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Daily Reading: Isaiah 8:1-9:21 ESV, 2 Corinthians 12:1-10 ESV, Psalm 55:1-23 ESV, Proverbs 23:4-5 ESV

Daily Verse: “I must go on boasting. Though there is nothing to be gained by it, I will go on to visions and revelations of the Lord.” (2 Corinthians 12:1 ESV)

KAUCHAOMAI (2744): “Means “to boast or glory,” is translated “to boast.”[i]

Glory to God.

Paul feels like he has no choice but to boast.  However, Paul doesn’t glorify himself but God.  After breaking a 14-year silence, Paul tells the Corinthians about his vision.  Because Paul struggled with pride, God gave him a thorn in his flesh.  Three times Paul begged God to remove the thorn. God responded with grace.

“But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore, I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.” (2 Corinthians 12:9 ESV)

God’s words humbled Paul, making him thankful for his weaknesses.  Paul learned contentment because of his thorn.

Extended grace.

Everyone has a thorn or two in their life, an area of imperfection that drives them crazy.  When you have a thorn in the flesh, it festers and causes the skin to get red and inflamed.  The slightest touch can cause a flash of intense pain, causing you to wince.  Learning to live with the prickly weed requires God’s help.

Leaning into the Savior will help you find relief from the irritation.  Christ gets the glory as you overcome your thorns, allowing His strength to shine in your weakness. 

An illustration I heard long ago, the source unknown, explains it well: 

An alcoholic asked his pastor, “Why doesn’t God take away my desire to drink?” 

The pastor responded.  “What do you do when you want to drink?”

“I get on my knees and pray.”

“If God took away the desire to drink, would you spend as much time praying?”

God uses the thorns in our lives to draw us closer to Him.  Christ’s strength overcomes our weaknesses, His grace sufficient.  Seek God for help; He won’t let you down.

[i] Strong, J., & Strong, J. (2010). The New Strong’s expanded exhaustive concordance of the Bible. Greek Dictionary of the New Testament (p.136) Thomas Nelson

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