September 30, 2013

Game of Thorns

Written by Boyd Bailey

Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today- September 30, 2013

Therefore, in order to keep me from becoming conceited, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness. 2 Corinthians 12:7-9

Satan sends messengers to inflict thorns of temptation into the most spiritual followers of Jesus. His timing is shameless, as he attacks those most susceptible to spiritual pride. Perhaps a significant prayer has been answered or a loved one has just come to faith. Be on guard for the tormentor does not sit still when we experience special moments with the Lord and His people. Satan tempts mature believers, so if they fall they fall far,  disillusioning the faith of novices.

It is these thorns in the flesh the Lord uses to keep us humble and faithful. Pride yearns to take credit and feed conceit, but humility gives all credit to Christ and remains meek. What’s best for us is not the removal of our afflictions, but the integration of God’s grace into our heart and mind. We can plead in prayer for relief, but not grouse in disappointment when our condition remains the same or worsens. God’s grace is sufficient in our weaknesses to perfect His power.

I can do all this through him who gives me strength. Philippians 4:13

Furthermore, health issues can be the thorn in your physical flesh that challenges your faith. Fatigue and feeling bad wears you down and demoralizes your determination. You weary over time as you get sick and tired of being sick and tired. Chemo can kill your spirit in the process of killing your cancer, thus you cling to Christ and trust Him in your torment. Turn treatment and therapy into a platform of God’s grace to share with your caregivers. Trust in God triumphs over thorns!

Above all, look to the cross at the crown of thorns Christ wore for you. Each drop of His precious blood was shed for your soul’s salvation and for your hope and healing. Thorns in the flesh are not foreign to your Savior. Indeed, He suffered through their pain, but rose victorious from the grave. You win the game of thorns when you rest in the sufficiency of God’s grace. He makes you the most powerful for Him, when you feel the weakest within. Bow at His throne of grace, unperturbed by a thorn of disgrace. Yes, God’s glory shines through your surrendered life!

And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast. 1 Peter 5:10

Prayer: Heavenly Father, teach me to appropriate Your grace in the middle of temptations and trials.

Related Readings: Numbers 33:55; Job 1:6-12; Matthew 4:10; John 19:2-5; 2 Corinthians 4:15

Post/Tweet today: God’s grace makes you the most powerful for Him, when you feel the weakest within. #gameofthorns

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© 2013 by Boyd Bailey. All rights reserved.
Wisdom Hunters Resources / A registered 501 c3 ministry
info@mail.wisdomhuntersdevotional.com / www.wisdomhunters.com


Comments

  1. Matt McLean says:

    Boyd,

    Just wanted to pass along a note of encouragement to you !!!

    From a sermon a heard a minister mention that sometimes when Christians gather it is like Porcupines hugging, we gather to give each support to each other but sometimes we can prick each other with our thorns of love and support, meant for good but sometimes can be misunderstood, this was a good read about thorns in the flesh.

    It is so true that the tempter does seem to try to reach us in our weakest moment. I have been active in the Christian Service Camp movement, (Trustee / Director / Dean) in the Tidewater Virginia area for some 25 years and have seen God do some amazing things at the camp. (camprudolph.org) Sometimes those weeks before getting ready for a Spiritual time at camp can be a test.

    What an amazing God we serve!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! My thorn in the flesh is an active stomach that flares-up, sometimes I will go for two to three days just releasing all the food I eat, have recently been introduced to Aloe Vera for this, it seems to be a help. Was so glad to see that you have been able to receive the treatment for Prostate Cancer, my dad has had this for some tens years, with his age, (81) they do not want to treat it. Maybe this could be a treatment option.

    Blessings,

    Matt

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