Have you ever walked around barefooted and stepped on something that stuck the bottom of your foot? Most of the time you immediately know when that happens! Often either the next step or a careful brush of the hand will dislodge it and you feel instant relief. However, at times it buries a little deeper and can take more attention to remove. Why do we feel the compelling need to remove those foreign objects from our body? Because they hurt and we know from experience that if we leave them there, things won’t get better but rather things get worse.
2 Corinthians 12 KJV
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.
8 For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me.
9 And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.
10 Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.
For centuries Bible scholars have debated Paul’s thorn in the flesh. Some imagined sickness while others conjectured he was small of stature or had a squeaky voice. We simply don’t know what the thorn was but we do know it was a messenger of satan sent by the devil to hinder the witness and work Paul was doing for Jesus. Paul likened this this hindrance to a thorn in his flesh … a foreign object that annoyed him and tried to slow him down. God told Paul that His grace was sufficient and Paul decided to believe God.
Fear is like a foreign object in the life of a Believer – it simply does not belong there and if left to run its course it will fester, get infected, find its way into the bloodstream and spread poison throughout the whole body.
Fear often screams at us and demands that we stop and pay attention just like a thorn sticking in our foot. Fear is like a roaring lion, although it has no teeth, it can make you stop dead in your tracks or take off running and possibly hurt yourself or others. The world has been conditioned to run from the loudest noise but the loudest noise is not always your friend and should seldom determine your direction in life.
Fear can be very deceptive. It can seem so real. Fear wants to control us. Fear screams its demands. Fear masquerades as the truth. However, the truth does not put us into bondage but the truth sets us free.
The truth may remain quietly working without much notice. You see, God’s grace didn’t’ begin when Paul finally decided to seek God. God’s grace had been there all along. Paul was simply unaware. The truth does not have to be loud or demanding to be the truth and the truth is:
1. God’s grace is sufficient.
Isaiah 54:17 No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper; and every tongue that shall rise against thee in judgment thou shalt condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the LORD, and their righteousness is of me, saith the LORD.
2. No weapon formed against me will prosper.
Psalms 138:8 The LORD will perfect that which concerneth me: thy mercy, O LORD, endureth for ever: forsake not the works of thine own hands.
3. The Lord will perfect that which concerns me.
Philippians 4:13 I can do all things through Christ which strengthens me.
4. I can do all things through Christ which strengthens me.
The Prophet Elijah heard the truth speaking to him and it sounded like a small, quiet voice. Like Elijah, the Apostle Paul found the truth when He sought answers from God instead of allowing the loudest noise lead.