One doesn’t have to say much to say a lot, and in no case is this more true than of God Himself! The apostle Paul suffered from a “thorn” in the flesh (2 Corinthians 12:7). Scripture does not tell us precisely what Paul’s “thorn” was; however it was something Paul repeatedly pleaded with God to remove (verse 8). The reserve used in God’s word can be just as beautiful sometimes as what the Bible reveals. By not telling us exactly what was his thorn in the flesh, all of us can relate with our own! Know this. The Son of God Who had a crown of thorns placed on His head as He went to the Cross can relate to us in every “thorn” we might conceivably bear (John 19:1-5; Hebrews 2:17-18).
A “thorn” is something sharp and painful that sticks deeply and defies extraction. It can cripple one’s efficiency and drain one’s energy. Given the great faith and life experiences of Paul (cf. 2 Corinthians 11:23-28), his “thorn” must have been particularly extraordinary. Just as our Lord prayed three times for the “cup” to pass if it was God’s will in the garden (Matthew 26:36-46), so Paul prays three times for the removal of his “thorn.” And God responded to Paul with six words that made all the difference in his – and our – life. “My grace is sufficient for you” (2 Corinthians 12:8). Note 3 considerations from this very brief, but comfortpacked statement.
Consider the Source – “My Grace.” It is the grace of God through Jesus our Lord and Savior that is in view! God is the God of “all grace” (1 Peter 5:10-12). His Son Jesus is full of “grace and truth” (John 1:16-17). God is saying that in Jesus there is grace enough for all (2 Corinthians 8:9). Most of us have heard that grace means, “unmerited favor.” Read the statement again: “My favor is enough you.” If we have nothing else on earth besides the grace of God in Jesus – it is enough!
Consider the Supply – “Is Sufficient.” God’s grace is “now” or “presently” sufficient. Many Christians can see God’s grace in the past in our lives. We also want to embrace His grace in the future. But trusting and resting in His grace “now,” when we’re dealing with our “thorns” and troubles, that’s really also what is needed. Please observe grace is “sufficient.” It is more than equal to the need! (Cf. Romans 5:15-21; Ephesians 2:7). God’s grace can see us through the problems of the present and get us all the way home to God if we humbly trust and obey Him.
Consider the Support – “For You.” Talk about a personal and thoughtful gift! Talk about support. It is as though God’s grace in life is “tailor-made” for each one of us. There are no restrictions, no limitations, no qualifiers attached to this verse. No exceptions. If we must carry burdens and “thorns” in this life, we may be confident that the Lord God of heaven surely will carry us!
– Mike Vestal