Let us not take out the human element of Paul’s thorn. Paul was made of flesh and blood just like you and me. He knew great hardships, He knew depression {2 Cor 7:6}. He knew fear {Acts 18:9}. He was no “super hero” who was immune whether to physical or emotional pain. He was a man whom Christ converted and indeed had said of him, “I will show him how much he must suffer for My Name’s sake.” -{Acts 9}. Jesus was not punishing him, for on the cross Jesus bore his punishment. But in this fallen world there are hurts, there are spiritual foes, there are purposes far greater than our own well being that may be of great benefit to others.-{2 Cor 1:4}, and to the Kingdom of God.{Phil 1:12-14}. God uses broken people, weak people, frail people, people of all ages and in dependence upon Him God uses them for the furtherance of His Gospel- {Phil 1:12}. It is easy to read the passage about his “thorn” and forget this is a human being who is in pain.

Paul’s acceptance of the “thorn” was seen in his confidence, boast, embracing the sufficiency of the grace, power and Person of the Lord Jesus, who knew all about suffering, in his circumstance. Paul was not alone, neither are you in your suffering.

  • There is understanding from Him.
  • There is grace from Him to empower you to continue to depend and derive from Him, sufficient grace.
  • There is love.
  • There is identification from Him who became a Man and suffered among us. “For we do not have a high priest who cannot empathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin.”- {Heb 4:15}. “Empathizes” means “to feel the very feelings” we feel. He understands pressure and indeed the power it takes to resist sinning in the pain! He showed and does show compassion towards the suffering ones, we must do likewise! Show understanding, Show Grace. Show love. Show identification with the suffering one.

Never forget, for the suffering one, they are human! Be kind to them!


From Paul’s Thorn No Unanswered Prayers