Purpose For The Thorn

“Each time He said, ‘My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.’ So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me. That’s why I take pleasure in my weaknesses, and in the insults, hardships, persecutions, and troubles that I suffer for Christ. For When I am weak, then I am strong.” – 2 Corinthians 12:9-10 

Yesterday, we talked about the thorn in Paul’s flesh. Though we do not know specifically what this “thorn” was, we do know it caused Paul a great deal of discomfort.  We know for sure that this thorn was something that tormented Paul and made him feel uncomfortable in his day-to-day life. 

Maybe you hear that and you’re wondering: why would a loving God give Paul a thorn in his flesh? With the way most of us think, it sounds backwards, like a bad decision. I mean, most of us think God should give thorns to bad people and torment people that are far from God. Why would God give Paul, of all people, something that would bother him or make him uncomfortable? 

Well, Paul figured out why. He says in 2 Corinthians 12:9-10, “Each time He said, ‘My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.’ So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me. That’s why I take pleasure in my weaknesses, and in the insults, hardships, persecutions, and troubles that I suffer for Christ. For When I am weak, then I am strong.” 

Nobody reading this woke up this morning and asked God for a thorn in the flesh. We aren’t hoping to be tormented; no one is craving pain. And yet, Paul just told us: God has a purpose in every thorn. He tells us there is a purpose in the pain. That was true in Paul’s life, and it is true in your life as well. 

Have you ever had a thorn in the flesh? What thorn has God used in your life to remind you of your ultimate dependency on Him? Thank God today for reminding you of your need for Him! 

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bible verse

“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”

Isaiah 41:10 (NIV)

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