Thorns In The Flesh

2 Corinthians 12:7-9–And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure. For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me. And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.

***********************************************************************

Twice in these verses Paul says “lest I should be exalted above measure”.  Paul had just been talking of some great and glorious spiritual experiences that he had in the past.  God does not want us to be exalted above measure.  He does not want us to be puffed up with pride and to exalt our self above others and look down on them.  The Bible tells us that pride goes before a fall.  We are not to think more highly of our self than we ought to. If this condition becomes true it hinders our ability to be used by God.  To keep this from happening there was given to him a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet him.  We don’t know exactly what this was, however it is believed that it was something physical, painful, and humiliating.  The tense used in the Greek wording indicates that this was something that was repeatedly occurring.

Sometimes God might allow something to come into our lives to keep us from being exalted above measure, become filled with pride, and to think more highly of our self than we should.  He will allow things to happen that keep us humble.  Even when we pray for God to remove it, He doesn’t because it is for our best interest.

He wants us to know that if He does not remove it, His grace is sufficient for us to deal with it.  His grace will strengthen us and be everything we need to handle whatever it is.