depend and trust on God more than on ourselves and they are meant to remind us to remain in prayer.
Though God accepts the prayer of faith, yet he does not always give what is asked for. As he sometimes grants in wrath, so he sometimes denies in love. When God does not take away our troubles and temptations, yet, if he gives grace enough for us, we have no reason to complain.
Grace signifies the good-will of God towards us, and that is enough to enlighten and enliven us, sufficient to strengthen and comfort in all afflictions and distresses. After all His strength is made perfect in our weakness!
Therefore his grace is manifested and magnified. When we are weak in ourselves, then we are strong in the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ; when we feel that we are weak in ourselves, then we go to Christ, receive strength from him, and enjoy best the supplies of Divine strength and grace. But we must recognize this weaken condition of ours and the need for it instead of denying it in our lives.
By the wise and gracious providence of God. A thorn in the flesh - A visitation more painful than any thorn sticking in the flesh. A messenger or angel of Satan to pummel me says Paul- Perhaps both visibly and invisibly; and the word in the original expresses the present, as well as the past, time.
All kinds of affliction had befallen the apostle. Yet none of those did he denounce. But here he speaks of one, as above all the rest, one that crushed him with weakness, and by the pain and humiliation of it prevented his being lifted up mere, or, at least, not less, than the most passionate head ache could have done; which many of the ancients say he labored under.
Paul seems to have had a fresh fear of these buffetings every moment, when he so frequently represses himself in his boasting, though it was extorted from him by the utmost necessity.
But God said to the apostle in answer to his third request. My grace is sufficient for you - How tender a resistance on God’s part! We see there may be grace where there is the quickest sense of pain.
My spiritual strength is better displayed by the weakness of the instrument (we are the instruments). Therefore I will glory in my weaknesses rather than my revelations, that the strength of Christ may rest upon me. In other words don’t boast in your action but let your faith reflect your actions and God will boast for you!
The Greek word properly means, may cover me all over like a tent. We ought most willingly to accept whatever tends to this end, however contrary to flesh and blood.