Pastor Joshua Goodin
2 Corinthians 12:9 (NKJV)
“Be Thankful for the Thorns in Your Life”
*Thorns are personal
Everyone has a thorn in their life. Every thorn in your life is personal and perfect for your predicament. God is so intentional that your thorn is not someone else’s thorn. Be careful when you say you want what other people have. You see the good stuff, but you don’t see the thorns. God knows exactly what you need to help develop you to what he has strategically designed you to be. You may be lost but God is not lost, he already knows what he has planned for you, and he knew what you were going to add to the plan. You may say it’s not fair, why do you have to encounter thorns. You say favor ain’t fair, well neither are thorns. Thorns are prescribed personally for the areas in your life that are lacking. Be honest with yourself that there are some areas in your life where you know you can do better. When God sees areas where you are lacking, he will allow thorns to enter in to push you to a place where you can be better. Thorns can be like mice, they will move and slither into places that you thought were secure, locked, and on tight. God needed them to come in to get you to pay attention. You need thorns in your life because if you didn’t experience them, you wouldn’t be able to know God in the way that you know him. If God didn’t come with the thorn of sickness, you wouldn’t know he was a healer. If God didn’t come with the thorn of closed doors, you wouldn’t know that he could open doors that no man can shut. If he didn’t come with the thorn of brokenness, you wouldn’t know that he could supply all your needs according to his riches in glory. If God didn’t come with the thorn of loneliness, you would keep going from relationship to relationship trying to find comfort and companionship in things that would never amount to anything. God allowed you to be lonely; he showed you he could stay closer than any other, you realized and recognized that you don’t have to keep looking for love and feelings in places that are empty, but you can find all you need in the Lord.
*Thorns are painful
When was the last time God allowed you to be hit with a blow that had a major impact? You still might be reeling from it. What do you do when God allows you to be struck, but you can’t strike back? God will allow you to learn your greatest lessons in great pain. You’re where you are today, not just because of good things, but because you had to experience some pain. Some of the greatest lessons come with big pain, and you may be still trying to recover. Testify that you know, in spite of the pain, you know who’s behind you. Don’t get upset with the messenger, God was using them to make you better. Thank God they walked away, that they hurt you because you can testify that you’re stronger, wiser, and better. It was painful in the beginning, but look how God turned pain into praise, turned sadness into joy. Allow God to move some things but the problem is there are some things God is trying to move that you keep clinging to. Anything that is exalted above God, you better move it, or God will take it away. You don’t realize what you have exalted in your life and have made a god. Anytime you say you can’t live without it, it’s a god. Anytime you’re stressed, perplexed, with anxiety and you turn to it, it’s a god. Sometimes you should let your children see you cry; they need to know that sometimes life is not easy. After they see you cry, you should let them see you pray.
*Thorns position you to pray
Know where to turn to get escape from the thorn. When you’re going through and experiencing thorns, who’s the first person, or what is the first thing you turn to. Stop making God your last resort, make him the first resort. The answer to your prayer is God. Even if he doesn’t answer, learn how to be content that he at least listens. If you accept that people don’t actively listen, you will stop telling people all your business. You’re telling people your business and trying to figure out how other people you never talked to know your business. Learn how to tell God all your business. Telling God all your business he prepares you for when he’s going to expose you. God can put you out there, but he can also clean your reputation. You’re stuck where you are because you keep worrying about what people know about you.
*God gives you unmerited favor to endure hardships. God gives you enough favor to live with what he won’t remove. Be thankful for thorns, when God gives you a thorn, he never gives it to you by itself, it’s always accompanied by grace.