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Summary: WHEN GOD ALLOWS OR CAUSES US TO GO THROUGH PAINFUL THINGS THAT ACTUALLY BENEFIT US MORE IN THE LONG RUN THAN THE GOOD THINGS.

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THE MINISTRY OF THORNS VS.

THE MINISTRY OF THRONES

*** The Gospel and the gift of God are structured so wonderfully that the very enemies and forces that are marshaled to fight against us actually help pave our way to success.

*** Those forces can be used the same way an eagle uses the fierce winds of a storm to soar to the sky.

*** If you have ever seen a storm on a mountain, you know it to be an awesome experience. ( My first was Pikes Peak in Colorado).

*** At first he sits perfectly still, calmly watching the sky as it fills with darkness and as the lightning strikes all around him.

*** Yet he never moves until he feels the burst of the storm, and then with a screech he dives toward the winds, using them to carry him ever higher.

2 Cor 12:7-10

7 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.

(KJV)

1325 didomi (did’-o-mee); Given…

a prolonged form of a primary verb (which is used as an altern. in most of the tenses); to give (used in a very wide application, properly, or by implication, literally or figuratively; greatly modified by the connection):

KJV-- adventure, bestow, bring forth, commit, deliver (up), give, grant, hinder, make, minister, number, offer, have power, put, receive, set, shew, smite (+with the hand), strike (+with the palm of the hand), suffer, take, utter, yield.

2852 kolaphizo (kol-af-id’-zo); Buffet…

from a derivative of the base of 2849; to rap with the fist:

KJV-- buffet.

5485 charis (khar’-ece); Grace…

from 5463; graciousness (as gratifying), of manner or act (abstract or concrete; literal, figurative or spiritual; especially the divine influence upon the heart, and its reflection in the life; including gratitude):

KJV-- acceptable, benefit, favour, gift, grace (-ious), joy, liberality, pleasure, thank (-s, -worthy).

714 arkeo (ar-keh’-o);Sufficient

apparently a primary verb [but probably akin to 142 through the idea of raising a barrier]; properly, to ward off, i.e. (by implication) to avail (figuratively, be satisfactory):

KJV-- be content, be enough, suffice, be sufficient.

1411 dunamis (doo’-nam-is);Power

from 1410; force (literally or figuratively); specially, miraculous power (usually by implication, a miracle itself):

KJV-- ability, abundance, meaning, might (-ily, -y, -y deed), (worker of) miracle (-s), power, strength, violence, mighty (wonderful) work.

5048 teleioo (tel-i-o’-o); Perfect…

from 5046; to complete, i.e. (literally) accomplish, or (figuratively) consummate (in character):

KJV-- consecrate, finish, fulfil, make) perfect.

THORN

-The ground cursed with

.Hedges formed of

-FIGURATIVE

.Of afflictions

.Of the adversities of the wicked

.Of the evils that spring from the heart to choke the truth

(Outline from Nave’s Topical Bible)

THORN

Figurative. "A painful thorn" should be rendered a smarting sting, figurative of the hurts of paganism. "The most upright like a thorn hedge" refers to the corruption of the nation, which was so great that even the most upright injured all who came in contact with him. From want of energy "the way of the sluggard is as a hedge of thorns" , i.e., full of almost insurmountable obstacles (cf. <22:5>). To be overgrown with thorns is a figure of desolation (cf. <24:31>).The wicked are often compared to thorns <2 Sam. 23:6; Nah. 1:10>. Thorns and thistles are symbolic of the false prophets .

(from New Unger’s Bible Dictionary)

(originally published by Moody Press of Chicago, Illinois. Copyright (C) 1988.)

Ps 34:19

19 Many are the afflictions of the righteous: but the LORD delivereth him out of them all.

(KJV)

1Thes 3:3

3 That no man should be moved by these afflictions: for yourselves know that we are appointed thereunto.

(KJV)

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*** When Dr. Moon of Brighton, England, was suddenly struck with blindness, he said, “ Lord I accept this “talent” of blindness from you. Help me to use it for your glory so that when you return, you may receive it back with interest. Then God enabled him to invent the Moon alphabet for the blind, through which thousands of blind people were enabled to read the word of God and thereby come to the glorious saving knowledge of Christ.

*** God did not remove Paul’s “ thorn in the flesh” He did something much better –He conquered it and made it Paul’s servant.

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