Summary: To cause each believer to see that God goes to great length to get them back to His will.



II Corinthians 12:7-10

2Co 12:7 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)

INTRODUCTION: Have you ever asked, “Why did that happen to me?” Everyone listening to my voice today can relate to what I am saying. All of us have had something go sour before. When it seemed that all was well on the home front or in life something comes crashing down and almost blows you out of the water. We seem to get one loose end in one hand and the other end in the other hand, and then we find that they won’t fit together.

Why does this happen?

Let me assure you first that this is not a personal assault on you; much of the time it is a personal assignment from God. He has a very definite reason in mind and if you will accept it as that you will come out on the other side of the tunnel a much better person. You will be wiser and better for the experience. Much of the time we blame our misfortune on Satan and it may not be him at all – rather God’s way of communicating with us.

Follow me very closely as we dissect these thoughts today.

First, things go wrong in our life:


2Co 12:7 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.

Paul is saying that to keep him from exalting himself above what he should God had given him a thorn in the flesh.

A. God Has Much To Say About Pride. One example of God’s feeling toward pride is found in Lev 26:19 And I will break the pride of your power; and I will make your heaven as iron, and your earth as brass:

Noah Webster defines pride:

Inordinate self-esteem; an unreasonable conceit of one’s own superiority in talents, beauty, wealth, accomplishments, rank or elevation in office, which manifests itself in lofty airs, distance, reserve, and often in contempt of others.

Benjamin Franklin said, “Pride that dines on vanity, sups on contempt.”

Someone else said, “All pride is abject and mean.”

We read about pride in the Book of Daniel, Dan 4:37 Now I Nebuchadnezzar praise and extol and honour the King of heaven, all whose works are truth, and his ways judgment: and those that walk in pride he is able to abase. (or defuse)

Paul is teaching us that if God had not defused him of his pride, then he would have been “exalted above measure”. Vs. 7

B. The Results Of Pride.

1. Shame - Prov 11:2 When pride cometh, then cometh shame: but with the lowly is wisdom.

2. Contention - Prov 13:10 Only by pride cometh contention: but with the well advised is wisdom.

3. Destruction - Prov 16:18 Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall.

If you have a prideful spirit, the next step is a great fall. I have known literally scores of situations where this has happened to good families.

They tried to live in a higher fashion of life than they were financially capable of doing. They had to try to impress their peers. The only means of doing so was to use plastic money, or credit cards, and in a few years their world came falling down. Proverbs 16:18 warns us of such a fall.

Hear me today, if you possess pride, you will fall.

4. Breaking - Prov 29:23 A man’s pride shall bring him low: but honour shall uphold the humble in spirit.

God has a way of breaking your pride.

We used to have some members of this church whose pride would not allow them to attend church in a store front building.

There are those whose pride would not allow them to carry a brown paper sack lunch to work.

ILLUSTRATION: You have heard my story about how my wife and I travel. We would always pack in a grocery sack. I try to find one with the carrying handles so it is easier to carry. I realize that may not be fashionable, but it surely is easy.

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