Paul begins today’s reading rehearsing his story of the encounter he had with God on the road to Damascus. While on the way to arrest and persecute Jesus followers, he was blinded by a bright light and God spoke to him. During that encounter he was caught up into heaven – either in reality or in a vision – and God showed him many things. This would become the basis for the teaching he would deliver to the churches and to us through the books he wrote in the New Testament. I would encourage you to re-read that story in Acts 9.
What a story! What a life change! That’s enough to cause anyone to be full of pride. Paul knew that – so he said that God sent him a “thorn in the flesh” – a “messenger from Satan” to torment him and keep him humble. What is your thorn in the flesh? What or Who does God use to keep you humble? Are you thankful for them just like Paul was?
We don’t know what Paul’s thorn was – some suspect an illness with his eyes – others a struggle with moral purity. Whatever it was – it was at times a great burden. So… how did he deal with it?
Well… he – just like you would have – begged God to take it away. Three different times he did that. But each time God responded to Paul with a lesson that all of us need to learn.
My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.
God’s grace is enough. It’s enough to get you through whatever you are dealing with. It’s enough to comfort and heal you. It’s all you need.
God’s power works best in our weakness. Why? Because when we are full of ourselves – we’re not looking to Him. It’s in weakness that we trust and depend on Him best – and He comes through.
Paul goes on…
So I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me. That’s why I take pleasure in my weaknesses, and in the insults, hardships, persecutions, and troubles that I suffer for Christ.
For when I am weak, then I am strong!
What about you? Where does your strength come from? From you or from God? What is your thorn in the flesh – given as a gift from God to make you strong in Him?
By: Tim Parsons — Lead Pastor