Bible Study Lesson:
2 Cor 12:7-10
1. What was St. Paul’s Thorn in the Flesh?
Paul did not mention about his ‘thorn in the flesh’. However, one thing is sure, that he was really concerned about this issue.
- It continually distracted him. He was distressed by it.
- He prayed twice that it may depart from him.
- Some scholars say, it was a disease, sickness, which kept him from serving God, some say, it was some area of life, which he was struggling with. (gotquestions.org)
- Whatever it may be, we really don’t know what it was.
- It was holding Paul back from complete devotion/commitment.
- It was his ‘weakness’, he may have found himself struggling over this issue so many times.
- There were so many things (reproaches, necessities, persecutions, distresses), which distracted him, as he mentioned in verse 10. But this particular one concerned Paul the most.
2. Did Paul get answer to his prayers?
- What a wonderful answer to his prayer! Did God give him what he asked for? Perhaps not, but God gave him much more than he asked for.
- “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”
- God’s grace was enough for him; His Strength was enough for his weakness.
- It is not by our strength, or might, but by His strength, we are made perfect in our weaknesses, especially those particular weakness, you just can’t overcome.
- Christ’s power, His strength is there for us, with us, residing in us, resting upon us.
- It is sufficient to overcome our weaknesses.
- Can you imagine, Christ’s power is given to us, to overcome our weaknesses!
- We are strong, when we are weak. Because Christ’s power lives in us everyday.
- How often do you realize that Christ lives in you? (Galatians 2:20)
- His strength resides in you? You can overcome anything by His strength.
- ‘Greater is He who is in you, than the one in this world.’
3. How did this answer change apostle Paul’s perspective regarding his weakness?
- See how Paul’s perspective changed by God’s answer; now he took pleasure and glory (for Christ’ sake) in what he wanted to get rid of.
- Now he did not look at it as something which holds him back, but that, Christ’s power is given to him to overcome not only this weakness but all things.
4. How can we apply in our personal weakness?
We also need to change our perspective about our weaknesses.
- Not to be discouraged or disheartened by it.
- Not to be afraid of or live in constant fear or distress.
But to realize that,
- God is with you, Christ lives in you, and He dwells in you.
- His strength is given unto you. His power resides in you.
- You are no longer weak, but strong in His strength.
- You can rebuke/defeat devil in the name of Jesus.
- You can fight any weakness by His power.
- Though you may still be weak by yourself, you are strong in His strength.
- (Also check, How to overcome Temptation)
5. What is your ‘thorn in the flesh’? What is one thing that you can point out in you life, which you have struggled with all your life, which you just can’t overcome?
- It may be sickness, pride, hurt, suffering, anger or sin.
- You may have prayed over hundreds of times, but still struggling with it, which holds you back from complete devotion to God. (Questioning God – Psalms 13)
- I personally believe God doesn’t want us to know what Paul’s thorn in the flesh was. It is between God and him. And it is okay not to know the reason.
- Perhaps, you may have some weakness, which no one can understand, not even, your spouse, or your best friend.
- But God knows it, He understands it, He knows what you go through. And He has given the Greatest Gift of Christ. (Bible Study on Spiritual Gifts)
- Christ lives in you, his power resides in you. You can overcome anything by his power.
- His power is continually increased as the weakness grows.
- Human weakness opens the way for more of Christ’s power and grace.
- For years, I have claimed this verse over and over again for my life. For when, I am weak, at that very time, I am strong, not in myself, but in the fresh access of power from Christ.
- How wonderful it will be if, we live by His power, His strength everyday.
- I hope and pray that this devotion which is so dear to my heart, will bring great joy, freedom and assurance in your personal walk with Christ.
Lord Jesus, help me to live by Your Power each day of my life, Praise be to God. Amen.
“I can do all things (not just few, or some, but all things) through Christ who strengthen me.” – Phil 4:13
“I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me.” - Gal 2:20
“Greater is he who is in you than he who is in the world.” - 1 John 4:4
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