More Than A Thorn

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What if you asked everyday , “Dear Lord, remove this from me! I can’t have this anymore as a thorn in my life!” Thorns hurt! For three times the Apostle Paul asked and received his answer. Maybe you are in that same situation… Asking God repeatedly to take something away so that you can be free and the next day arrives and still that plague is present.

“Even though I have received such wonderful revelations from God. So to keep me from becoming proud, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger from Satan to torment me and keep me from becoming proud. Three different times I begged the Lord to take it away. Each time he said, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me. That’s why I take pleasure in my weaknesses, and in the insults, hardships, persecutions, and troubles that I suffer for Christ. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”
‭‭2 Corinthians ‭12:7-10‬ ‭NLT‬‬

Clearly there was something here tormenting Paul… Day and night. A thorn [something that wounds, annoys, or causes discomfort]. Paul had this. But he also had a deep relationship with God to carry him through. The bible provides plenty of history and information but many occasions the real detail that would probably be helpful is not disclosed.

What was it???

What was the thing that was tormenting Apostle Paul? Or better yet, what is the thing that is tormenting you?

Past mistakes.
A breakup.
A memory.
A divorce.
An ailment.
A bad job.
A lost loved one.
Abuse.
Poverty.
Something missing.
Something stolen.
A bad experience.

There are so many things that could bring us torment. Torment is to afflict with great bodily or mental suffering; pain; to worry or annoy excessively; to throw into commotion; stir up; disturb; it is a state of great bodily or mental suffering; agony; misery. What is the thing that is causing an uproar within your soul? Something that is throwing your thoughts into commotion? What is disturbing your peace or joy? What is causing you to suffer silently or openly? What is that thing that is making you absolutely miserable day in and day out?

How can we really bypass all that mess and torment when it simply WON’T GO AWAY!!!

Accepting

Embracing

Surrendering

These are three things that will take you to that place where God’s power will work BEST in your weakness.

ACCEPT
“Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank Him for all He has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus. And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise. Keep putting into practice all you learned and received from me—everything you heard from me and saw me doing. Then the God of peace will be with you. How I praise the Lord that you are concerned about me again. I know you have always been concerned for me, but you didn’t have the chance to help me. Not that I was ever in need, for I have learned how to be content with whatever I have. I know how to live on almost nothing or with everything. I have learned the secret of living in every situation, whether it is with a full stomach or empty, with plenty or little. For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength.”
‭‭Philippians‬ ‭4:6-13‬ ‭NLT‬

The Word tells us to accept [to take or receive (something offered); receive with approval or favor; to agree or consent to; accede to; respond or answer affirmatively to]. We receive His Word. To learn how to be content in whatever we have. To make the best of it with our attitudes. To fix our thoughts on good things when the thorn is trying to bring them into a huge commotion. We tackle all that with all the things that are good. When the enemy is bombarding our minds constantly… We have to combat with the Word of God. Now we bombard our mind with things that are good and QUICKLY! When an enemy is coming at you with a sword your first reaction should be to PROTECT and shield yourself! Or you fight back! You don’t just allow the blow! Why would you purposely allow yourself to get hurt? No…. FIGHT BACK! Protect yourself! Protect your mind! Protect your space! Protect what you have left!!!

EMBRACE
“Wisdom is a tree of life to those who embrace her; happy are those who hold her tightly. By wisdom the LORD founded the earth; by understanding he created the heavens. By His knowledge the deep fountains of the earth burst forth, and the dew settles beneath the night sky. My child, don’t lose sight of common sense and discernment. Hang on to them, for they will refresh your soul. They are like jewels on a necklace. They keep you safe on your way, and your feet will not stumble. You can go to bed without fear; you will lie down and sleep soundly. You need not be afraid of sudden disaster or the destruction that comes upon the wicked, for the LORD is your security. He will keep your foot from being caught in a trap.” ‭‭
Proverbs‬ ‭3:18-26‬ ‭NLT‬‬

There is a way to overcome sleepless nights. We need to practice wisdom day in and day out! The more that we embrace wisdom by doing correct things the more God will keep our feet from being caught in the trap of the enemies schemes! The enemy is constant at telling you the lie… And you believe it! Just like that! But it is time for God’s people to stand in truth! To stand on His Word as our guide! Stop believing the lies… Lies make you die in a solitary place! Truth makes you live in a functioning place! Conduct your own personal analysis… Where are you? Are you in a good place? Or bad place? What’s keeping you there?
God is giving you all the tools you need through His Word to survive! To come out of any dark place. Be wise… Redeeming the time for the days are evil and the enemy is working diligently to scoop you in with his demise. Don’t go there!

SURRENDER
“So humble yourselves under the mighty power of God, and at the right time He will lift you up in honor. Give all your worries and cares to God, for He cares about you. Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour. Stand firm against him, and be strong in your faith. Remember that your family of believers all over the world is going through the same kind of suffering you are. In His kindness God called you to share in His eternal glory by means of Christ Jesus. So after you have suffered a little while, He will restore, support, and strengthen you, and He will place you on a firm foundation.”
‭‭1 Peter‬ ‭5:6-10‬ ‭NLT‬‬

We all suffer for a little. To some it feels like forever. What we need is to be placed on this firm foundation. We have to humble ourselves really low and surrender ALL to God. We should not just place only a few things before Him when He is asking us to give Him EVERYTHING! You can’t have two sets of hands on a steering wheel to drive to your destination. It is always the one set of hands. Let it be God’s and not yours. Stop trying to do everything on your own efforts for that will only take you so far in life. But when you let God have full control of your life by allowing Him to lead you only then will you experience that power over your weakness! You have to give it to God. Stop waiting for other things to get you by when God is the one that will take you THROUGH!

So next time that thorn pops up to torment you… Shut it down with the Word of God. Accept all the good that God IS doing on your behalf even if you don’t feel it. He is working. Embrace wisdom and right choices every step of your life. The Holy Spirit is your anchor and support to prompt you through the process. He is there… Don’t drown out His voice with yours. And finally, surrender ALL to God… Even this thorn. When you think it is too much, tell Him again. He NEVER EVER gets tired of hearing you talk to Him. The more you do, the more all else will fade. His power and presence will be with you ALWAYS…. More than any thorn could ever be.

You can boast in that thorn or weakness. For God is giving all the strength you need to pull through victoriously. You’re still here … right! So make the best of it.

Blessings to all that are viewing this. My name is Christina Cruz-Mendez. I am a Pastor at Mission United International Church in Yonkers, NY working along side my husband Juan A. Mendez Jr. Senior Pastor. We have been together for 25 years with 2 children that God has blessed us with. Makes us the family of four - "JusChrist4". I have been a Christian and active in ministry for about 17 years now. Through all the rocky and smooth roads in life I am eternally grateful that God has brought me this far in life to share with the world what He is doing in me, through me and for me.

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