Thorns of Affliction

2 Cor. 12:7 – “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.”

Three times Paul prayed for the removal of his “thorn,” but the Lord said, “My grace is sufficient for thee; for my strength is made perfect in weakness.” Paul, understanding that this disagreeable trial was for his eternal good, then exclaims, “…Most gladly, therefore, will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.” 2 Cor. 12:9. The Lord’s children everywhere ought to respond in a similar way to their afflictions and tribulations.

An unknown poet has written: “Once I heard a song of sweetness as it cleft the morning air, sounding in its blest completeness like a tender, pleading prayer; and I sought to find the singer whence the wonderous song was born; and I found a bird, sore wounded, pinioned by an ugly thorn. I have seen a soul of sadness while its wings with pain were furled, giving hope and cheer and gladness that should bless the weeping world; and I knew that life of sweetness was of pain and sorrow borne, and a stricken soul was singing with its heart against the thorn!

Ye are told of One who loves you, of a Savior crucified, ye are told of nails that pinioned, and a spear that pierced His side, ye are told of cruel scourging, of a Savior bearing scorn, and He died for your salvation with His brow against the thorn. Ye are not above the Master! Will you breathe a sweet refrain? Then His grace will be sufficient when your heart is pierced with pain; will you live to bless His loved ones though your life be bruised and torn, like a bird that sang so sweetly with its heart against a thorn?”

If you have thorns in your life, thank God for the roses of grace that inevitably go with them.