Paul was given a thorn in his flesh, and we see hear that he pleaded with the Lord three times for it to be removed. See we were just talking about repentance, and here we are back to talking about The Doctrine of Spiritual Pride. If Paul had a thorn in his flesh that he had to plead with the Lord to take from him…don’t you think that we’re going to have a few of them ourselves? I submit to you that the difference between us, and Paul however isn’t that we ask God to take these things from us…but we ask one time. I submit to you that we ask Him once, and if it’s not removed from us we give up. Then we find ourselves saying “that repentance stuff doesn’t work”.
As Paul pleaded with God to remove this thorn the Lord said to him; “My grace is sufficient for you, My strength is made perfect in weakness.”
The revelation Paul receives here is that even though his flesh can be weak, and that he sometimes gives in to those weaknesses. He knows to come to God…with a heart of repentance…and God responds with grace.
God’s grace is sufficient for all of our needs, but let me say this again. If Paul needed God’s grace…how much more will we need it? If Paul had infirmities, reproaches, needs, persecutions, and distresses…it’s a guarantee that we will too…and we will also need God’s grace to overcome them.
But, I believe that sometimes we will have to continually seek God for the thorns in our flesh, and I also want to encourage you that if you continue to struggle with a thorn in your flesh…that you aren’t alone in that struggle.
Come on…if Paul had a continual struggle in his flesh…it’s a sure thing that we will too. But just as God’s grace was sufficient for Paul’s thorn…His grace is also sufficient for yours…and the whole reason for these thorns in our flesh isn’t to make us feel like failures or cause us to get into condemnation…but to help us to remain humble…and realize that every step we take…God’s grace is there.
If your struggling with some thorns…don’t get discouraged…be encouraged that they were given to you so that you would continue to rely upon God’s grace, and not your own abilities…if Paul had to…we will too.