Embrace Your 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.” – 2 Corinthians 12:9 

Is there a thorn in your side? Maybe you are dealing with an addiction or a messy relationship. Maybe you are in debt, or you have a secret you have been hiding from everyone you love. Whatever it is, perhaps something in your life is weighing you down. And you just wonder, “why do I have to deal with this? Why is this thorn in my life?” 

Well, good news. Paul understands you. He went through the same thing you did. Though we don’t know what his thorn was, we do know it caused him a great deal of discomfort. But what was the purpose? Paul was a follower of Christ pursuing God’s will. Why would God give Paul a thorn that he could not get rid of? 

Paul answers that in 2 Corinthians 12:9. Paul had begged God to remove the thorn on multiple occasions. But then, “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.” 

Paul figured out why this thorn was in his life, and more importantly, why God refused to remove it. “So that I would not exalt myself.” Another translation says, “so that I would not be conceited.” 

What he was saying is, “I have received a thorn in the flesh…a difficulty…a challenge…something that bothered me and tormented me, and I received it to remind me how weak I am and how truly dependent on the Lord I am.” 

Maybe, from the outside, you look like you’ve got it all going on. You have a great job, a good-looking spouse, and a great family. You have the life everyone looks at and wants. But to you, all you want is for God to remove that thorn so that you truly can “have it all.” 

But maybe, that is exactly why God hasn’t removed it…so that you understand your dependence upon Him. Maybe He’s keeping the thorn in place so that you see even though you look like you have it all figured out, you still need Him. It is time to embrace your thorn. His grace is all you need. His power is ready to work in your weakness! 

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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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