Dan Puckett: There is usually pain associated with gainPublished 8:59am Thursday, May 2, 2013
By Rev. Dan Puckett
We have all heard, “No pain, no gain.” That is true in physical exercise, academic learning disciplines, etc. It seems a basic truth: Without challenge, there will not be positive change.
In the New Testament book of 2 Corinthians, we read of such a process in the life of the Apostle Paul.
Paul was a servant of Almighty God, and sought God and his will fervently. Paul had a special relationship with God because of his calling and passion for all things spiritual. God gave Paul a vision of heaven that Paul could only describe as hearing “inexpressible words” (2 Cor. 12:4). Along with this revelation, Paul was given something debilitating. Paul called it a “thorn in the flesh” and recognized it as a gift since it was given to him (2 Cor. 12:7).
Even though Paul saw the thorn as a gift, he also asked God to take it away. (We are not told what the thorn was, but we assume it was a physical malady of some kind. At any rate, Paul counted it a hindrance.)
One would think that Paul would certainly get his prayer answered, but God did not take away the thorn. God’s answer was, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my strength is made perfect in weakness.”
“Pain” was given to Paul so that he could experience the riches of God’s grace.
As Paul struggled with the thorn, asking God three times to take it away, he realized the thorn was actually driving him closer to God. Paul concluded, “Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me” (2 Cor. 12:9).
Rather than complaining or murmuring against God and our circumstances, let us ask God not for an easier life, but that by his grace he will make us a stronger person.