The Turnaround - Conclusion
The Apostle Paul's Thorn
2 Corinthians 12:7-8 The Request For Relief
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.
For this thing I besought the Lord thrice that it might depart from me.
2 Corinthians 12:9-10 The Grace To Endure
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.
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.
Paul's condition didn't change but his attitude did. Paul's "Turnaround" was internal instead of external. Through this experience he was graced by God in a way that totally revamped his outlook and expectations. The Lord's response and Paul's acceptance of it is an illustration of trust and wisdom to Paul's credit. Rather than to continue to ask for the removal of something that the Lord explained was for his benefit, Paul trusted, accepted and embraced the superior wisdom of the Almighty. Paul set his heart and mind in agreement with the known will of the Father. He adopted God's perspective which is much more broad than our own. Paul recognized the supreme value of the Grace of God and he walked in it in peace, confidence and submission.
We would do well to follow Paul's example. This is the progression that led to Paul's "Turnaround."
1. He realized the issue or thorn was from satan to buffet him, agitate him or keep him imbalanced.
2. He sought the help of the Lord through prayer to determine the will of God.
3. Once the will of God was known, he embraced the Lord's answer and fully cooperated with the plan of God for his life.
Some things the Lord sends, other things He allows. God doesn't initiate everything that happens in our lives. But He is able to use everything for our benefit. Romans 8:28
God is Good. He is never wrong, late, early or misguided. Trust Him with your life, your hopes and dreams and all of your ambitions. He can do more with them than we can.