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Devotional - week of June 18, 2000


OUR THORNS-GOD’S GRACE

Paul had his thorn in the flesh as recorded in 2 Corinthians 12:7-10. We have ours also. That is, we have our God-given difficulties in life-even as we walk with God.

The purpose for our thorns is the same as the purpose for Paul’s. “My grace is sufficient for you” (2 Cor. 12:9). Paul thought he needed freedom from the thorn. God knew that Paul needed God’s grace.

Aren’t we the same as Paul? What we desire is comfortable circumstances. God knows that we need His grace. And God knows that thorns produce grace.

But why? If I can live by God’s grace through obeying the five commands of Romans 6:11-13, why do I need the thorn?

The same man-the Apostle Paul-who taught us what we are to do to live by grace also testifies that God has to supplement what we do with circumstances resulting in His grace. Paul writes an even explanation of this fact in 2 Corinthians 1:8-9. He writes:

For we would not, brethren, have you ignorant of our trouble which came to us in Asia, that we were pressed out of measure, above strength, insomuch that we despaired even of life: But we had the sentence of death in ourselves, that we should not trust in ourselves, but in God which raiseth the dead.

 The message is simple. We will trust ourselves just as long as we can. When we live by faith in ourselves, we are not living by faith in God. When we are not living by faith in God, we are not living by grace.

So, in His wisdom and goodness, God sends the thorns that He might assist us  in living by Grace.

The Apostle Paul praised God for his thorn. Will we do the same?