THORNS IN THE FLESH…


The Apostle Paul, and Timothy wrote, “If I must boast, I will boast in the things which concern my INFIRMITY.”  2 Corinthians 11:30

The Message Bible puts it this way…

2 Corinthians 11:30-33The Message (MSG)

30-33 If I have to “brag” about myself, I’ll brag about the humiliations that make me like Jesus. The eternal and blessed God and Father of our Master Jesus knows I’m not lying. Remember the time I was in Damascus and the governor of King Aretas posted guards at the city gates to arrest me? I crawled through a window in the wall, was let down in a basket, and had to run for my life.

Sometimes, situations in life become extremely difficult, and we must struggle to push through and reach our goals.  As Paul wrote above, he was going to be arrested, and had to flee for his life.  In other scriptures, we find that Paul was shipwrecked, beaten, and thrown in prison for his belief, and fearless message to all, in God Almighty.  In the beginning of his ministry, he was feared by the Believers because of his past in persecuting Christians, and throughout his ministry, he was hated by the religious crowd.  They despised his conversion, his commitment, his continual quest to spread the Truth of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  To top it off, he had scales fall from his eyes during his conversion on the road to Damascus.

There is much controversy regarding the “scales,” and the “thorn in the flesh” spoken of in the following passage:

“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.”  2 Corinthians 12:7

Some Theologians believe the scales and the thorn in the flesh he refers to, to be something physical, as a sickness.  Others believe they represent a form of mental illness.  Still, others see this as a Spiritual problem, or demonic oppression.  The last theory believes the scales given to Paul that became a thorn in the flesh, refers to the persecution and resistance to Paul’s ministry, ie, all the adversities he faced throughout his ministry as mentioned above.

Whatever view you hold, be sure that, to God, our journey is as important as our destination!  To clarify, some folks become saved, born again Believers…but their “journey” stops there because they know their destination is secure.  But once you become a Christian, you are enlisted into the Army of the Living God!  Once we go through “Basic Training”, we should not be content to keep the title of Corporal, or Private …we should strive to rise in the ranks…become Sargents, Generals, Majors, etc.  For we ARE in a Spiritual War!

The people mentioned in the eleventh chapter of the book of Hebrews, are the ones that were tireless, fearless, committed, ever faithful to doing the right thing, no matter what the outcome for them.  God admires persistence, perseverance, do…or die attitudes, where it  concerns His Will, and the spreading of the Gospel!

I can’t wait to get to Heaven, sit around the campfire, and hear the great Warriors of the Bible tell of their harrowing adventures; because the journey for them, was as important as their destination!

By:  Anita Mondragon March 2016

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