Godsfruitful

Encouraging others in Christ

Are you distressed with your thorn today? DON’T BE :))

Did you expect NOT to learn the hard way? As I look back over the past nine years since accepting Christ into my heart, I realize just how much I didn’t know when making my profession of faith. I understood and trusted that Christ died for my sins, forgave my sins once I repented, and my salvation was secure in Him. The Holy Spirit indwelled and filled me with a willingness and hunger that’s always been hard to explain, in fact, my family sometimes thought I may have been just a little over the top at times :))!!
I’ve recently begun to understand that it truly is trials in life that cause us to grow in our trust in Christ. I’m talking about situations that cause you to know what it means to say “I’m a sinner saved by GRACE.” IMG_7773It’s only after repeated attempts to get out of where we currently are trapped in our situations that we have no control over, That we are finally aware that He is entirely in control and will give us all that we stand in need of this day and every day.

2 CORINTHIANS 12:8-10
8 For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me.
9 And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities that the power of Christ may rest upon me.
10 Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ sakes: for when I am weak, then am I strong.
We don’t know what Paul’s “thorn in the flesh” was because he doesn’t tell us. Some have suggested that it was Malaria, epilepsy, or a disease of the eyes (Galatians 4:13-15). Whatever it was, it was a chronic and debilitating physical problem, which at times kept him from working.
This thorn was a hindrance to his ministry, and he prayed for its removal, but God refused. Paul was a very self-sufficient person, so this thorn was difficult for him. It kept Paul humble, reminded him of his need for constant contact with God and benefited those around him as they saw God at work in his life.IMG_7772

 

 

FRUITFUL OBSERVATION: Although God did not remove Paul’s affliction, He promised to demonstrate His power in Paul. God’s power shows up in weak people and should give us courage.

Let us recognize our limitations, admit our weaknesses and affirm God’s strength today and every day!

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15 thoughts on “Are you distressed with your thorn today? DON’T BE :))

  1. Dianne Debter on said:

    Thanks Kim! So glad to be surrounded by God’s love!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Brittany on said:

    Yes we do try to do things on our own and we shouldn’t! It’s hard to give God complete controls and sometimes we think we are but we truly aren’t. But once we do, it is so REWARDING ☺️🎉😅😇

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Thank you for this inspirational encouragement and scripture!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Hi Kim! I wanted to share some insight the Lord has given me on this oft-misunderstood passage of Scripture here if it’s okay with you. What follows is taken from Part 6 of a Bible study the Lord led me to write two years ago:

    This leads us to the glorious revelation Jesus gave to the seasoned apostle Paul after he prayed three times for the Lord to remove an irritating “thorn” in 2 Corinthians 12:7-10: My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in weakness (v. 9). Now, there are some pearls about this situation of Paul’s. First, note that Paul also called the irritant a messenger of Satan (see v. 7, next paragraph); a messenger is a person, not a thing or a sickness, as many commentators have inaccurately assumed. Paul likely was remembering a phrase from King David’s last words, But evil men are all to be cast aside like thorns (2 Samuel 23:6). Correspondingly, the Greek words here addressing the “thorn” as “it” in verse 8 apparently involve a male pronoun (forgive me, but I do not recall my source, other that knowing it was from a Greek scholar and through the Lord!). Another pearl is that “flesh” in the Greek here is a word with a wide range of meanings, including these two: “the lower and temporary element in the Christian” or “the outward and seeming,” as contrasted with the spirit, the inward and real [Vine’s Complete Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words, Thomas Nelson, Inc.,1996, p. 242]. Lastly, and importantly, the Greek word used for “weakness” (astheneo) in verse 10 describes “a person who feels weak, distressed” and not “physical ailments” (which would be the word asthenes) [Rick Renner, Sparkling Gems from the Greek, Teach All Nations, 2003, p. 856].

    With this insight now, let’s behold anew this powerful passage of Scripture: To keep me from becoming conceited because of these surpassingly great revelations, there was given me a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. 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 12:7-10).

    The Lord did not affirmatively answer Paul’s three prayers to remove this person that Paul’s natural self found irritating because his words and actions to Paul were beneficial to the sovereign Lord’s purpose, building up Paul’s new true self in Christ. This so-called messenger of Satan was instrumental in causing Paul to boast in his depravity, and also led him to welcome the repetitive breaking down of the “outward and seeming” part that makes way for Christ’s strength to increase in the “inward and real” spirit. Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds… so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. (James 1:2,4b). What we perceive as “messengers of Satan,” conflicts, or trials are designed and brought by God to break down what remains of our sinful nature, just as He did with Job. Sufferings purify us in large part by destroying self-reliance and self-righteousness. …the hardships we suffered… happened that we might not rely on ourselves but on God, who raises the dead. (2Corinthians 1:8,9b).

    This is the breaking down part of the sanctification process, and our “outward and seeming” part, our remaining sinful nature, always finds it irritating, for it is death to self. Let us encourage one another to take heart and rejoice as Paul and James did every time the Lord brings people or circumstances that we find irritating or insulting, for the sovereign Lord is using them as an instrument to remove that which remains in us that is not His Son. For we who are alive are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that his life may be revealed in our mortal body. (2 Corinthians 4:11). After the suffering of his soul he will see the light of life and be satisfied. (Isaiah 53:11a).

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  5. Very inspiring words. The “Thorn in the flesh has been interpreted in many different ways.
    However, Paul stated what his thorn in the flesh was: It was a messenger of Satan to buffet him (2 Cor. 12:7).
    The thorn was a weakness in the flesh not necessarily an illness. Paul once persecuted the Christians and even though God forgave and saved him, Satan continued to remind him of his past sins and weaknesses (Satan is still doing this to the believers).
    It thus became a thorn in his flesh which the Lord refused to remove because it kept him humble.
    The Lord poured so much wisdom and revelation in Paul that he would have easily become proud if he did not have this thorn to remind him of his weakness and that his strength was in God not in his ability.

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    • Hi 🙂 Thanks for feedback. I’m adding additional reference today 😬🤔

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    • Beverley, I don’t know if you saw my comment above yours, but we are both saying that Paul himself said in 12:7 that the thorn was “a messenger of Satan,” and very few Christians apprehend that. Isn’t it amazing how most commentators zero in on the word “thorn” and miss “a messenger,” which, of course, is a person and not a message. It’s a valuable lesson to us all about how our mind operates when we are not alert! Thank you, Kim, for permitting your readers to communicate with each other herein! 😊

      Liked by 1 person

      • Absolutely!! When I read it the first time for my blog…I was like “WOW” here it is right here that satan was the messenger..I was like all these years people have said we didn’t know what the thorn was but digging deep which is required will give us a clearer understanding 🙆🏼😬🙂❤️🎈
        Breaking down the Word to make it understood is totally the key to learning 🤔🤔🙂🎈

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      • Oh, and God LOVES that we continually dig deeper into His word, that we press on to apprehend that for which Christ Jesus has taken hold of us! 😊

        Liked by 1 person

      • AMEN:))))

        Liked by 1 person

  6. I have grown a lot in many ways over the past several years, especially this last year. Not only with a situation, but also physical, (my thorn). At times I am not thrilled about it, especially at first…but it is amazing what you can get use to and learn to live with, all due to Gods grace. I could never survive a day in this life without Him. He is in total control of my life, and I am sitting back enjoying the ride. Thank You Jesus for Your love and care of me. Amen

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