Thorn in the Flesh 1
Thorn in the Flesh
Text: 2 Corinthians 12:7-10 (KJV)
7And 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.
Introduction: Verse 7 in the New Living Translation says: “to keep me from getting puffed up, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger from Satan to torment me and keep me from getting proud.”
1#. Gods Grace is Sufficient for Me!
All of us at one time in our lives are burdened with some problem, pain, or sickness of some kind. When asked, God gives healing or deliverance to others, yet this one burden for some reason still lingers on. Why? Are we weak in faith? Have we done something wrong? No, for he says “My grace is all you need.” (Remember Job) (Also Jesus when healing the blind man)
Mark 8:22-25 (KJV)
22And he cometh to Bethsaida; and they bring a blind man unto him, and besought him to touch him.
23And he took the blind man by the hand, and led him out of the town; and when he had spit on his eyes, and put his hands upon him, he asked him if he saw ought.
24And he looked up, and said, I see men as trees, walking.
25After that he put his hands again upon his eyes, and made him look up: and he was restored, and saw every man clearly.
B. Even though Jesus prayed to His Father in heaven to “let this cup pass from me” He went to the cross.
Hebrews 5:7,8 (NRSV)
7In the days of his flesh, Jesus offered up prayers and supplications, with loud cries and tears, to the one who was able to save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverent submission.
8Although he was a Son, he learned obedience through what he suffered;
Title: God Uses Broken Things
God uses broken things. Broken soil to produce a crop, broken clouds to give rain, broken grain to give bread, broken bread to give strength. It is the broken alabaster box that gives forth perfume. It is Peter, weeping bitterly, who returns to greater power than ever.
C. . All too often we say, “I can’t make it!” But Gods grace has always been evident in the weak. Many thought Dave Roever could do nothing, after what happened to him in Vietnam. But God is using him.
1 Corinthians 1:27-29 (AMP.)
27(No,) for God selected – deliberately chose – (what) in the world is foolish to put the wise to shame, and what the world calls weak to put the strong to shame.
28And God also selected – deliberately chose – (what) in the world is lowborn and insignificant, and branded and treated with contempt, even the things that are nothing, that He might depose and bring to nothing the things that are,
29So that no mortal man should (have pretense for glorying and) boast in the presence of God.
4. He is EL-SHADDAI- the Giver of Strength
A. No matter how tired or worn down you may be God offers strength.
Isaiah 40:29-31 (NLT)
29He gives power to those who are tired and worn out; he offers strength to the weak.
30Even youths will become exhausted, and young men will give up.
31But those who wait on the LORD will find new strength. They will fly high on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint.
B. And there is nothing that can keep us from receiving His power!
Romans 8:35-39 (KJV)
35Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?
36As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.
37Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.
38For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come,
39Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
3. When I am Weak Then am I Strong! 1 Corinthians 1:29
We are a church that has no reason to be weak because we are a church that is Pentecostal!
A. We are empowered by the Holy Spirit to do the work of witnessing!
Acts 1:8 (KJV)
8But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.
Philippians 4:13 (KJV)
13I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.
These men could have just given up, thank God they didn’t! Moses stuttered; David’s armor didn’t fit; John Mark was rejected by Paul; Hosea’s wife was a prostitute; Noah was drunk; Solomon was too rich; Adam was hen-pecked; Timothy had ulcers; Peter was afraid of death; David was too young; Abraham was too old; Lazarus was dead; John was self righteous; Jesus was too poor; Jeremiah was depressed and suicidal;
But God still used them and He can use you too if you let Him!
If you are being hurt by something that Satan has thrown upon you and you are wondering why God hasn’t healed you of it or delivered you then you can know that whatever that it is that is causing you pain Gods grace is all you need!