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"Thy Word Have I Hid In Mine Heart..." Psalm 119 : 11

That Thorn in Your Flesh

There was given to me a thorn in the flesh.
9th August
Charles Hodge
When really weak in ourselves, and conscious of that weakness, we are in the state suited to the manifestation of the power of God.
What this thorn was that caused the apostle so much pain, we are not told. Regardless of whether it was a physical problem that plagued Paul or something of a spiritual nature, the truths we can learn from it about our own thorns in the flesh are clear and instructive.

Certainly we learn that thorns are very painful. Paul describes his as something that kept buffeting him, a word that speaks of a violent beating with the fist. It caused unbearable pain that drove him to cry to God three times to bring it to an end. When there is no prospect of a trial of your faith ever coming to an end, the pain seems unbearable. You tell the Lord you cannot take any more and ask Him to remove the thorn, but it remains. We must remember that painful thorns always have been and always will be part of our lot this side of heaven. Our day of unending bliss and freedom from thorns in the flesh is for another world, not this one. In this world we must expect heartache and not count fiery trials to be strange things.

Yet the greatest truth we learn is that our thorns are gifts from God. Your thorn in the flesh was given to you by the Lord, that One who was "acquainted with grief." It is not your enemy, but your friend; embrace it as such. Christ never makes a mistake in placing thorns in our lives. Whatever grief He has sent into your life and is not taking away, rest assured that He knows exactly what He is doing. He knows what needs to be done in your life through that affliction, how much pain you can bear, and, most important of all, He knows that His grace will be sufficient for you.