The Special of the Day… From the Orange Moon Cafe…
"Before They Call"
Part 3 - With the Thorn
We continue our consideration of the Apostle Paul receiving grace when God chose not to remove Paul's thorn in the flesh.
(II Corinthians 12)
It was perfectly normal and acceptable for the Apostle Paul to desire the removal of his thorn in the flesh, and to pray accordingly.
"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" (II Corinthians 12:7-8).
Our Lord commands in His Word that we seek Him in our challenges. "Call upon Me in the day of trouble. I will deliver thee, and thou shalt glorify Me" (Psalm 50:15). He loves to administer the grace of rescue when such deliverance accords with His working in our lives. "This poor man cried, and the Lord heard him and delivered him out of all his troubles" (Psalm 34:6). Such grace will one day remove every difficulty as God's grace in the Lord Jesus Christ fully manifests its freely given redemption to all who trust Him.
"And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away" (Revelation 21:4).
How we look forward to the wonder of such grace! But presently, we do look forward. We are not yet in the day when tears, death, sorrow, crying, and pain are erased from our experience and consciousness. "We must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God" (Acts 14:22). In this day, the grace we possess in Christ often meets us in the furnace rather than delivering us from it. "Glorify ye the Lord in the fires" commanded the prophet, who well knew that trouble presently offers opportunity to reveal and magnify our God in ways that will not be possible when the furnace no longer exists (Isaiah 24:15). Our access of God's grace is no less now than it will be then. The administration thereof is different, however, meaning that our Lord's freely given favor will often grace us amid flames that may seem to imperil, but which actually impart light, warmth, and the destruction of our enemies. "When thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned" (Isaiah 43:2).
Paul would tell us that God's administration of grace with the thorn served he and his generation perfectly. Actually, every generation of the church has benefitted from the Apostle's testimony. I sometimes wonder if we would have even known that Paul had a thorn if the Lord has merely plucked it and healed the wound. However, since He dispensed grace to Paul as "a very present help in trouble," the sound of the Lord's word to our brother of old echoes through centuries, resounding to all who will hear its promise when God's goodness blesses us with the thorn…
"My grace is sufficient for Thee, for My strength is made perfect in weakness."
(II Corinthians 12:9)
Weekly Memory Verse
"Not unto us, o Lord, not unto us, but unto Thy name give glory, for Thy mercy and Thy truth's sake."