I know a lot of people who teach that if we just love God and have enough faith, we will never have to suffer. Try telling that to the apostle Paul.
This was his story.
“Because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations, for this reason, to keep me from exalting myself, there was given me a thorn in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to torment me – to keep me from exalting myself. Concerning this I implored the Lord three times that it might leave me. And he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness’” (2 Corinthians 12:7-9).
We don’t know what Paul’s thorn in the flesh was, but this much is certain – despite the fervency of his prayers and the strength of his faith, God said no.
Life is not always easy. Michelangelo looked back on his experience in painting the Sistine Chapel and called the work “torture.” J.I. Packer said, “God uses chronic pain and weakness, along with other afflictions, as his chisel for sculpting our lives.”
Recovery Step: Ask God to remove your thorns. But if he doesn’t, praise him anyway.