Look at 2 Cor.12:7-10 And lest I should be exalted above measure by the abundance of the revelations, a thorn in the flesh was given to me, a messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I be exalted above measure. 8 Concerning this thing I pleaded with the Lord three times that it might depart from me. 9 And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 10 Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong. NKJV
The above Scripture is largely misunderstood. However most people agree on the phrase “My grace is sufficient for you…” Many in our circles of the Word also agree to the fact that the “thorn in the flesh” given to the apostle Paul to buffet (meaning to strike repeatedly and violently, to batter) him was a “messenger of Satan.” What many people don’t understand is what the so-called thorn in the flesh was actually made of. First of all, the words “thorn in the flesh” are just a figure of speech such as one would say: “pain in the neck”. (Check it out in other portions of Scripture.)
If you think of the ministry of the apostle Paul, not only had Jesus warned him that he would suffer many things (Acts 9:16) but if you read of his journeys in the book of Acts, you’ll find that wherever he went to preach the gospel, there was either a revival or a riot. Compared to what Paul went through, people do not have that much “bad luck.” In the previous chapter Paul would list down some of those things:
2 Cor.11:23-28 in labors more abundant, in stripes above measure, in prisons more frequently, in deaths often. 24 From the Jews five times I received forty stripes minus one. 25 Three times I was beaten with rods; once I was stoned; three times I was ship-wrecked; a night and a day I have been in the deep; 26 in journeys often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils of my own countrymen, in perils of the Gentiles, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren; 27 in weariness and toil, in sleeplessness often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness — 28 besides the other things, what comes upon me daily: my deep concern for all the churches. NKJV
Brethren, this is what the “thorn in the flesh” was. It was a demonic spirit assigned by Satan to stir up trouble in the ministry of Paul because it was having too much effect against his kingdom. It was meant to discourage Paul in order to keep his ministry from being highly effective. So Paul at first began to pray for God to take that “thorn” away. But we know that it was not God who sent the trouble. So what was God’s answer to Paul? “My grace is sufficient for you.
Think about it. The thorn was Satan’s ability released against Paul. Grace was God’s ability released towards Paul. God’s plan was that Paul accomplish above measure. That he be highly effective. Satan was against that and he sent an evil messenger to keep it from happening.
So, who won? Did Paul’s ministry go beyond the usual mark? Did he have a beyond average highly effective ministry? His letters to the churches he founded became part of the canon of Scripture we read today. So Satan was unable to stop him. Why? God’s grace was sufficient!
Are you going through challenges, persecution and tough situations that are stirred up by the enemy? I can assure you of one thing. God’s grace will bring you through. When you are weak, you can trust in the ability of God to make you strong. Grace is God’s strength in the face of your inabilities. His standing grace is sufficient to help you withstand the enemy and come through victoriously!