Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me.
But He said to me,
“My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”
Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. 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;8-10)
Thorns are an inevitable part of life experience. Jesus came, not to see us free from skin, but sin.
Paul welcomed his weaknesses, so that Christ’s power could manifest through him.
Paul was an ordinary person who allowed extraordinary revelation and power to change his life. Paul wanted God to perform a “miracle” in taking away his thorn.
If his thorn were a health problem, I’m sure he sought complete healing.
If it was financial lack, he would have prayed for replaced financial security.
God wanted to show His power in helping Paul overcome his weakness in supernatural ways.
Sometimes a miracle is not defined as the quickest and most comprehensive relief possible, but rather God’s provision of the daily strength to endure one’ s losses and to trust God for provision.
God has made me fruitful in the land of my suffering.
Our imperfections and inabilities give God the perfect platform to demonstrate His abilities. In my own life, it is often when I feel most vulnerable and powerless that God shows Himself the strongest. I’m not always cooperative with this process, but when I finally “let go and let God“, I see a fruitful turn in the circumstances or even a supreme victory to God’s glory.
Therefore let us move beyond the elementary teachings about Christ and be taken forward to maturity, not laying again the foundation of repentance from acts that lead to death and of faith in God, instruction about cleansing rites,the laying on of hands, the resurrection of the dead, and eternal judgment. And God permitting, we will do so.
It is impossible for those who have once been enlightened, who have tasted the heavenly gift, who have shared in the Holy Spirit, who have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the coming age and who have fallenaway, to be brought back to repentance. To their loss they are crucifying the Son of God all over again and subjecting him to public disgrace.
Land that drinks in the rain often falling on it and that produces a crop useful to those for whom it is farmed receives the blessing of God.
But land that produces thorns and thistles is worthless and is in danger of being cursed. In the end it will be burned.
Even though we speak like this, dear friends, we are convinced of better things in your case—the things that have to do with salvation. God is not unjust; He will not forget your work and the love you have shown Him as you have helped His people and continue to help them. We want each of you to show this same diligence to the very end, so that what you hope for may be fully realized. We do not want you to become lazy, but to imitate those who through faith and patience inherit what has been promised.
The Certainty of God’s Promise
When God made his promise to Abraham, since there was no one greater for Him to swear by, He swore by Himself, saying, “I will surely bless you and give you many descendants.”
And so after waiting patiently, Abraham received what was promised. (Hebrews 6:1-15)
Be patient, then, brothers and sisters, until the Lord’s coming.
See how the farmer waits for the land to yield its valuable crop, patiently waiting for the autumn and spring rains. (James 5:7)
Lord, work is us a desire to see Your strength exalted above ours.
Free us from Satan’s lie that we must be “strong” to be useful in God’s Kingdom.
Teach us how to accept Your Divine Provision for the purpose of bringing glory to You (not to ourselves) in our lives. Amen.
Ed Hersch provides counseling and healing prayer ministry to individuals and families, trains lay counselors here and abroad, and helps wounded leaders receive spiritual renewal.