‘THE SACRIFICES OF GOD ARE A BROKEN SPIRIT.’ (PSALM 51 v 17 NIV*)
We don’t always know the reason for our trials, but God revealed to Paul the reason for his ‘thorn in the flesh.’ It was to keep him from being exalted (2 Corinthians 12 v 7). Success can be intoxicating, and intoxicated individuals aren’t known for being too bright or trustworthy!
What happens when you get a thorn in your flesh? It hurts. And you’ll let everything else go while you focus on removing it. Three times Paul prayed for God to remove the thorn, but God had another plan. You see, God is at His strongest in us when we are at our weakest. When Paul discovered that God’s power in his life was tied to the thorn that afflicted him, he responded;
‘I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities....For whenever I am weak, then I am strong’ (2 Corinthians 12 v 10 NRS*).
In other words, ‘If it’s for my good, bring it on Lord!’ If you’ve a thorny person in your life from whom you’ve prayed to be delivered and it hasn’t happened, maybe God wants you to experience His grace and power through dealing with that person. But you won’t experience this until you move from pain to praise.
The Bible speaks about ‘the sacrifice of praise to God’ (Hebrews 13 v 15). A sacrifice means that something has to die on somebody’s altar. So if you want to experience God’s grace and power in your life, you must be willing to die to self-interest, ego and independence. There’s nothing wrong with asking God to remove your thorn. But when your prayer for deliverance turns to praise, you’re on your way to power, because God is giving you grace.
*NIV New International Bible Version
*NRS New Revised Standard Bible Version
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