The Ministry Of The Thorn
2 Corinthians 12:7-10
INTRODUCTION: Cups teach about the wrath of God Storms teach about the worship of God Thorns teach about the ways of God
The Lord knows how to balance our lives. If we have only blessings, we may become proud, so He permits us to have burdens as well.
''Shall we indeed accept good from God, and shall we not accept adversity?'' Job 2:10
Paul's experience in heaven could have ruined his ministry on earth; so God, in His goodness, permitted Satan to buffet Paul in order to keep him from becoming proud.
2 Corinthians 12:3-5 ''And I know such a man - whether in the body or out of the body I do not know, God knows - how he was caught up into Paradise and heard inexpressible words, which it is not lawful for a man to utter. Of such a one I will boast; yet of myself I will not boast, except in my infirmities.''
Our greatest triumphs are often followed by difficulties. Christianity does not exempt one from pain. Even the blows of Satan can be for our good. ''No'' is a valid answer from God to our prayers.
When God permits pain and problems, He provides sufficient grace. Only when we confess our weakness can God demonstrate His complete power.
PAUL'S THORN. PRIDE.
''exalted above measure'' - over-exalted, used only one other time in the New Testament in II Thess. 2:4
2 Thessalonians 2:3-4 ''Let no one deceive you by any means; for that Day will not come unless the falling away comes first, and the man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition, who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God or that is worshiped, so that he sits as God in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God.''
Word refers to the inflating of ego. The Lord had so blessed Paul that pride was a constant temptation.
PAIN. ''a thorn in the flesh was given to me'' - denotes a pointed stake; a splinter; excruciatingly painful.
REASON: To keep Paul from being overly-hyper exalted because of t ...
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