2 Corinthians 12:1-10
Matthew 27:29, “And when they had platted a crown of thorns, they put it upon his head, and a reed in his right hand: and they bowed the knee before him, and mocked him, saying, Hail, King of the Jews!”
It would be very easy for anyone of us to take our burdens and put emphasis on them. We may do that and feel totally justified in our responses as well as reactions; however, the question must be asked, “what would Jesus do?”
I believe Paul recognized the danger of taking his trials, troubles and thorns and his own hands. Listen to what he said:
Verse 7, “And lest I should be exalted.” Lest I should be spiritually proud; lest I become self-confident and vain, and suppose that I was a special favorite of God.
If Paul was in danger of spiritual pride, which of us is not? If it was necessary for God to keep Paul humble, we should not be surprised that the same thing might happen to us this morning. There is reason to believe that Paul was naturally a proud man. He was by nature self-confident; trusting in his own talents and attainments, and ambitious. So when he became a Christian, one of his sins may have been pride. That is, he could have felt good about his apostleship; in his success as a preacher; in the testimony he had among the other apostles, and in the revelations given to him.
There is no greater sin for the Christian than pride. There is no sin more subtle, deceptive; one that lurks constantly around the heart than pride. Those who had a problem with pride before salvation will be in danger of it after salvation. Those who are especially gifted are in even greater danger of it.
“Through the abundance of the revelations.” Paul is saying because of his being
honored to see the wonders of the heaven as well as by the communications which God had made to him at other times.
“There was given to me.” That is, God was pleased to appoint me. The words Paul uses are worthy of special notice. It is that this “thorn in the flesh” was given to him, implying that it was a favor. He does not complain about it; he does not say it was sent in vengeance; he does not even consider it an affliction; but he speaks of it as a gift.
Paul had such a clear view of the benefits that resulted from it, that he regarded it as a blessing, as we should for every trial.
CONTINUED ON FRIDAY!