I really want to meet Paul when I reach Heaven’s shores. His words about the cycles of sinful hardships in life are unfortunately familiar with me (Romans 7:15-25). I am reminded of Israel and how they kept returning to their idols. However, the faithfulness of God was and is everlasting.

I physically, emotionally and spiritually feel sad and depressed after rebelling against God. There have been times when I went into a situation knowing it was not right, but did it anyway because of my prerogative. This is like filling the shoes of the Pharisees, the night of Christ’s betrayal, and spitting in His face and mocking all He had to offer. It stomps on His sacrificial high price of His own life for mine.

If you sense you have a “thorn in your flesh” (2 Corinthians 12:7) like Paul experienced or a “thorn” in your mind/spirit, then recall Paul’s ordeal and take heart. Paul said that a "messenger of Satan" was given to "torment" him and that this tormenting was so aggravating and frustrating that Paul pleaded with the Lord three times to take it away.

Unlike some of the challenges that come our way, Paul knew why this repeated occurrence was happening. Paul said he was allowed this nuisance as a type of physical/spiritual check and/or balance tool - "in order to keep from becoming conceited" (2 Corinthians 12:7).

I would like to encourage you today. God said to Paul, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." (2 Corinthians 12:9) This is what God said to Paul, now read what Paul declared he would do because of this great sufficiency.
  • "Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong." (2 Corinthians 12:9-10)
I don't think it normal to boast "gladly" about weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions and difficulties, but this is God's Law. God's "good work in us" (Philippians 1:6) is developed when we have few-to-no other choice - "For when I am weak, then I am strong." His unmerited favor is enough for me, for His spiritual dynamite power is developed in my struggles. (Pritchard Paraphrase of 2 Cor. 12:9). Thank you Lord for your Faithfulness. Thank you for your all-sufficient Grace. And as hard as it is to say sometimes - Thank You For The Thorn(s).