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Thorny Problems

Staff Member
And lest I should be exalted above measure by the abundance of the revelations, a thorn in the flesh was given to me, a messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I be exalted above measure.
2 Corinthians 12:7

Recommended Reading: 2 Corinthians 12:1-10

In his book, My Thorn in the Flesh, Vietnam War veteran Bobby D. Gayton writes about his battle with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. In his struggle, he identifies with the apostle Paul, who pleaded with the Lord to remove his “thorn,” but God simply said, “My grace is sufficient for you” (2 Corinthians 12:9). For Gayton, PTSD is his thorn in the flesh.

Paul didn’t identify the “thorn” he was battling, but we can sum it up like this: A “thorn in the flesh” is a point of struggle or suffering we’d rather avoid, which God, in His wisdom, allows to go on. He uses it to produce in us a humility that casts our reliance on His all-sufficient grace.

We may not have all our infirmities removed. Yet through our pain and weakness, God’s power and purpose can be revealed. His grace is sufficient. Don’t be discouraged by the struggle. Keep your focus on God and His grace.

The specific purpose of the thorn in the flesh, as Professor F. F. Bruce put it, is to puncture your pride.
R. T. Kendall

Devotional by David Jeremiah