Sunday, December 14, 2008

Thorn in the Flesh

Paul recognized there was “this thorn in the flesh, sent by Satan to torment me…” (2 Cor 12:7). I often wonder who is this “thorn” and why does Satan wants to torment us with a thorn and why did God allows it? Have you ever wonder aloud like me?

I went to a seminar where we were divided into small groups for discussions and I was in the leaders group, supposedly learning how to organize choir, worship team etc. The moderator, from Hong Kong has a successful ministry in the music industries and knows a lot of contemporary singers who are very popular and who are Christians. So he shared with us about a “thorn” who has constantly been “poking” him. But the difference was, he said that this thorn was allowed by God.

He was very miserable and has often complained to God about this person and wondered why God didn’t remove him just as he has prayed. After 10 long years, with this guy continuously bugging him, one day his eyes blinked. He realized that though this person has been such a pain in the neck but because of him, he has actually improved greatly. He also realized that this “thorn” was not happy himself. life is still not easy but they managed to become friends, at least.

So he shared with us this: don’t take the “thorns” in your life lightly. Even though we wished that they are not there but in reality everyone has his/her thorn. Face it, with the presence of this “thorn” you have been trying pretty hard to improve, right?

Do you have a boss or senior or superior who often given you trouble and who purposely trying to make your life difficult? Or you have a teacher or a senior person who seem to “bully” you often? Now take a new look at them. Do not ask God to remove them (very likely you are removed before they do). If you manage to weave around them and learn to excel in the most difficult time, knowing that you are not doing it for anyone, nor please anyone but you are doing it unto God (Col 3:17).

Here are some pointers and hope that they will be eye opener for you:
1. Treat them like a friend (Ps Dan often says, “It’s better to have one more friend than to have an enemy”. So it doesn’t matter if they are being difficult – just bear in mind, they are your future best friend.

2. Pray for them daily and commit their needs to God. Remember when you pray, you are breaking down spiritual barriers and walls that hinder the relationship. Prayer will open their eyes to see the truth as it is.

3. Keep up the Christian testimony – “let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.” (Matt 5:16) No one says that this is going to be easy but endurance and long sufferings will pay off in the end when you continue to shine for Jesus.

4. Lastly, love your enemy and pray for them. No one could actually reject love. People who seem to reject love is not because they are rejecting you but that they themselves could not accept love. Maybe at one point in their lives, they have been truly hurt and this was not handled properly. It became a gangrene that will not go away until they trust love again. So maybe God is using you to help this person to trust in true love again. And this time, love is none other than in our Lord Jesus Christ.

So I pray that you will be encouraged with these words. I didn’t say that it’s going to be easy but with God’s help, you will overcome. Not only overcome but you will be victorious. You can start with Praying and Loving that person first. Remove the stain glass that you have been wearing all these whiles and start looking with the compassion of God. I guarantee you will see a different picture.


musicfreek said...

heyy thanks for sharing this. really helped me on learning how to handle these "thorns in the flesh" (:
somehow, this particular post touches my heart to do better for God.

不肖生 Sceptics said...

Good idea, I too will adopt this way to deal with the thorn..hhaha!

Anonymous said...

Thank God for your post, Pastor. I actually didn't read it before this because I didn't really have a thorn. Everything about my internship has been perfect, but I have a thorn now. I've been patient and treating her nicely, but today, I am actually so frustrated I'm close to tears. I remembered your blog post and read it. I feel better now, though I will pray about it. Thanks pastor! :)


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