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 (NASB)
Paul is telling about the thorn in the flesh that he was given. In the preceding verses Paul was telling the
Corinthians of his trips to the third heaven. He had been in the place where
God dwells and he had surpassing great revelations.
that God afflicted Paul with the mysterious thorn in his flesh to keep him humble. We don’t know for sure if it was physical
affliction, a church issue, or a literal messenger of Satan. Affliction lends itself to self-focus, we focus on our situation, on our pain and before long all we think about is “me.” I am not saying that was Paul’s focus but we do know that at this point Paul was begging for relief.
case God determined Paul would continue to suffer and that he would learn dependence upon the grace of God would be enough as he did. Through the life of his ministry Paul learned suffering has a purpose. He understood that adversity is designed to remind us that we need God.
because suffering is a humbling thing.
call out to God like we do at no other time.
As Christians we know intellectually that He is our only hope, and our
only relief, but in our flesh we often hate the application of that truth. We
also fear being weak and vulnerable and dependent, yet this is what God wants.
places us in positions were we must rely only on Him. Our comfort and our
provision comes from Him. When we see our
weakness and inability to fix or change whatever has befallen us God
rejoices! Total dependence on Him is
what He desires for us.