The Gift that Keeps on Giving (3 of 3) by Ernest Easley

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The Gift that Keeps on Giving (3 of 3)
Dr. Ernest L. Easley
2 Corinthians 12:7-10
November 13, 2011

We are once again in 2 Corinthians 12 learning about The Gift that Keeps on Giving. And do you remember what that gift is? It's that thing in your life that God is using to keep you humble and holy so that you can remain useable for His plans and purposes.
For the Apostle Paul .. he referred to it as his "thorn in the flesh." It doesn't take much of a thorn to make its point! One day several years ago while out hunting .. I wasn't paying attention to my surroundings and sat down on a cactus plant. That experience stayed with me for several days!
Some thorns stay with us a lifetime. Thorny experiences are a part of life. And often time they raise questions: Why? Why me? Why now? And if we would be honest .. we would have to say that there are not always easy answers to difficult questions.
In fact … listen to what God says about that in Romans 8.26, "Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought …" When the thorns come our way … it's possible to get to the place where you don't even know what to pray for. Perhaps that's where you are today.
Well .. know this: you're in good company. In Genesis 18 .. Abraham prayed for God to spare Sodom, but He didn't and afterwards .. Abraham didn't know WHAT to pray.
And then there was Moses .. Mighty Moses who prayed and asked God to let him go into the Promised Land and God said, "no." And afterwards .. Moses didn't know WHAT to pray.
And now here in 2 Corinthians 12 … Paul had just had a mountain top experience with God and on his face before God asked that his "thorn in the flesh" be removed .. and God once again said, "no."
In fact .. Paul says in verse 8 that he "pleaded with the Lord three times that it might depart from me." Literally, he "begged" God to remove it. Hey folks .. sometimes there are no easy answers to difficult que ...


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