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.” 2 Corinthians 12:7-9a
If you are on this earth long enough, you are going to experience a thorn in your flesh.
What is your thorn? The word “thorn” communicates the idea of pain, trouble, sufferings, or physical infirmities, but not sin.
As you know, it was because of an illness that I first preached the gospel to you. Even though my illness was a trial to you, you did not treat me with contempt or scorn. Instead, you welcomed me as if I were an angel of God, as if I were Christ Jesus himself. Galatians 4:13-14
You may be thinking, “My marriage problems or divorce is the thorn in my flesh.” If that is the case, let me share what Paul is teaching us through his personal experience. Paul was a chosen man of God who was taken up to Heaven to receive tremendous revelations. This was a great privilege, and the revelations gave Paul courage and strength to be able to endure hardships in his life. You can stand firm in the Lord because God’s grace is sufficient for you during your trials and tribulations!
I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do everything through him who gives me strength. Philippians 4:11-13
No one wants to go through sufferings or hardships in life. That is why Paul also asked the Lord to remove the thorn three times. Paul’s thorn was said to be from Satan, yet permitted by God. If you have not read Job recently, try to read Job Chapters 1, 2, and 42 soon. That may remind you of what you are going through in your marriage, from Satan himself, but also how the Lord will bless you in the end.
Paul’s thorn was also given to him to keep him from having pride about what had happened to him regarding receiving such awesome revelations. The Lord wanted Paul to be dependent on Him, by knowing and receiving divine grace. May we learn the lesson that the Lord wants to be first in our lives, for us to depend on Him and surrender our all to Him every day. Where have you experienced God’s grace in your life?
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 12:9-10
I pray that this scripture will minister hope and healing to your heart. Bob and I could have written a book about the circumstances and infirmities that our family walked through. We chose to rejoice always, praising the Lord in spite of what He allowed us to experience. None of it was wasted. It was all for His glory.
The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet. The grace of our Lord Jesus be with you. Romans 16:20
I know that at different times in your standing, as you are waiting for the Lord to bring your spouse home, you may go through difficult times or have a “thorn in your flesh.” May you seek the Lord to learn how to live on top of your circumstances, instead of underneath and defeated because of your trials or problems that you are facing. Learn to lean on and depend on your Lord.
Your Savior sees you. He didn’t give His only Son to die for our sins to be made a fool. He knows the thorn you are facing.
“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God. Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.” Matthew 5:9-12
I do not know what your “thorn in the flesh” is, but I know for certain the Lord is right there beside you and is saying, “I am with you. Turn to me for comfort and divine strength.”
My prayer is that you may look through your circumstances with the eyes of the Lord. May you choose to be like Paul and thank the Lord that His grace is sufficient for any trial that you may be going through right now! Never doubt God’s amazing grace for your life and marriage!