- Verses 7-10 So to keep me from becoming conceited because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations, a thorn was given me in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to harass me, to keep me from becoming conceited. Three times I pleaded with the Lord about this, that it should leave me, but he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." ...For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
The thorn that was given in Paul's flesh is unknown- even to the most knowledgeable scholars. The four major thoughts of this "thorn" are:
1) psychological problems
2) persecution from his opponents
3) physical affliction such as poor eyesight, malaria fever, severe migranes etc.
4) demonic harassment
Whatever the "thorn in his flesh" actually is, I find it awesome that Paul is at peace with it. After begging God to take away this heavy burden, God said no. Regardless of your hard circumstance, God's grace is all you need. His grace can and will get you through hard times, whether it be an illness, disease, persecution etc. We need to realize that God's power is made perfect in weakness, and that is why God sometimes allows us to undergo persecution, suffering or pain. When we are weak, God's power and strength are better magnified. Paul, then, says he is "content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities." Can we say that? Notice, that Paul "pleaded with the Lord" for this burden to be lifted, THREE TIMES! Obviously, this "thorn" created much hardship in his life. But once God said to his that His grace was sufficient, Paul rested in that. Those words. "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness," are not only words to Paul, but to us also. Can we rest in that?
Lord You are good, and Your love endures forever. I pray God that if any of us have a "thorn in our flesh" that we would receive Your words and hold on to them. Lord, Your grace IS sufficient for me. And Your power IS made perfect in my weakness. I pray that I would be at peace with that, and for the sake of Jesus, endure. Thank you for Your grace that is unending and overflowing. Amen