Many times in life, we struggle with physical afflictions and medical concerns where there appears to be no remedy, cure, or medical solution. Often, someone with this type of predicament may visit numerous medical professionals and specialists who are stumped or clueless regarding the nature of the problem, much less an appropriate treatment process. That must be very frustrating, especially when the appropriate medical professionals have evaluated an individual, and there is no remedy.
In 2 Corinthians 12, the Apostle Paul discusses “a messenger from Satan” giving him a thorn in his flesh to prevent him from becoming conceited as well as to torment him: “Therefore, in order to keep me from becoming conceited, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me” (2 Cor. 12:7/NIV). As you review this scriptural passage and analyze and consider many great Biblical scholars and theologians, no one can formulate a conclusion regarding what type of affliction this thorn in the flesh could have been. This concern was an obvious source of discomfort for Paul, which was a nuisance and torment.
As you read 2 Corinthians 12:7-10, you understand that Paul prayed to God and pleaded that his thorn and affliction be removed, but it wasn’t. Paul writes that God told him, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness” (2 Cor. 12:9/NIV). Paul then states: “Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me” (vs. 9). In another Biblical passage (Philippians 4:13), Paul has also indicated that he could “do all things through Christ who strengthened him,” and knowing this, we see from where Paul’s power came. As Paul knew and understood where his power came from, if he carried out the work God righteously placed before him, he would be successful despite having a “thorn in his flesh.” What a source of encouragement for us!
As we finish reading this selected passage, we see that Paul is not resentful of his affliction placed by Satan and God chose not to remove it. Paul understood God’s grace regarding this matter and how His (God’s) power would be made “perfect in weakness.” That gives me much hope and encouragement when I struggle through challenging times, especially if a thorn is in my flesh. As Paul indicates, we too should boast in our weaknesses so that Christ’s power may rest on us! Let us remember how we can turn a challenge into a positive: “That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong” (2 Corinthians 12:10).
Many blessings to you!
Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture is taken from the New American Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.
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