Paul didn’t get the answer he pleaded with the LORD for, and neither did Jesus in the opening part of His prayer in Gethsemane when He prayed, “My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; …”-{Read Matthew 26:39}


There are times we may plead with the LORD and it almost seems as though Heaven’s doors are closed tight to us! We beg and plead but we do not get the answer we desire or long for. “But God…” has a purpose, Divine purpose, personal purpose, and a wider purpose in the “Thorn” Paul was given.- {Read 2 Cor 12:7}; And also indeed in the Cross of Heaven’s Beloved LORD Jesus.

In the hard place, we may beg and plead, and cry out and by all means, do for He is our Advocate, our Great High Priest who empathizes with us and is for us-{Read Hebrews 4:14-16}. But in our praying we have to ask Him by faith to help us also pray as our LORD in Gethsemene, “…My Father,… yet not as I will, but as You will.” -{Matthew 26:39}. At times we forget or fear gets the better of us, that we are here to know Him and do His will.

Submission to Him is key to enabling us to go forward by faith, trusting Him in the trial, with the “Thorn.” If He does not deliver us From the Trial He will make provision to Sustain us in and empower us to do His will. He will not abandon us. And we can learn from Paul’s response to the LORD refusing his request to have his painful “thorn’ removed, by submitting to His will and embracing His provision of a promise to infuse His grace and empowering him for the painful “ Thorn.” -( Read 2 Cor 12:7-10). And as Paul submitted and embraces His will for him. with the promise of moment-by-moment grace empowering Him

Paul’s response to the LORD was not to turn inward and spiral downward but to Look UPWARD to Him and as a result, we see Paul’s response as follows…his…

1.– CONFIDENCE IN CHRIST–  “And He said to me, “MY grace is sufficient for you. for {MY} power is perfected in weakness” -V9

2. – CELEBRATION BECAUSE OF CHRIST–  “Most gladly, therefore, I will rather BOAST about my weakness, SO THAT the power of Christ may dwell in me .” – V9

3. – CONTENTMENT WITH CHRIST– ” Therefore I am WELL CONTENT with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, with difficulties, FOR CHRIST’S SAKE; for when I am weak then I am strong.” – v 10. The word, “Content” comes from two words meaning “TO THINK” and “GOOD.” It has to do with an understanding mind.

God had given Paul several reasons Why and What He was doing through the Thorn and His Provision of Himself and sufficient grace, His power for his weakness. Paul, in the midst of a painful thorn and difficulties, chose to THINK of the GOOD that GOD was PRODUCING through the means of the thorn and difficulties and so he continually did so, as the word grammatically is present tense. Content speaks of “pleasure!” His pleasure was in his understanding of the LORD and in his understanding he KNEW what God was Producing! It did not remove the pain but he knew He had a purpose and would be for his spiritual progress!

4. – CHRIST HIMSELF– his Motivation!- He was the reason amidst great pain, conflict, and hurt that he could go through it all, insults, distresses, persecutions, difficulties, be CONFIDENT, CELEBRATE, AND CONTENTMENT because of the understanding given to him by Christ. He was content WITH CHRIST. Paul’s Motivation to keep before him e was …- “FOR CHRIST’S SAKE!” Jesus Christ the reason to go through what he went through!

As the psalmist said, “I have set the LORD before me, because He is at my right hand I shall not be shaken.”{Psalm 16:8}. To look to Christ, do all for Christ and interpose Christ between you and what you go through is safety for your heart! Some erroneously believe that to come to Christ you will be kept from hurt and pain, but this is not the testimony of the Scriptures or as we see Paul’s life.

We all RESPOND to the difficulties in our lives, sometimes we get it right in honoring Him by our response, and other times we don’t. But we can take courage that He who began a good work “IN” us will complete it…-{Read Philippians 1:6}. The LORD is developing our faith in Him and that is a process…

In your time of testing, trial. suffering you too can have CONFIDENCE in Christ, you can CELEBRATE Christ, you too can find CONTENTMENT with Christ, because you have CHRIST Himself, with you, and for you enabling you through His provision of sufficient- present tense grace and power for your weakness! CONTEMPLATE CHRIST THE LORD!. LORD In Your circumstances, LORD over your circumstamces. Living resurrected LORD Jesus!

In suffering hardship, Christ is the difference. To focus on Him. He through you, will magnify Himself to others and you can be content with Him!