Summary: Paul really tries to get his readers to understand that there is a danger of thinking too much of ourselves
I’m not sure who said this but it really says a lot.
"My God, I have never thanked Thee for my thorn. I have thanked Thee a thousand times for my roses, but not once for my thorn. I have been looking forward to a world where I shall get compensation for my cross; but I have never thought of my cross as itself a present glory. Teach me the glory of my cross; teach me the value of my thorn. Show me that I have climbed to Thee by the path of pain. Show me that my tears have made my rainbows."
According to verse 2 Paul had been keeping a secret for 14 years.
Paul has had one of the most supernatural experiences man could ever have but he never told anyone.
We all know those who just can’t wait to tell everything because they want to be seen as super important…
Paul relished this event but never shared it because he didn’t want to be put in the same category with those who love to brag about what God is doing.
It seems that some of Paul’s critics had been saying things about Paul…behind his back…
They felt that Paul was not spiritual enough because he had not been having the same vision and revelations that they had been having…Paul was having them, just not bragging about them.
Too many want the credit that belongs to the Lord and Paul simply wanted the credit to go to the Lord…
The first six verses of our passage, Paul really tries to get his readers to understand that there is a danger of thinking too much of ourselves
In verse seven Paul tells us that God gave him a reminder “I am God and you are not”
Is there a thorn in your flesh?…a pain in the neck that you are dealing with?
Paul gives us three reasons why God would refuse to remove those thorns.
1. v7 God was keeping Paul from becoming proud:
Paul needed to know the same thing you and I must know.
I am no better than any other person…“Holier than thou”
Paul was reminded of his constant dependency on God…he could not depend on his own power…status…friends…
2. v9 God was revealing His Power to Paul:
a. The weaker the vessel the more God receives glory in that vessel…
b. God is all I need…God’s Power…His strength is sufficient to see us through any danger we may face…His grace is all we need to see us through the thorns of life…
c. God’s strength is made perfect or works best when I am at my weakest.
When we are self-sufficient, we don’t need God.
When I am weak, God can demonstrate His strength best…because I have nothing else to give…can’t depend on my own strength…
The weaker I am the more God can demonstrate how strong He is…
Why did Paul say that he would rather brag about his own weakness?
It was so the power of Christ could work through him…God will not waste His power where is is not wanted or welcomed…
3. v10 We must learn to live for Christ:
When the weak times come…when the suffering comes, Christ is able to impart His power…His strength into the believer and overcome his/her weakness…thorn.
SO WE ARE TO GET EXCITED OVER THE INFIRMATIES WE FACE? Yea right!
Paul said that he took pleasure in his…
a. The word “infirmities” as used here means “all kinds of sufferings and weaknesses…moral or physical.”
b. Also in insults, hardships, persecutions, and troubles of all kinds…when people spread rumors…slander…keep living for Christ and don’t give in.
When I get out of Gods’ way…when Stand in weakness before Him, the strength that fills me is unspeakable.
Isa 41:10NLT Don't be afraid, for I am with you. Don't be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand.
Isa 40:31NLT But those who trust in the LORD will find new strength. They will soar high on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint.