Today we are asking ourselves the question, “What do you really want?” What the Apostle Paul wanted was to have the thorn removed from his flesh. The Lord Jesus replied to him by saying, “My grace is sufficient for you, my grace is made perfect in weakness.” We all carry thorns in the flesh to certain degrees. Your thorn may well be physical or emotional pain, or even spiritual torment. The question we must ask ourselves is whether we are ready – if that is the Lord’s will – to hear him say, “No.” The encouragement we see in the life of Paul is that, though he did not have the thorn removed, Christ drew him into his grace in a more powerful way and demonstrated his power through him despite his weaknesses. So much so, that Paul eventually found both contentment and reason to boast in his weaknesses.
I must go on boasting. Though there is nothing to be gained by it, I will go on to visions and revelations of the Lord. 2 I know a man in Christ who fourteen years ago was caught up to the third heaven—whether in the body or out of the body I do not know, God knows. 3 And I know that this man was caught up into paradise—whether in the body or out of the body I do not know, God knows— 4 and he heard things that cannot be told, which man may not utter. 5 On behalf of this man I will boast, but on my own behalf I will not boast, except of my weaknesses—6 though if I should wish to boast, I would not be a fool, for I would be speaking the truth; but I refrain from it, so that no one may think more of me than he sees in me or hears from me. 7 So to keep me from becoming conceited because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations, a thorn was given me in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to harass me, to keep me from becoming conceited. 8 Three times I pleaded with the Lord about this, that it should leave me. 9 But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 10 For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.