2 corinthians 12.17 (niv), to keep me from becoming conceited because of these surpassing great revelations, it was given to me a thorn in my flesh. what is a thorn? he said, “i have a thorn in my flesh to keep me from getting arrogant.” GOD blessed his life so much. he’d learned so many things. he’d had so many great revelations from GOD. (he got to write most of the new testament.) GOD gave him a thorn.
what is a thorn? it is a weakness. it is a limitation i’ve inherited or cannot change that causes me pain and limits my ministry. he says this was given to him as a reminder. if paul could have changed it, he would have. in fact, the bible says he prayed three times, “GOD, take this away.” and GOD said, “i’m not going to do it because MY grace is sufficient for you.” that thing you’ve been praying, “GOD take this away in my life,” and HE hasn’t, it may be a thorn. it may be your thorn.
thorns are given by GOD so they’re not sins. GOD doesn’t give sin. if thorns were sin and you prayed, “GOD, take it away,” HE would. because GOD always removes sin. so we’re not talking about some sin in your life.
some thorns are temporary in our lives. some thorns are removed gradually. some you have for a lifetime, as with paul.
what does a thorn do in my life? it’s that persistent perplexity that causes me pain, that gets my attention, keeps me dependent upon GOD, keeps me humble before HIM. it acts as a governor on my life. it guides and directs me and it motivates me.
if GOD is ever going to use you in a great way, expect a thorn. HE will do it to get your attention.
it may not be a physical thing. it may be a relational, emotional, some other kind of thorn. but it will come because it prevents arrogance and it guarantees GOD’s help.
just a thought from the front porch…