Overcoming Temptations (Part III)

Part III: A Thorn in My Flesh

Many of us fight silent battles that we keep to ourselves. Some of us may even vow to never share what we’ve been through (or currently going through). Of course, we could have reasons for keeping our problems to ourselves. For example, we may feel misunderstood. We may not think anyone relates to what we’re going through. I would be a liar if I said that I never felt that way before, because I have.

Our battles/secrets may feel like a thorn in our flesh. They may even tempt us to grow weary in faith. Think about Paul in 2 Corinthians. He didn’t lose faith. If you don’t know Paul’s history from the Bible, I encourage you to read about him in Philippians, Acts, and Galatians. To sum up key facts about Paul, he used to be named Saul. Saul persecuted many Christians. He went inside of churches and did cruel things to the body of Christ.

When Saul got his life right with God (Hallelujah!), his named was changed to Paul. He started fresh in life. He left his past behind him and began living for Jesus. He preached the gospel and spoke the Truth of the Word.

I know this may sound like a miraculous change (in which it was), but just because he turned over a new leaf, doesn’t mean the temptations stopped. We learn in 2 Corinthians 12:6-7 that he had a ‘thorn in his flesh’.

Many of us have had or still have a ‘thorn in the flesh’. Thorns in the flesh weaken us, annoys us, humbles us, and might even embarrass us. Now, it doesn’t state exactly what Paul’s thorn in the flesh was (which I think was done on purpose for us to see it can be anything). We do know that it was “given” to Paul keep him from exalting himself. The thorn in the flesh was a messenger of the devil sent to harass Paul. Paul stated that, “He prayed three times asking God to take it away,” but God didn’t (2 Corinthians 12:6-8).

Have you ever prayed to God and asked him to take a memory, situation, or pain away? Did it seem like God didn’t do it? Well, that’s what happened to Paul. The devil harassed him with this thorn and although, God has the almighty power to change or stop anything in the world, God chose not to…

Well, why? Remember, it says that the thorn was given to Paul to keep him humble. A humble man or woman of God is someone that is selfless and depends on God for their strength. Paul had to rely on God for His strength to keep pride from overtaking him.

When temptations tries to take us down, we must call on the Holy Spirit to intervene on our behalf. We can’t give up and lose faith during those hard times.

God told Paul that His grace was sufficient for him (2 Corinthians 12:8-10). Therefore, if you’ve had an agonizing thorn in your flesh (something that seems to be harassing you mentally or physically) and you’ve prayed about it, know that God’s grace is sufficient. God may take the pain away (Thank God if He does). But, if God doesn’t get rid of the thorn, know that His power is made perfect in your weaknesses. For that alone, you can thank Him.

Answer these questions to yourself: What thorn do you have today? Have you prayed about it and asked God to take it away like Paul did? Does it seem like God isn’t taking it away?

If so, I encourage you to believe that God will give you strength to endure to the end. Our thorns can help somebody else struggling or battling similar situations. God will use the very things from our past to encourage other people. Give praise to God even when you feel weak because that’s when you’re actually strong–that’s when God will use you the most.

2 Corinthians 12:9 NLT says, “So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me.” Don’t be ashamed of your thorns because they don’t define who you are. God defines who you are. So, smile. Lift your head up and know that you’re loved by God now and forevermore.

Say this prayer: Dear Lord, give me strength. Help me to overcome the temptation to lose faith when thorns try to overtake me. Deliver me from my iniquities. I repent of everything that I’ve done that broke your heart and was against your Word. I believe that your grace is sufficient for me. Thank you for allowing your power to be made perfect in my weaknesses. Let your glory shine through me. Draw me closer to you. Remind of your Word through every good and difficult time in my life. I thank you for your never-ending love and everlasting grace. In Jesus’ name I pray, amen.

Thank you for reading my series on Overcoming Temptations. Leave a comment below to let me know your thoughts! I hope this blog blessed you! I’ll be starting a new series in January 2022. You don’t want to miss it!

2 thoughts on “Overcoming Temptations (Part III)”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *