Thorns of Blessing

Mark Heijerman

READ : 2 Corinthians 12:1-10

Sometimes we pray one way, but God answers in another way. Sometimes we long to have a certain “thorn” removed from our lives, but God decides that it is better for us to keep it. Even Paul experienced this. When Satan plagued his life with a thorn of difficulty, he pleaded with God three times to remove this painful problem, but God ruled that the “thorn” needed to stay.

To his credit, Paul understood why God made this decision. It was to keep him from conceit and pride. Riches often tempt rich people to get big egos, and since Paul was a man of many rich spiritual experiences, he needed to be careful. God had entrusted him with great revelations. God had given him glorious visions and the joy of hearing wonderful things. Losing his humility was possible.

Therefore, God decided to leave Paul’s thorn in place. For though annoying, the thorn constantly reminded Paul that he needed God. Though unpleasant, it kept him humble and dependent upon divine grace. Though troublesome, the thorn molded Paul into a godly person that otherwise he would not have become. Though painful, the thorn was a blessing.


Dear Father, thank you for using our weakness to make us strong. In Jesus’ name. Amen.