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A Thorn In The Flesh

April 26, 2013

Living in Arizona offers you many opportunities to pick up a thorn in the flesh, though I was actually not speaking literally but more in line with the writings of the Apostle Paul.

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. For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me. And 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. Therefore 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.”(2 Corinthians. 12:7-10 – King James Version Holy Bible 1610) 

I have taken the easy way today. I lifted the scripture quotation from another source and did not type it from the NIV, which is my usual source. Today we see the King James Version (originally printed in 1610). Some feel that it is the preeminent version, the true translation. I am ascribe to the philosophy that the best translation is the one the you are actually reading, though I must say that there are some very interesting nuances that can cause one to do a great deal of mediation, issues on faith and its origin and alike.

I chose this scripture to close out my seemingly endless review of the acceptance of those that have betrayed trust and are attempting to return as new creatures in Christ. Society is not going to give them much of a break. We as humans can resent someone that has broken the rules for many different reasons. Some of the reasons are just and others are a tad bit off point. Many times we act harshly toward some one because of resentment. They committed a crime and were caught, if I committed a crime I know that I would be punished so therefore let’s punish them as I expect that I would be punished. They could also be feeling guilty about something within them and because of demons that they carry around like so many weights around their neck, they insist that punishment be exacted the manner as we deserve to be punished. (This is my least favorite to talk about because it is one that has roots in my past.)

The guilt that we can feel can be the thorn if you chose to allow it to be. Satan has many tools at his disposal when it comes to antagonizing us. Each of us can fall victim to his manipulations easily. What did Paul mean that Satan’s messenger buffeting of him lest he become exalted? I think that Paul allowed us to see the main issue with us all. It is us! Our need to be self-important and not see what God truly wants for us. He indicates it in verse 6 where he goes on to say “For though I desire glory, I shall not be a fool; for I will say the truth; but now I forbear, lest any man should think of me above that which he seeth me to be, or that he heareth of me.” (2 Corinthians 12:6 – King James Version Holy Bible 1610) After making this statement he goes on to talk about the thorn, his personal thorn.

If Satan comes to him to teach him humility like many contend then, he indicates like John the Baptist when asked about Jesus’ coming ministry, “He must increase, I must decrease.” (John 3:30- King James Version Holy Bible 1610), these are fundamental aspects of a Christ centered life. Self-importance manifests itself in many ways and is grounded in fear. As I have mentioned before our need to feel as though we are right makes the risky offer of trust on that can be defeated by a single thought. What they fail, I will look like a fool. If Satan comes to tempt us with self-doubt, the thorn is representative of how faith can be misplaced. You can see how avoiding giving some one the chance to be restored could be working to fulfill Satan’s mission.

Hey, Jesus never said that it would be easy He did say, “These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulations: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33 – King James Version Holy Bible 1610)

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