Therefore, in order to keep me from becoming conceited, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me.
2 Corinthians 12:7
Blessings from God
Few had accomplished more for God than the apostle Paul. His passion and drive to do the work of God were without parallel. He spent most of his life traveling from town to town, sharing the message of God. His impact on growing the church had no equal. He started churches all across the Mediterranean, and countless people came to faith because of Paul’s efforts.
Few had received more blessings from God than the apostle Paul. God had given him signs and miracles to accompany his message. Paul had heard with his own ears the voice of the risen Jesus. Paul had even been so blessed that one time he was caught up to heaven and experienced “inexpressible” things.
There was one blessing Paul was given that he asked God to take back: a thorn in his flesh. We don’t know exactly what this thorn was. It may have been an illness of some type. Maybe a limitation or persecution that he had to experience. Regardless of what it might have been, its purpose was clear. Paul said it had been given to him “…in order to keep me from becoming conceited.”
Paul had accomplished so much that it would have been easy for someone of his caliber to become conceited. Therefore, God, in his perfect wisdom and love, granted one more blessing, a reminder to rely on God alone.
We can look at the challenges in our lives the same way. We can see them as blessings from God. After all, he has promised to use everything in our lives for our ultimate good. It is not always easy to believe, but this is his promise. When the doctor brings a bad report, God is blessing you. When money is scarce, God is still blessing you. When people hurt, God is still blessing you. Regardless of your situation, God promises to bless you.
May we always see God’s hand of blessing in our lives.
Gracious Lord, when difficulties enter my life keep me close to you. Remind me that in all circumstances you promise to bless me. Amen.
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