Thorn in the Flesh Part 2



Why does God allow these thorns in the flesh to enter our lives? Because He is love. And He chastens those He loves.

Hebrews 12:5-6 (New International Version)

5 And you have forgotten that word of encouragement that addresses you as sons: 

“My son, do not make light of the Lord’s discipline, 

     and do not lose heart when he rebukes you, 

6 because the Lord disciplines those he loves, 

  and he punishes everyone he accepts as a son.”

Did you read that “word of encouragement” carefully? His rebuke is to a “son” and it is done in “love.” How can we not receive it and surrender to it? Being our loving, Heavenly Father, He shows us an even more precious reason why He chastens us:

Hebrews 12:10-11 Amplified Bible, Classic Edition (AMPC)

10 For [our earthly fathers] disciplined us for only a short period of time and chastised us as seemed proper and good to them; but He disciplines us for our certain good, that we may become sharers in His own holiness.

11 For the time being no discipline brings joy, but seems grievous and painful; but afterwards it yields a peaceable fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it [a harvest of fruit which consists in righteousness—in conformity to God’s will in purpose, thought, and action, resulting in right living and right standing with God].

For our “certain good” that we might “become sharers in His own holiness” and bring forth the “peaceable fruit of righteousness.” Yes, Lord, that’s a very good reason. Oh, Father, what heavenly reasons You always give for Your loving actions. How can we not delight in them!


2 Corinthians 12:9 (New King James Version)

9 And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.

Matthew 6:34 (New King James Version)

34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.

Sufficient according to Strong’s Concordance means “to be content, to be enough.” It’s easy to understand that we would be content with the amount of grace that we receive,  but how can we be content with the amount of trouble that we receive for the day?

But let’s try something: Combine the two phrases “sufficient for the day” and “My grace is sufficient for you.” Now look at them with the wisdom God said He would give us in James 1:5 and you get a totally new perspective. Today I have troubles, troubles (thank you very much) that are quite sufficient for today. BUT He has also promised me that His grace is also sufficient for that day as well. So each day, no matter what troubles come my way, His grace is sufficient for me to cope with those troubles. I realized that all I needed was grace enough for only each day – not tomorrow or next week, just today. In that I can be content (Strong’s definition of sufficient).

If this daily sufficiency seems familiar, it may be because it so closely resembles the manna God provided in the wilderness to His people – without which they could not survive. And which was given totally by His Hand, His love and His mercy.

Exodus 16:17-18 (New International Version)

17 The Israelites did as they were told; some gathered much [manna],  some little. 18 And when they measured it by the omer, he who gathered much did not have too much, and he who gathered little did not have too little. Each one gathered as much as he needed. 

Every day God’s people went out and gathered what they needed to survive the day – some days they needed more than others, but there was always enough for what they needed. Every night they could go to sleep and know that God’s grace had gotten them through one more “today.” They didn’t worry about tomorrow; sufficient for the day was its own troubles. And God had promised them manna – grace – sufficient for the day.

The greatest danger we all face is not being able to see Jesus in our troubles—instead we see ghosts. In that peak moment of fear when the night is the blackest and the storm is the angriest, Jesus always draws near to us, to reveal himself as the Lord of the flood, the Savior in storms. “The Lord sitteth upon the flood; yea, the Lord sitteth King for ever” (Psalm 29:10).

In Matthew 14, Jesus ordered his disciples into a boat that was headed for a storm. The Bible says he constrained them to get into a ship. It was headed for troubled waters; it would be tossed about like a bobbing cork. Where was Jesus? He was up in the mountains overlooking the sea; he was there, praying for them not to fail in the test he knew they must go through.

You would think that at least one disciple would have recognized what was happening and said, “Look friends, Jesus said He would never leave us or forsake us. He sent us on this mission; we are in the center of  His will. He said the steps of a righteous man are ordered by Himself. Look again. That’s our Lord! He is right here! We’ve never once been out of His sight.”

But not one disciple recognized Him. They did not expect Him to be in their storm. Never, ever did they expect Him to be with them, or even near them, in a storm! But He did come, walking on the water.

There was only one lesson to be learned, only one. It was a simple lesson, not some deep, mystical, earth-shattering one. Jesus simply wanted to be trusted as their Lord, in every storm of life. He simply wanted them to maintain their cheer and confidence, even in the blackest hours of trial. That’s all.

(David Wilkerson Devotional 7/22/09)

Remember, also, that the Lord has named Himself I AM. That means present tense – today, not tomorrow. Deal with Him in the present tense. He knows the future – we don’t need to. Just follow Him and He will lead us, day by day, into the future He has for us. How often I have added tomorrow’s problems to today’s and accumulated fear! It only makes today’s burden heavier and won’t make tomorrow’s lighter. God only gives burdens enough to be borne for that day. Why would we want to accumulate to ourselves additional worries and fears to make the burden unbearable? By doing that we become our own taskmasters and have made our walk harder than the troubles themselves. His grace is sufficient for the troubles He has allowed for that one day.

I’ll leave you with the lyrics to an old song by Dallas Holm. May it touch your heart with the Biblical truth and hope of its lyrics. Put it on your playlist when you are in danger of defeat and remember what it says.

I’ve Never Seen The Righteous Forsaken lyrics

O, I know you may get weary,
And the times they may get rough.
You may not have all you want,
But you’ll always have enough.
And when your darkest hour comes,
Just remember what I say:
I’ve never seen the righteous forsaken,
Or their seed begging for bread!

O, I know it seems so hopeless,
And you don’t know what to pray.
You’ve done all you know to do,
And it seems there’s just no way.
And when you feel you’re at the end,
Just remember what I say:
I’ve never seen the righteous forsaken,
Or their seed begging for bread!

I’ve never seen God’s people
With a need that He could not meet!
I know that He cares for His own,
And His promises He’ll keep.

So just hold on a little longer
The answer’s soon to come.
The endless waiting’s almost over,
The vict’ry’s almost won.
And when again you feel His joy,
You’ll remember what I said:
I’ve never seen the righteous forsaken,
Or their seed begging for bread!

I’ve never seen the righteous forsaken,
I’ve never seen the righteous forsaken,
I’ve never seen the righteous forsaken,
Or their seed begging for bread.

Blessings to you all!

Works cited: