Thorn In The Flesh

7 even though I have received such wonderful revelations from God. So to keep me from becoming proud, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger from Satan to torment me and keep me from becoming proud.
2 Corinthians 12:7 (NLT)

This is another frequently abused verse. Religious people will stop at nothing to convince us that our God is a pervert who gives diseases to people for his pleasure and glory. So, they were not ashamed to twist the “thorn” in 2 Corinthians 12:7 to create the false impression that God was the pervert that made Paul sick to teach him grace. In this article, I shall explain the true meaning of the “thorn” and expose the lies of Satan.

Let us begin with a detail analysis of the above verse. Paul described the “thorn in my flesh” as a messenger from Satan to torment him and keep him from becoming proud. Can a disease be a messenger?

Can a disease talk or communicate with people? This alone is able to defeat the lie that the “thorn in the flesh” is a disease. What exactly is the thorn? According to Paul, it is a messenger. As a messenger, it must be able to communicate and pass messages. We can shortlist it to either a spirit like a demon or a human being like the religious people you can read from this blog.

I can identify with Paul because I have a few thorns here in this blog threatening me with hell, spreading lies and slanders about me and the true Gospel of Jesus Christ. The contents of their writings are enough to prove that like their counterparts in the above verse, they were sent by Satan to torment me. Of course, just because they tried, it does not mean they must be successful. In fact, I was encouraged by their attacks because their behaviors tell me that Satan must be very afraid of me. I cannot go to the pit of hell to access the effects of my works in damaging the Kingdom of Darkness. So, these thorns serve as proxies for Satan. When they get abusive and rude, their message to me is the damage to the Kingdom of Darkness must be great.

Like Paul, I am kept from becoming proud. I realize that this is a battle involving the most evil forces in the universe and I can never overcome them by my own strength. I have learned to rely on the grace of God. Let us look at the next verses.

8 Three different times I begged the Lord to take it away.
9 Each time he said, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me.
2 Corinthians 12:8-9 (NLT)

Paul’s initial response was to ask God to remove the thorns. God’s reply was, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” What does that mean? If you ask a religious person, you will be given a very negative view on this. According to religion, God do perverted things to you to show you that his grace is sufficient to you and create an opportunity for his power to work. I used to believe in such lies.

Can you guess the way I responded to God when I believed in this religious lie? I stayed away from God as far as I can. I tried my best to blend into the crowd and not to stand out. I did not want to be like Paul, to be called for missions, suffer persecution by men and thrown into prison. After than God will give me some diseases known as the “thorn in my flesh” in order to show me his sufficient grace. This is a lie from the pit of hell. This lie had kept me away from God for a long time and I am not going to fall for it again.

Here is the true meaning. Grace means undeserved favor. God’s words in 2 Corinthians 12:9 means he had given Paul everything he needs to overcome the torment from the thorns. The power of God can still work and deliver results even in our weakness. This is good news for all of us.

You may be in the same situation like Paul where there are thorns around you who have been making things difficult for you. They just hate you for no reason and they think their greatest calling in their lives is to make you miserable. You may have prayed and asked God to remove them but they are still around. What should you do?

This is God’s reply to your prayers, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.”

Let me paraphrase that. God said, “I have given you everything you need to defeat those thorns. No matter what troubles you are facing now, you have what it takes to overcome them and emerge victorious. It does not matter to me how weak you are. In fact, my power works the best in weaknesses.”

So, start rejoicing, praising and thanking God because you are going to win. This was how Paul responded when God told him this truth.

“So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me.”

All of us have weaknesses and imperfections but they have no right to hinder us from progressing. Whatever area you are weak in, God’s power can work the best there. Like Paul, we should start boasting in our weaknesses that the power of Christ can work through us.

10 That’s why I take pleasure in my weaknesses, and in the insults, hardships, persecutions, and troubles that I suffer for Christ. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
2 Corinthians 12:10 (NLT)

This is Paul’s policy when faced with difficulties in life. No matter how bad his situation was, Paul was able to take pleasure in his weaknesses because he was convinced beyond doubt that his God is greater than them all. This is an example for all of us. It does not matter what type of weakness you have or how bad the situation is. What truly matters is, do you choose to trust in a faithful God whose powers work best in your weakness?

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