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 12:10 NLT)
Paul tells us about the nature of the trial he endured by the two words he uses to describe it: thorn and buffet. We have all endured being pricked by a thorn and we know the piercing, nagging pain they can produce. The word “thorn” comes from a word which refers to “a sharp wooden stake to torture or impale someone”. The word “buffet” means “to strike with the fist, to mistreat”. Whatever it was that Paul endured, it was, to him, like being beaten with an open fist or being impaled on a stake.
The word “buffet” is a verb and it is in the “present tense and the active voice”. What it tells us that this thing which afflicted Brother Paul was something that was continual in nature. In other words, he lived with this thing all the time! When this problem came, it came to stay! He even asked God three times for relief, still the problem endured!
We need to understand that the things we may be called upon to endure may not be over in an hour or a few days. Some people, for God’s own reasons, are given thorns and buffetings that seem to endure for years. Why? For some of these things there are no answers. It will only be in eternity that we will know all the reasons why some things came to pass.
I said that to encourage you! When the thorns and buffetings of life come your way, and they linger in your life, do not be discouraged! God is doing something special in your life, and in His time, He will make that perfectly clear!
How many times have we looked at our situation and said, “If only this problem was solved or this thing over here was somehow different, then I could really serve the Lord!” Or, “If I could just feel better, I could do something for Jesus.” Or, “If my family was only saved, it would be so much easier for me to serve the Lord.” Or, “Oh, I wish I was younger, or smarter, or more talented, then I could be used of God.”
The problem with that kind of thinking is that it is all wrapped up in self and what self can do! It says, “I am all I need and if I could just work out a few little details, then I could be so much more.” In truth, we are nothing and we can do nothing without Jesus! If you are saved and you are walking in the will of the Lord, then you are right where He has put you, problems and all ( Psa. 37:23; Psa. 40:2). What we need to understand is the truth that we will never be enough, but He is always more than enough (Eph. 3:20)! What the Lord says to Paul, He says to us: “I am in control! I will meet your need and I will take care of you!”
Prayer: Father, I come to you today finding it hard to pray. I am experiencing the trail of my life right now and I need your strength to endure. I ask you to show me how you can turn my test into a testimony so that I can focus on the victory at the end. I choose today to trust you that you will see me through this storm.