What is the most accurate answer to Paul's Thorn in the Flesh?


What is the most accurate answer to Paul’s Thorn in the Flesh?

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Questions Answered

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Good evening

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As a little change of pace for our readers this evening I thought I might post a question and answer to a much talked about question in the sphere of Christianity of – What was Paul’s Thorn in the Flesh? Now this kind of teaching is very much of secondary thought in the Christian life compared to the Cross, Grace or Knowing Jesus but to the individual with a Thorn, it’s a very important question indeed. For the purposes of this Article I will be brief because much background study needs to be done, such as a balanced understanding of the doctrine of healings, Church Oversight and the most important of course, the original Greek Texts, to arrive at a solid and accurate answer so hopefully this Article will serve as an interest subject but more importantly, reassure the individual with the thorn.

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This is a subject I’ve studied a great deal over the years and you most definitely need to, so you can arrive at a good answer and

The North View of Loch Ness Scotland

The North View of Loch Ness Scotland

in addition, it gives me a chance to share with our readers my own personal Thorn in the Flesh as a further reinforcement of what I’m about to share so, I hope you enjoy.

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It’s a much talked about subject like I said and one I suppose I might never have studied so fully if I hadn’t become so ill myself but from that I can assuredly tell you, Paul’s Thorn was a physical issue and the best and most accurate cause of his pain of severe eye pain. When Paul talked of his Thorn in the Flesh in the Book of Corinthians he said these was words “infirmity of my flesh” and all too often the word focused in on is the word flesh, which doesn’t give us the full answer.  The word we examine is infirmity and when translated in the Greek it’s ‘as-then-i-ah – sickness/disease’, so the sentence better reads in the original, sickness in my body.

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What that sickness was, was quite a severe eye problem which he explained in his writings to his Church in Galatia telling them that “you know how through the infirmity (as-then-i-ah – sickness/disease) of my flesh I preached unto you at the first and my temptation (pi-ras-mos – experience of evil) which was in my flesh you despised not……..that if it had been possible you would have plucked out your own eyes and have given them to me”. The great thing about this verse is that it could mean no other real thing in the context of the passages, giving us the best and most accurate answer to the question. A sickness of his body.

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The most amazing thing about Paul’s Thorn though was not really the fact he had it, he was told it was there to keep him from Lochside Caravan Parkpride, but more his own reaction to it, he said that he’d rather glory in his infirmity that the power of Christ might rest upon him. Paul actually embraced his bodily sickness after asking the Lord to remove it, knowing that this aspect of his life was a safety mechanism for him not only to fall prey to pride but to continually rely on God’s Grace, strength and power and not of his own.

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It’s another amazing subject contained within the New Testament and great to read but to the individual who hasn’t come to terms with their Thorn, it can be very difficult indeed so hopefully my little testimony might serve as an encouragement to the sufferer to submit themselves to God’s ways and live in victory for him.  My own personal Thorn arose not during the time I was ill but afterward and more specifically, when God healed me of the disease which was killing me.  The day he healed me, he spoke to me of my pride and how that pride was for more poisonous than any disease of my flesh, so what I was left with was a colostomy bag and daily pain which I’ll probably have now for the rest of my life.

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The strange thing is, when God revealed my true pride deep within me, it was more ugly and poisonous to me than any kind of daily pain could muster and having seen that, I embraced my infirmity of the flesh and with it, God set me free.  It sounds like a contradiction but only in true weakness do you find real strength but not only strength, courage, boldness and determination.  I never would have guessed it, I’d read of Paul’s statement before thinking it was crazy but no, it’s really true, the infirmity of the flesh keeps you humble.

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If you do suspect you have been allowed a Thorn to buffet you then I hope you take courage in the above however, to the reader who is suffering some kind of illness then the other side of the coin is this, don’t just assume it’s a thorn, seek the Lord Jesus and ask him whether it truly is a thorn or something God desires to remove.  I hope this article has been of interest tonight.

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God bless

Steven

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About Pastor Steven

Steven Birnie is a former local Church Minister and the author of Christian publications which include non-fiction, fictional and teaching eBooks with audio sermons. From the north-east coast of Scotland, Pastor Steven is married to Sharon and together, they have two young children called Emily and David. After seven years of training, three years of overseeing youth and young adults and, three years of being the Assistant Pastor in his local Church, Pastor Steven moved on to focus on writing Christian Publications. In the future, he hopes to open a Christian Children’s Home in his home town and write The Tribulation Soldier, his newest Series of Fictional, Military EBooks on the End Times, the Rapture and the Tribulation Period, as a 2.5 Million Word Series. But despite continuing pastoral work and writing, Steven remains devoted to his children, enjoying his family life with caravan holidays in the Highlands, fishing, canoeing and his favourite pastime, riding his motorbike through the Scottish countryside.