Have you ever had a “thorn in the flesh”?
I have one now. It’s not fun. It’s painful. Today as I was praying about a hard situation that I’m going through right now, God spoke to me in His still, small voice: “My grace is sufficient for you.”
Really, God?! Sigh.
This verse comes from 2 Corinthians Chapter 12:1-9. Paul was telling the church at Corinth that while he could easily boast because of all God had done in and through his life and the supernatural visions that he’d seen. it wasn’t profitable for him to brag.
But I refrain, lest anyone should think of me above what he sees me to be or hears from me. 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. Concerning this thing I pleaded with the Lord three times that it might depart from me. 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. 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.
Yep, God was sure using Paul in a great way, but He didn’t want him to get the big head.
So God allowed “a thorn in the flesh” to make sure Paul was continuing to eat humble pie. A thorn in the flesh to buffet him…God did this on purpose!
The word buffet in this verse is kolaphizo in the original language (Strong’s G2852), It means:
- to strike with the fist; to give one a blow with the fist;
- to maltreat; to treat with violence and contumely (harsh language, contemptuous or humiliating treatment; insult; arrogant remark; abusive language; scorn).
Are you there? Do you feel beat up by the enemy Satan?
Now that doesn’t sound very nice of God to do! As I was reading my Bible today, I read the “Word Wealth” section. (New King James Version, New Spirit Filled Life Bible, copyright 2002 Thomas Nelson, Inc.). They take you deeper into the meaning of the words, revealing more layers of what God is doing.
When God answered Paul, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness,” that word grace is charis (Strong’s #5485). It’s from the same root word as chara (joy) and chairo (to rejoice). “It is the word for God’s grace extended to sinful man, It signifies unmerited favor, undeserved blessing, a free gift.”
God’s blessings are enough.
Substituting these words for *grace*, I wrote in my journal this morning:
God’s *salvation* is sufficient for me. God’s *deliverance* is sufficient for me. God’s *blessings* are sufficient for me. God’s *favor* is sufficient for me! It doesn’t matter what others are doing. It doesn’t matter _____ won’t love me. God does. God saved me from hell! He brought me out of great darkness spiritually into His glorious, brilliant life. That is all that matters.
Grace. And thanksgiving for grace, God’s undeserved blessings.
Eucharisteo—thanksgiving—always precedes the miracle. ~ Ann Voskamp, One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are
Need a miracle? Be thankful. One is on the way!
Today I intentionally practice eucharisteo for:
- My journal;
- The ultra-fine, black Sharpie pen (my fave pen in the whole world) that I write with now;
- The sound of pen on paper (being able to hear physically and being able to hear by the Spirit what God is saying);
- I see the words I write (the gift of vision – my physical eyes and spiritual eyes);
- The warmth of my home and the soft, olive-green blanket I’m wrapped up in on the loveseat on this cold, icey day;
- Fuzzy socks and comfy pj’s as I spend quiet time with God;
- A refreshing Coke® to drink;
- My beautiful children ~ “Mom” is the most beautiful word in the world to me, next to “Jesus”;
- Our precious grandchildren ~ The name “Nana” is my crown;
- Precious friends who are praying fervently for me and love me, just as I am.
What are your undeserved blessings from God? Think about them.
Begin to write them down. Practice eucharisteo.