Posted by: Barbara Wilbur for ElysJoy Church | October 5, 2015

I was given a thorn in my flesh to torment me!

Because of the surpassing G5236 greatness G5236 of the revelations, G602 for this G1352 reason, G1352 to keep G3361 me from exalting G5229 myself, there was given G1325 me a thorn G4647 in the flesh, G4561 a messenger G32 of Satan G4567 to fntorment G2852 me—to keep G3361 me from exalting G5229 myself!Do you ever feel like you have an ongoing problem in your life that God just won’t take away.   One of the most challanging things to understand is why God doesn’t take away our chronic problems.  For some it’s pain from an injury or disease.  For some it’s a mental or social condition that doesn’t seem to get any better.  Really it could be anything but to be considered chronic (a thorn in your flesh) it has to be happening consistently on an on going basis.   Paul isn’t talking about a single problem that goes away over time like a broken leg that completely heals, but an ongoing malady that bothers you without an end in sight. An example would be a leg that has been broken and not healed causing pain every time it rains or in the mornings when you arise.

This passage of scripture tells us a things about the chronic ongoing things in our life:

  • Paul tells us that this God has not taken the problem away to keep Paul from exalting himself.  .  Another words, Paul has received some fantastic revelations from God and to keep him humble and dependent on the Lord, he has allowed Paul’s chronic condition to remain. (v7) Paul has asked the Lord 3 times in fact, to take it away (v 8) but the Lord has other plans for Paul’s problem.
  • Paul also tells us this problem is tormenting him so it’s pretty darn bad. It’s not a pricked finger or stubbed toe.  The Greek word translated here torment is defined as a violent beating or to pummel.  It conveys a violent pain or problem.  (v7)
  • This thorn in his flesh acts as a messenger from Satan.  This problem didn’t come from God but from the prince of darkness!  I don’t believe God gives us pain and disease.  I believe He may not heal us from them in this life but uses them instead for His glory and to bring people to Christ.
  • God’s answer to Paul is simple: My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.”  God does answer Paul but it isn’t to say He will fix it, it is to say if Paul can depend on God to get him through it.   He also promises that Paul’s weakness will be used to reveal God’s Power!

So don’t be discouraged with your struggles, rejoice in them!  God is sufficient to get you through.  Draw close to Him and he will comfort and sustain you! When you are weak “I AM” is strong!


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