Pristine Grace

The Thorn in the Flesh
by Henry Mahan
The Thorn in the Flesh

    God took care of any tendency in Paul to be proud or puffed up over the greatness of his gifts, talents, and revelations by giving him a THORN IN THE FLESH. Pride is natural in every man's heart, and believers are not without it; therefore, to prevent this sin, which He hates, the Lord gave Paul a thorn in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to harass and trouble him. We know that the Lord permitted this affliction; we know that it had to do with Paul's flesh. Whether it was weakness, sickness, temptation, his appearance, we do not know; but it was "a messenger of Satan;" or as God was pleased to allow Satan to afflict Job, He was pleased to allow Paul to be sorely tried and troubled by this angel of hell. The PLAIN AND EVIDENT PURPOSE for this thorn in the flesh was to prevent Paul from becoming proud, puffed up, and exalted above measure. So we can conclude that instead of being a hindrance (as most would suppose), this thorn proved to be a help to the Apostle, as our infirmities, afflictions, and trials are for our good. And, like Paul, we will grumble about them, pray to have them removed, and not fully understand their value now. But someday I am confident we shall understand and know as we have been known.