A GRACIOUS PRESCRIPTION
2 Corinthians 12:7b-9a
BlogFam, over the last few posts, we have been exploring the GRACE of God as expressed in Paul's testimony about the thorn in his flesh. On today, we finally get to the answer from God to Paul's request for God to take his thorn away.
Therefore, in order to keep me from becoming conceited, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, “My GRACE is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”
Is that YOUR final answer?
Upon first glance, GRACE seems to be a mighty insufficient response to whatever Paul's thorn in the flesh was. We do not know exactly what it was and many have studied this passage and offered their suggestions for what the thorn could have been. But regardless of what Paul's thorn in the flesh actually was, whatever IT was, he wanted IT to be done, over, gone. So he pleaded with the Lord THREE times to take IT away and the Lord's response was GRACE. GRACE, not a treatment or an ointment, but GRACE was the prescription to Paul's problem and that GRACE was deemed to have been sufficient by God.
Friends, GRACE... Do you remember the definition of GRACE from our previous post?
GRACE is the unmerited favor of God given to people. And while that is something we celebrate in music and in the reading of scripture, what if GRACE was God's only prescription to YOU for your own thorn? Is that ALL we need? Is GRACE enough to address the issues, distractions, and complications that we have in our lives? Is GRACE enough to build up our endurance and give us the reassurance we need to press on? Is GRACE enough?
How would you react or respond to God's prescription of GRACE in your own life? What if the only "relief" from your thorn was the unmerited favor of God that would NOT let you avoid it?
At this point in our conversation, I am forced to reconsider the whole of Paul's testimony because Paul is obviously writing this passage retrospectively. Paul says -
In order to keep me from becoming conceited, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me.
PURPOSE. In order to keep Paul from becoming conceited, God allowed Paul to deal with his thorn. And Paul had to endure whatever pain, embarassment, or feelings of inadequacy for the PURPOSE of not becoming conceited. Thus, in order to fulfill this PURPOSE, the Lord's response to Paul's pleading was to grant Paul the GRACE to endure the thorn.
BlogFam, there is PURPOSE in every thorn we encounter in our lives. AND there will be times when we will pray for the Lord to remove the thorn and He will not remove it. God will not remove it because there is a larger PURPOSE that God is trying to accomplish in our lives. That PURPOSE may be to keep you from being conceited or it may be something else. But there is always a PURPOSE for everything - every thorn and every victory - that God allows to happen in our lives - especially when we are fully committed to His will and His way.
So, when we are put in the position to live with our thorns, I hope that we all realize that the prescription of GRACE really is sufficient. GRACE may not be what we think we need at that time BUT the unmerited FAVOR - excessive kindness and preferential treatment - of God is more than enough to give us whatever we need to confront, wrestle, handle, and dare I say, embrace our thorns. God's GRACE is sufficient and in MY weakness, I am STRONG and the power and priority of God to grant us unmerited favor perfects us in ways that facilitate God's purpose to be fulfilled.
Friends, there will be times in our lives when the ONLY prescription for whatever you are dealing with is the GRACE of God to endure.... and while you are going through, you might not feel like that is good news, but it is. For as long as God can prescribe to you God's unmerited FAVOR as the treatment for your thorn, you will most definitely be OK!!!
God's GRACE is sufficient.
God Loves You and I Do Too!
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