The Thorns of Success
2 Cor. 12:7
7 And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure. 8For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me. 9And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 10Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.
The great mystery! The eternal question-“What was Paul referring to”? In truth-it will only be in eternity that we will know the answer. Perhaps it was so evident that there was no need to make specific mention to those addressed in the letter. But I believe that God, in his infinite wisdom, left it an open question providing ample space for us to insert our own thorns-our own challenges.

What issues represent a momentary clouding to your otherwise bright and shiny day? What are your reminders to the fact that you are on assignment, and that there is an insistent enemy doing his best to distract, discourage and destroy you?

Whatever it is, we must recognize the practical purpose these thorns serve in our lives. Paul discovered that for him it served the beautiful purpose of connection to the power of God as the sufficiency to get his assignments done. In the consistent face of his own limitations, it was a constant reminder that it takes a strong and steady relationship with God to be sustained and successful.

The temptation is for us to get caught up in our own press, and believe that we can do it alone. The thorns say-“Don’t play yourself. It’s only by grace!” You want to succeed?-stay connected to God’s Divine Truth and Instruction.

Joshua 1:8-“This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.”

If the thorns in my life will force me to rely solely on the Power of Christ’s Sufficiency then I think that is a trade worth making any day. What do you think?
 
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