Paul compared his boasting to that of the Judaizers in Corinth, where self-proclaimed men of God made false claims about their relationship with Christ as well as the outpouring of blessings he bestowed upon them. On the flip side was the apostle Paul, boasting about his weaknesses and using his downfalls as stepping stones for Christ.
In this section of his letter to the believers in Corinth, Paul writes about a physical infirmity he pleaded many times with God to be healed from, in vain.
“7 And lest I should be exalted above measure by the abundance of the revelations, a thorn in the flesh was given to me, a messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I be exalted above measure.” (2 Corinthians 12:7)
Paul describes his “thorn” as one in the flesh, symbolizing physical suffering as a result of sin. The same thorn is described by the apostle as one imposed upon him by Satan himself. Paul describes the suffering from his thorn as a humbling vessel by which the apostle’s faith is constantly renewed.
“8 Concerning this thing I pleaded with the Lord three times that it might depart from me.’ (2 Corinthians 12:8)
Paul had prayed for the suffering to be taken away from him to no avail. The apostle’s thorn would become spiritual glue that would hold Paul’s faith in check as he found himself strengthened by the same infirmity meant to weaken him.
‘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.” (2 Corinthians 12:9)
Relying on the power given onto him by the Lord, Paul proclaims God’s divine plan for its glory in the apostle’s life in spite of suffering, which he uses again as an acceptable form of boasting.
“10 Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” (2 Corinthians 12:10)
Paul uses challenges brought on by ministry to illustrate his point, that it is in suffering and pain that the love and power of Christ are revealed. It is not through gain or success God’s name is exalted, but in salvation and redemption of the lost.
Believers should keep their focus on the Lord and the fulfillment of our mission to serve Him, as we find ourselves blessed with thorn of our own which keep us humble as we walk the narrow path that leads to eternal life. Let us pray!
We thank you for your blessings in our lives and for your servant Paul,
We praise you Lord for his wisdom and for his works through this scripture,
We ask you Lord to inspire us to use these verses in our lives
As we grow in you through the teachings of your faithful apostle.
Lord we ask you to strengthen us each day as we endure through battles,
Allow us to praise and love each other through faith in you Jesus,
Shield us from evil through truth, the gospel, salvation and prayer,
Guide us to abide by your word as we spread your gospel to one and all
Becoming examples of faith through our character as we walk the narrow path.
God we pray that you will continue to bless us, to bless our lives and fill us with hope
We ask you Lord to guide our footsteps and lead us to the way everlasting,
Through faith in you Lord we seek salvation and a place with you in heaven
According to your word, your everlasting wisdom and strength.
May your will be done
In our lives, for your life.
We thank you for your love and all you bless us with each day.
This message was written by Daniel St.Pierre