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PAUL'S THORN IN THE FLESH

WHAT IS A THORN IN THE FLESH

Christianity Oasis Ministry has provided you with this Christian Walk study. What was Paul's thorn in the flesh? We'll be looking into that and all aspects of the Christian Walk. This SON-derful study reveals truth to bring forth understanding and peace within.


PAUL'S THORN IN THE FLESH
WHAT IS A THORN IN THE FLESH


The Bible speaks of the Apostle Paul's thorn in the flesh. But, what is a thorn in the flesh? ...

2 Corinthians 12:7-8
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.

What do you believe Paul's thorn in the flesh was, that this Scripture is speaking of?

Remember ... The Bible passage said that Paul's thorn in the flesh was a messenger of Satan sent to buffet him lest he should be exalted above measure. What could that possibly mean? It seems this "messenger of Satan" was allowed to taunt and/or haunt Paul. The word "buffet" means to constantly annoy, cause physical pain or problems.

Many believe Paul is referring to the beatings that he endured at times because of his faith. Others believe it was an illness Paul had and still others believe Paul had bad babits that would continually return.

You may be asking, what "exalted" means ... It means to be uplifted either in spirit or in rank or status. In other words this thorn in the flesh was occurring to keep Paul down for some reason. It is easy to understand why Satan would seek to hinder Paul's mission for the Lord by way of Paul's thorn in the flesh ...

But, why would God allow that?


PAUL'S THORN IN THE FLESH MYSTERY
WHAT IS A THORN IN THE FLESH PURPOSE

Perhaps this is why Paul begged God to take the thorn in his flesh away. He knew that it was being allowed to occur by God. But, again WHY would God allow this to occur? The answer is written twice in those two verses ... Lest Paul should be exalted above measure. In other words to keep Paul humble because of all the power and wisdom that God gave him, could have had him become quite haughty and prideful thereby losing sight of whose power and wisdom it truly belonged to and who gave it to him to use for God's will.

Colossians 1:24
Who now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up that which is behind of the AFFLICTIONS OF CHRIST IN MY FLESH for His body's sake, which is the Church ...

Paul was well aware that he was to expect suffering for serving Jesus Christ ...

Acts 9:16
For I (God) will shew him (Paul) how great things he (Paul) must suffer for my name's sake.

So, what is this Thorn in the flesh?

In TRUTH ... Based on these few verses alone, there is no obvious answer.

We do know it was IN THE FLESH.

Let us search the Bible a little more and see if we can find out anything else about Paul's thorn in the flesh, shall we?

Galatians 4:13-14
Ye know how through INFIRMITY OF THE FLESH, I preached the gospel unto you at the first. And my TEMPTATION which WAS IN MY FLESH ye despised not, nor rejected; but received me as an Angel of God, even as Christ Jesus.

The thorn in the flesh is now being called an INFIRMITY and a TEMPTATION.

This thorn in the flesh was also apparently noticeable by those who looked upon, heard him preach or heard of his antics because he stated that they despised not, nor rejected him due to this Thorn in the flesh.

Now, with these clues ... IN the flesh, deemed as a temptation and an infirmity, Satanís messenger, God allowed it to keep Paul from being exalted and people had heard of this thorn in the flesh OR seen it ... What do you believe the Paul's thorn in the flesh could be?

Let us continue our search for more evidence as to what a thorn in the flesh was.

1 Corinthians 2:1-5
And I, brethren, when I came to you, came not with excellency of speech or of wisdom, declaring unto you the testimony of God. For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and Him crucified. And I was with you in WEAKNESS, and in FEAR, and in much TREMBLING. And my speech and my preaching was NOT WITH ENTICING WORDS of man's wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power: That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God.

Hard to imagine Paul weak, fearful and trembling huh?

Could this be the thorn in the flesh?

Letís ponder on it from time to time as we proceed.

What do you think he means by his words were NOT enticing?

2 Corinthians 10:10
For his letters, say they, are weighty and powerful; but his bodily presence is weak, and his SPEECH CONTEMPTIBLE.

What do you think they meant by Paulís speech being CONTEMPTIBLE?

2 Corinthians 11:6
But though I be RUDE IN SPEECH, yet not in knowledge; but we have been throughly made manifest among you in all things.

Perhaps it was his rude and contemptible speech which was his thorn in the flesh?

But wait ... Does that fit ALL the clues?

Is rude and contemptible speech a temptation?

Or maybe these verses share more:

Romans 7:14-17
For we know that the law is spiritual: but I am carnal, sold under sin. For that which I do I allow not: for what I would, that do I not; but what I hate, that do I. If then I do that which I would not, I consent unto the law that it is good. Now then it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me.
For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not. For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do. Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me. I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me.For I delight in the law of God after the inward man: But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members. O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death? I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin.


PAUL'S THORN IN THE FLESH CLUES
WHAT IS A THORN IN THE FLESH USED FOR


This makes it sound like a possible addiction to something of the flesh.

TRUTH is ... There are so many possibilities as to what this Thorn in the flesh was. In fact he may have had many thorns in the flesh, just as we all do.

Maybe we should look at this ... Thorn in the flesh thanggg within our own Christian walk and it will make more sense. What temptations which became thorns in the flesh do you have/had and begged God to remove?

The choices we have made and still make have us cry out ... O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the BODY of this death.

It is obvious that ... Temptations which are agreed and adhered to, DO become addictions which DO become thorns in the flesh. They DO come from messengers of satan. People DO see the fruits whether by word or deed. We DO beg God to take them from us.

But we have forgotten the GOD factor ...

Does GOD allow us to experience these things as to prevent us from being exalted or as sufferings for HIS namesake and if so ... WHY?

Why would God allow us to endure such things which He knew we would choose poorly and look like dweebs?

Could not the LESSONS from these experiences be ways which God keeps YOU in check as to never deem yourself as being exalted and holier than thou to HIS Children whom ye encounter, just as the Pharisees did, making it too hard for HIS children to enter the gates?

1 Corinthians 1:26-29
For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called: But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are: That no flesh should glory in his presence.


It is GOD'S due glory ... Not ours.

2 Corinthians 4:7
But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, AND NOT OF US.

Earlier we read this ...

2 Corinthians 12:7-8
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.

But, let us continue and read the next verse:

2 Corinthians 12:9
And He said unto me, MY GRACE IS SUFFICIENT FOR THEE: for my strength is made perfect in weakness ...


PAUL'S THORN IN THE FLESH SUMMARY
WHAT IS A THORN IN THE FLESH TRUTH


I know when you fall victim to temptation, you despise yourself.

We all do.

We all have our ... Thorns in the Flesh, due to choosing to adhere to a temptation, despite what it may be.

But, we must choose to remember that God will never allow us to be TOO tempted, without giving us a way to escape said temptation:

1 Corinthians 10:13
There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation ALSO MAKE A WAY TO ESCAPE, that ye may be able to bear it.

We need to learn to REJOICE when we are weak or lowly as it is then that God can and will be strong IN you:

2 Corinthians 12:9-10
....... 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.

And you GET up from the fall even wiser and patient than before.

But the path of PRAYER is the ONLY way to overcome these times of temptation which even Paul endured.

What was Paul's specific Thorn(s) In The flesh?

Matters lil.

What matters is how he overcame them and how we can.

PRAYER !!!

Mark 14:38
Watch ye and pray, lest ye enter into temptation. The spirit truly is ready, but the flesh is weak.

Pray for God to keep us from temptation which can lead to a Thorn in the flesh.

Matthew 6:13
And LEAD us not into TEMPTATION, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.


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