Daily Devotion, July 2, 2020 -A Thorn in the Flesh

Pastor: Connie Belmore

Devotion: July 2, 2020
Reading: 2 Corinthians 12:1-10
A Thorn in the Flesh

I grew up on a farm with “woods” behind our house. The word “woods” refers to an unnamed forest of trees and bushes with lots of thorns and splinters. I like to venture back in the woods a lot when I was young and would periodically get thorns in my fingers and hands. My mom or dad would remove the thorn, and while the removal process would sometimes bring tears to my eyes, I was relieved when it was removed.

In today’s reading, Paul refers to a thorn in his flesh. Scholars who have studied the life of Paul have no idea whether this thorn in the flesh was physical, psychological or sociological but it was chronic and debilitating and Paul on three occasions asked the Lord to remove the thorn from his flesh because it tormented him. God, however, did not remove the thorn and offered this explanation: The Lord said, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”

Sometimes we are reluctant to admit that we have a thorn in our flesh. To admit that we are have a physical, psychological, and emotional problem, is considered by many to be a sign of weakness. Sometimes we just want the "thorn" removed so that we can begin the healing process, and we run to God and ask that it be removed. But if we place our trust in the power of God to give us strength to deal with the thorn instead of remove it, we will experience something far greater than its removal. We will experience the grace of God resulting in stronger character, humility, and the ability to sympathize and empathize with others. Consequently, this unremoved thorn in the flesh provides us with an opportunity to show others how the power of God is at work in our lives and sustains and delivers us through pain, even when the thorn remains in our flesh. Our task is to keep praying, believing and trusting God, knowing that when we are in Christ, nothing can separate us from God’s love and that we can be strengthened by God, even amidst our weaknesses.

Dear God, we thank you for your power to overcome and deliver us through the thorns in our lives. Help us to pray, believe and trust you to give us all the strength we need to deal with the thorns in our flesh, whether they be physical, psychological or emotional and to believe you have the power to bring good in the midst of “thorny” situations and circumstances. We ask this in Jesus’ name. Amen.

 
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