Archive for April 17, 2021

What If He Bore Your Thorns?

Posted: April 17, 2021 in Uncategorized

It was a very bad day. I was down and defeated and God felt very far away. On that particular day, I read 2 Corinthians 11 for my devotions that day. That’s the one where Paul boasts about his sufferings. Shipwrecks, being beaten nearly to death and more over and over again. Compared to what Paul went through, my struggles were nothing and I wasted no time going right to a place where I felt terrible, inferior, weak and just generally like one big nothing. I didn’t read far enough. In. the passage Paul is not really boasting. He is making a point. He is showing all the reasons he would have to boast if he saw things from an earthly point of view, as his opponents did.

In verse 30 of that same passage, Paul lets us in on the secret.  If I must boast, I will boast of the things that show my weakness. In chapter 12, Paul gets real and raw. He starts off by speaking to all the Spiritual things God was doing in his life, revelations and visions and a kind of supernatural training for ministry, but then he gets to the heart of the problem.

2 Corinthians 12:Even if I should choose to boast, I would not be a fool,because I would be speaking the truth. But I refrain, so no one will think more of me than is warranted by what I do or say, or because of these surpassingly great revelations. Therefore, in order to keep me from becoming conceited, I was given 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.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.10 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.

These words brought me such comfort on that day. Even the great Paul had something that brought him to his knees. Something that broke him to the point where he begged God to take it away and it was in that weakness that God showed His power in Paul’s life. Paul called this thing his thorn, and I am pretty sure I have one too. It is something that weakens me and brings me much struggle and try as I might, I can’t seem to defeat it. Yes, I have asked God to take it away and I continue to do so. So far He has not taken it. I know this because it still rears its ugly head from time to time. What I have noticed though is He helps me to get through it and to the other side over and over again and as a result I see it over and over again. His strength is made perfect in my weakness too. My thorn is depression. As I was contemplating on this, another thought occurred to me. When Jesus went to the cross, they jammed a crown of sharp thorns on His head. It seems like nothing more than brutality, and that may be all it was, but what if it’s more than that. What if He took our thorns upon Himself as well? After all when Paul asked God to take it away, God refused, instead saying, “My grace is sufficient for you…” Maybe Paul stood up under all the amazing trials we read in chapter 11, only because God gave him the grace to endure, but the thorn, which seems less by comparison, drove him to his knees. It seems as though this thing that was too much for Paul, was how God revealed His grace. I won’t take it away, but I’ll help you to get through it.

I don’t know if any of my suppositions are right, but what I do know is God has never left me, even in the hardest times. He is strong in my weakness and in my weakness I am faced with an inescapable conclusion. When I am weak, He is strong.