“Even though I have received such wonderful revelations from God. So to keep me from becoming proud, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger from Satan to torment me and keep me from becoming proud. Three different times I begged the Lord to take it away.” – 2 Corinthians 12:7-8
Yesterday, we talked about the purpose of our problems. The truth is, anything you ever go through in life always has a purpose. You can choose to focus on the pain, or you can choose to focus on the plan God is purposing through your situation.
The Bible reminds us that His plan is always for the good of those who love God and are living for Him. Paul had to learn this the hard way. God could have easily taught him this lesson by speaking to him or allowing him to read about it on a scroll, but instead, God chose to teach Paul this lesson by giving him a “thorn in the flesh.”
You say, “What was this thorn in Paul’s flesh?” The truth is, we don’t know. The Bible doesn’t tell us specifically what this thorn was. However, there are many theories regarding what it could have been.
Many theologians believe it was some kind of disease…or an eye condition…or a fleshly temptation. There are many opinions on what it could have been. But all we know for sure is that this thorn was something that tormented Paul and made him feel uncomfortable in his day-to-day life.
Now, this might seem odd. Here, Paul is obedient to God and is following God’s will for his life, and yet God has given him something that is very uncomfortable to live with. Paul asked God to take it away. He said in 2 Corinthians 12:8, “Three different times I begged the Lord to take it away.”
Sometimes, you might ask God to remove something in your life, and He says “No.” You might say, “Pastor, I just don’t understand. I’m being obedient. I am doing everything God is asking me to do. Why won’t He take this away?”
As we said yesterday, there is a purpose behind your problems. There was a purpose for Paul’s discomfort, and there is a purpose for yours. When you are struggling, ask God to show you why He is saying “No,” and what you can gain from Him leaving you in this situation.