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A Thorn in the Flesh

April 28, 2016

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A Thorn  in the Flesh

Everybody  has a weakness  of some sort  or another.     Whatever our weakness  or problem,  we most likely  don’t feel good  about it.     Weaknesses  can be more than  just a bummer  —  they can really get a person down  because they simply  don’t go away.

The apostle Paul  felt that way  about his personal weakness.     We don’t really know  what his  “thorn  in the flesh”  was,  but it bugged him  so much  that he prayed three times  that God would just make it  go away.     In 2 Corinthians 12:9,  God told him,

My grace  is sufficient  for you,  for My power  is perfected  in weakness.

As we abide  in our Lord,  He gives us grace  to help us deal  with our weaknesses,  one day  at a time,  in a godly manner.     That certainly was true  for Paul,  but nevertheless,  Paul still wanted  that particular problem  to just go away.     He was tired  of it  and felt he would like  to enjoy  some relief  for once.

But,  God gave Paul  a very good reason  for not taking away his  “thorn  in the flesh”.     Referring to Himself,  God said,  “My power  is perfected  in weakness.”     When we are weak,  we learn  to depend  on the Lord  and His power  to get things done right.     When we depend  on the Lord,  He is able  to better work  through us  and in us.     When God  is enabled  to work  through us,  He can do more powerful things  in our lives  of eternal benefit.

In other words,  when we feel proud  of our abilities  and strengths,  there is no way  we will be able  to depend  on the Lord.     In our pride  and independence,  we will want  to do everything  all by ourselves.     That would include  pushing God out  of the picture  of what goes on  in our lives.     With God out  of our lives,  our lives  become worthless  —  of no eternal value.

It is  of much greater eternal value  to be weak  in this life.     We need  to be weak  in order  to grow  in faith,  hope,  and love.     Pride  and arrogance  do not enable  any sort  of faith,  hope,  or love.     Quite the opposite.     So,  having weaknesses is,  in actuality,  a great gift  from God.

We can thank God  for His almighty wisdom  in guiding  our lives.     Whatever God allows  in our lives  is for our benefit.     We need  to see that  with thankful hearts  and be content  with whatever God sends  our way.     Whether our weaknesses  include insults,  distresses,  persecutions,  or physical difficulties,  we can learn  to be content  in the Lord  and His power,  as we grow  in faith,  hope,  and love.

Accepting God’s grace  for another day,  we say,  “Hallelujah!     Lord,  lead us  in Your ways  unto eternal life  and Your glory.”

Love,
Margaret

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A Christian devotional  to glorify  the LORD of lords  and GOD of gods.

Pray for our country.

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Handel’s Hallelujah Chorus

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The LORD  made this day, let us rejoice  and be glad  in Him.

Psalm 118:24

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The word of the LORD is tried;

He is a shield  to all  who take refuge  in Him.

Psalm 18:30

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Sing for joy  in the LORD,  O you righteous ones;

Praise is becoming  to the upright.

Psalm 33:1

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How blessed are those  who dwell  in Thy house!

They are ever praising Thee.

Psalm 84:4

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Just as a father  has compassion  on his children,

So the LORD  has compassion  on those who fear Him.

Psalm 103:13

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O give thanks  to the LORD,  for He is good;

For His lovingkindness  is everlasting.

Psalm 107:1

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Glory in His holy name;

Let the heart  of those who seek the LORD  be glad.

Psalm 105:3

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Not that I have already obtained it,  or have already  become perfect, but I press on  in order that  I may  lay hold  of that for which also  I was laid hold of  by Christ Jesus.

Philippians 3:12

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