I was in prayer this morning and one of the last things I heard the Holy Spirit say was “Learn To Appreciate The Thorn In Your Side.”
As Christians, there will be times in your life when you’ll have to still fully function, even with the presence of extreme difficulty. The thorn can come in the form of a person, thing or situation, that brings such conflict into your life. We are asked, through God’s word, to bear these moments, understanding that Gods power can and will work through us when we are weak. No, this doesn’t necessarily mean that the “thing” that is causing us discomfort will go away, but what it does mean is that God will give us His strength to deal with it.
It’s never easy going through hardship. It’s something we all face every day. If I took a poll of how many people are struggling to pay their bills? Or, how many people are dealing with those, who only bring drama into your lives? I think there would be an overwhelming response, one that would confirm that we are not alone in the struggle.
We each bear something we’d rather not endure, but learning how to appreciate the situation for what it is, is something we all can achieve in time.
Rather than feeling helpless, understand that God has been with you each step of the way. He’s never left you, nor has He abandoned you to be overtaken by your situation. There is something to learn while living in your present state of discomfort.
Yes, your faith will be tested. You will want to quit. You will get in your feelings and sulk a bit. You will even want to distance yourself from God and others all because of what you’re going through but never forget…
Gods power works best in your weakness. For when you are weak, He is strong.
As it states in 2 Corinthians 12:7-10 NLT
“even though I have received such wonderful revelations from God. So to keep me from becoming proud, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger from Satan to torment me and keep me from becoming proud. Three different times I begged the Lord to take it away. Each time he said, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me. That’s why I take pleasure in my weaknesses, and in the insults, hardships, persecutions, and troubles that I suffer for Christ. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”
I can’t really say, for myself, that I have taken pleasure in my weaknesses. If anything, I try to shield them so no one knows that they exist lol. As I believe, most people do.
To put yourself out there and boast about things that people readily throw back at you at the drop of a dime is not particularly a motivation for me to be transparent. But yet, as per his writings, that is what we are told to do.
The freedom that Paul demonstrates to us, is one that is bold and carefree and is able to release the concerns of life.
I would love to live that way but there is a cost.
•I would have to not care about what people say or think.
•I’d have to release fears of not being accepted.
•I’d have to let go of the idea of being perfect as I could possibly be.
•I’d have to be ready to give of myself in a way I’ve never given before, understanding that the overall return may not be as rewarding to me, as it is to others.
•I’d have to understand that the insults, hardships, persecutions, and troubles that I have and would suffer for Christ, would be worth it in the end.
Having the grace to bear difficult things is a gift, and there are situations within your own life, that you’ve had to suffer with for some time.
You’ve prayed. You’ve cried. You’ve fasted. You’ve tithed. You’ve done all that you could do in your own strength but now is the time to release all of that weight unto God.
You’ve carried it as far as you could. Now, give it over to Him.
He will help you.
He will lead you.
He will direct, instruct, comfort and protect you.
He will shield and uplift you, being the light in your darkness.
There is a beautiful way to push past the tough moments in life. Yet, it’s very rare to see people express this. Paul, in all he faced, was able to find the silver lining and focused his attention and efforts towards encouraging others to not fixate on what is being experienced but what is being learned. Paul had a “So now” moment……in the KJV, it states “Most gladly, therefore, will I rather glory in”… that moment was the moment when something important was realized. Character was being developed. Understanding about God’s ways and His abilities were being better understood. Paul’s confidence in who he was, was no longer dictated by what was happening to him. The “thorn” in his side/ made flesh, had less effect over his declarations about God.
The same can be said about us when we can get to a place that our own situations no longer embarrass us or cause us shame, but we can look at God and declare His power, might, and goodness over our lives in spite of our “thorns”! That’s the place, where true VICTORY dwells.
I don’t know where you’re at in your walk with God, but we all face ”thorns in our sides”, but rather than be embarrassed by the things that keep us humble, let’s begin to use it as testimonies to declare God’s goodness in the earth.
“You might feel the thorns presence in your life, but it’s quite different when you can begin to smile back at it.”
It holds no power over you!
It will not keep you from doing God’s will.
It will not force you to back up and give up the calling over your life.
If anything, let it be a reminder to stay close the one who gives you the power to overcome the devices of the enemy.
Each day, make the decision to be stronger, to be bolder and to be braver because there are people who are waiting for you to be free so they can be set free too.
I hope that the simple truths within this post encourage you to keep moving forward and that you will be empowered to look past your weaknesses and turn them into strengths.
God Bless and Keep Building…
Below is a previous post that has similar tones but in the form of a poem.