And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure. For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me. And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake:for when I am weak, then am I strong (2 Cor 12:7-10)~~ Many of us want to stay the way we are and have God take us to new levels, show us new things and give us new blessings. We like our comfort zone and want things to go the way we’d like to see it. But God cannot give you all of these great revelations without you maturing to the level of the revelations. We will have to separate from some things and making sure we move like we are supposed to requires Him to get our attention. In some cases, that may mean a thorn in our flesh…an irritating and sometimes painful discomfort…and often when this pain comes, our first response is to turn to Him and ask Him to remove it from our lives. The real challenge to us is when God doesn’t remove this ‘thorn’ but allows us to go through that pain and discomfort. But look through history in the Bible…God never takes us out of that situation of pain and discomfort – although God does not MOVE the thorn from us or us from it…He gives us a way to deal with it. God always has a plan for your life – sometimes that involves allowing you to have pain, challenges and troubles…we are not exempt from trials in this life (remember, man born of a woman is of few days and full of trouble – Job 14:1). So we must understand that separating from our current level to get to the next level…WILL HURT because we are literally being “broken” off from what is comfortable and content to us…but it WILL HELP because God will give us provision in our pain. This “maturing” gives us a better comprehension of the grace of God. Our pain will humble us; it will cause us to focus on what hurts; and interestingly, it will cause us to look at ourselves and how we acquired that hurt.. and in our distress, we even cry out to God for help (Ps 18:6). We may not even be able to articulate what this pain is doing to us.…but GOD knows and in His strength, not ours, He will be your help. But help doesn’t always come in the form we expect or when we expect its arrival. We may seek help to remove that pain of our lives, we may do it multiple times and over a long time. But God’s provision DURING that pain is enough to sustain you. He gives us the grace to DEAL with the pain, which grows our maturity. Therefore we should rest in the wisdom He has given us to grow in this situation. We must have the capacity to honor God no matter what we are going through because He saw something in us that He would allow us to go through this pain and know that we would still honor Him and give Him glory. He knows that all things work together for the good of those that love Him and are called to His purpose (Rom 8:28). And In our weakest of times, it is HIM that makes us strong! The whole point here again is that we are not self-promoting …exalted more than we should be in our own abundance and we get ‘the big head’ about who we are, what we do and what we have…but that we are kept on an even keel and that we grow and mature in great wisdom as we are blessed; and that when we are exalted, it is not through the arrogance and self-promotion of our own works which frequently fail, but the incomparable work of God! It is when we humble ourselves that He exalts us!