Friday, January 22, 2010

Thorns

Because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations, for this reason, to keep me from exalting myself, there was given me a thorn in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to torment me--to keep me from exalting myself! (2 Corinthians 12:7 NAS)

Rose and Thorns It is perfectly normal for us when in pain to want to remove whatever is hurting us as quickly as possible. That's because it is instinctive to do so. Not all hurts in life however can be removed just as we wish, and sometimes we may have to live with a scar for the rest of our lives.

Life in the real world is not all a bed of roses. Amid the beauty of flowers like the roses are many thorns. There will always be certain hurts in life that cannot be removed and may remain with us permanently. Physical ailments, loss of someone we loved, or the deliberate hurts caused by someone who dislikes us are some examples of long term or permanent thorns in the flesh.


What then shall we do with such 'thorns'? Shall we try to remove them or live and bear with the hurt? What if it is something we cannot remove or someone who is displeased with us? Do we curse God and die (Job 2:9-10), or do we like Job of the Old Testament say, "Naked I came from my mother's womb, And naked I shall return there. The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away. Blessed be the name of the LORD" (Job 1:21 NAS)?

If our thorn in the flesh is someone who is unhappy with us, let us work towards reconciling with that someone (Matthew 5:23-25). If it be one who is a messenger of the devil sent to torment us, let us like the apostle Paul implore of the Lord three times to remove the adversity, but if God's answer is for us to be perfected in weakness through suffering, then let us learn to live by God's grace in His sufficiency that we may not exalt ourselves, but that the power of Christ may dwell in us (2 Corinthians 12:7-9). If the thorn is physical, mental or emotional, then let us again be like Paul to implore God to remove the hurt or pain, and if God heals us, praise and thank Him, but if not, then let us learn to bear and live our lives victorious in Christ (Daniel 3:16-28).

Help us dear Lord to stay strong in the face of thorns in our lives, not to give up even when we feel our hurts are overwhelming and tormenting. Teach us to be like Job and Paul to take the thorns in our lives in stride, knowing with full confidence that Your grace is sufficient for us. Lead us to the place we can find relieve Lord, and remove from us the thorns, yet not our will, but Yours be done. Comfort us in our pain Lord that we may be perfected in weakness. Keep us from exalting ourselves Lord, that Your power may dwell in us and be revealed through us.

3 comments:

  1. AMEN!!
    Great post! Thank you for the reminder to praise GOD amidst the thorny places.
    Blessings, andrea

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  2. We must not assume that just because Paul said that he had a thorn in the flesh, therefore God will not answer our prayers. There is complete healing in Jesus and we must not think that God does not want to heal us of our physical ailments or our emotional being.God always heal us physically as it has already been done on Calvary cross. Jesus has already healed us of our infirmities and sicknesses. In Paul's context, it's talking about a thorn in the flesh, or someone who is a pain in the neck to keep him humble. We therefore must not spiritualise everything and say that it is not God's will to heal when Jesus has already paid it all.

    Deline

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  3. Thank you for your feedback Deline. I can understand where you are coming from, and yes, God has healed us of all afflictions as far as the eternal is considered.

    We must however not spiritualise everything to assume God must always heal us physically, because our bodies are afterall temporal as long as we are on earth. Instead, we ought to strike a balance between God's purpose and His love for us in wanting to heal us completely. Until we are made perfect in Him when the day comes, there will always be times we need to accept the trials and thorns in our lives. If God's will is for us to go through the trials in order for us to be molded to be more like Him, then His will be done. On the other hand, if He heals us now, then let us thank God and praise His name.

    God answers all prayers, whether now or later, yes or no, or till the day comes. If we ask God to answer a need, we can be sure He will answer our prayer, but sometimes the answer can be immediate, sometimes longer, or sometimes for us to go through it. No doubt, it will be difficult going through hard times, and we may not understand why, but one thing is sure, all things work together for good, according to God's purpose in our lives (Romans 8:28), and God by His grace will certainly see us through.

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