Paul had a spiritual experience, that leaves the rest of us breathless. This was before Paul started to write his epistle to the Corinthian church, even before beginning his ministry and missionary journeys. Paul was in heaven, and saw things, about which he was commanded not to speak.
In many of his letters, Paul gives confirmation to the fact that: eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor has it entered into the imagination of man, the wonderful things that God has prepared for those that love God. Paul was able to make the statement that: our light, momentary troubles, are achieving for us an eternal weight of glory.
God gave him a ‘thorn in the flesh’. God knew the incredible privileges, which had been granted to this apostle to the gentiles. God knew these experiences could cause Paul to become proud and arrogant. This could somehow make him feel that he was more important than other believers. To prevent him from becoming proud, God gave him a ‘thorn in the flesh’. A ‘thorn in the flesh’, is some sort of infirmity. It is a problem or a difficulty, which an individual may have in their life, which inhibits them in certain ways. Paul explained the “thorn in his flesh” was a messenger from Satan’, which was designed to torment him. He goes on to explain that his ‘thorn in the flesh’ was necessary. Necessary to keep him from exalting himself, and becoming proud. Like all of us, Paul needed a constant reminder of his own inabilities, his weaknesses and his total dependence on God.
“I can do all things through Christ, Who strengthens me”. This “thorn” was designed by God to make Paul’s life and ministry more effective. It helped Paul to realize that without Christ, I can do nothing. God’s love is everlasting and God’s grace is always sufficient. We are born-again and we have the life of Christ within us. We also have the power of the Holy Spirit to guide and lead us. If we trust God, as believers, we have the life of Christ within, and the power of the Holy Spirit, to lead and guide us. “I can do all things through Christ, Who strengthens me”.
It doesn’t matter if we are encompassed by the dangers and difficulties of life, God is no respecter persons. The grace and strength that Paul received throughout his ministry, is the same grace and strength which is available to all, who have been saved, by grace, through faith in Christ.
No matter what dangers, difficulties or ‘thorns’ we may encounter in our lives, as we walk this journey through life, may we do justly, love mercy, and walk humbly before our God. May our lives be a living sacrifice to God, and a faithful, witness of His sufficient grace.
See you on Sunday for In-Person Worship or as you watch our live-streamed Services.
“I don’t know how, but I know WHO!”
Grace and Peace, Pastor Nelda
Reverend Dr. Nelda Barrett Murraine is pastor at First United Methodist Church PO Box 146 – 229 W 4th St. Kennedale, TX 76060
First United Methodist Church of Kennedale – https://www.facebook.com/KennedaleFUMC/