“Concerning this thing I pleaded with the Lord three times that it might depart from me. And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” 2 Cor. 12:8-9

This is the Apostle Paul’s statement in one of his letters to the Corinthians. He was talking about a difficult and painful trial in his life, which he reffered to as “a thorn in the flesh.”

This Bible verses clearly show that God does not always give us what we want, but what we need and what is best for us. He does not always remove the obstacles/difficulties on our path or in our lives when we want it or how we want it.

Our loving heavenly Father knows we need trials to grow and to become more like His Son. He uses them to teach us some things we wouldn’t have learnt except through trials as we walk with Him. He uses our trials to form us into instruments of comfort and consolation to others ( 2 Cor. 1: 3-5). He uses them also to refine us (Isaiah 48:10).

If our trials/obstacles remain it does not necessarily mean that we don’t have enough faith, that God has not heard and answered our prayers, that we have sins in our lives or that God is displeased with us. Paul was a holy man of God whose life was pleasing to God.

God permits trials to remain also for reasons best known to Him, which may not be made known to us, for His ways and thoughts are higher than ours (Isaiah 55 :8-9). For apostle Paul it was to keep him humble ( 2 Cor. 12:7).

Walking with God does not mean we won’t experience some dark or difficult times (John 16:20). Just as we experience different seasons in nature , God will make us pass through different seasons in life: the difficult times as well as the good and wonderful times. And there will be no exceptions.

How did the apostle Paul handle the thorn in his flesh? Here are his own words in Romans 12:12 :
Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.”

Do you have a thorn in the flesh? A difficult and painful trial which refuses to give way? We too are to respond by rejoicing in the hope we have in Christ Jesus, the hope which does not disappoint, be patient in affliction and to continue steadfastly in prayer to God.

God:s grace will always be sufficient for us even in difficult times. We are safe in our heavenly Father’s arms. We are not orphans. We have God as our Father, He loves us dearly and He is very much with us and for us and on our side (Romans 8:31-39).

“When you go through deep waters, I will be with you. When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown. When you walk through the fire of oppression, you will not be burned up; the flames will not consume you.” Isaiah 43:2.NLT.

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