The root word for “thorn” describes a stake for a tent! The word “thorn” comes from a word which refers to “a sharp wooden stake to torture or impale someone.” The words “buffet, torment” means “to strike with a clenched fist, to mistreat” It was, for him like being beaten with a fist and being impaled on a stake. Paul wanted to give the “gift” back! He asked three times for it to be removed. “But God,” had a glorious purpose in it. “And He said to me…” The way this is written grammatically, ‘He did say and He does say.’ It is continuous. He would not change His mind on this.

A man wrote to me who is in a difficult place and said, “if we trust God, He will deliver us if we have faith.’ We all might like to believe that because none of us want difficulties. “But God…” does not always deliver from difficulties. There are times He Imparts Grace and power for the bearing up under the trial and to remain in the trial. Some are delivered from the furnace of affliction, others are imparted sufficient grace and power to continue on in the affliction. “But God…” He has His plan.

 * God answers prayer but maybe not with the answer you asked for.
* God wanted to put Himself on display to Paul and through Paul
* God uses adversity for a purpose.
* Paul would know the power of Christ in his weakness.

Paul was “given” the word speaks of a “gift.” Three times he tried to give it back, but “He has said,” and still says and will say, “My Grace is sufficient for you, My power perfected in weakness.”