What was the thorn in Paul’s side?

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MatthewG

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Hello to you reader,

Here are some of my thoughts,


If it’s indication of the enemy, can ourselves also be our own enemy? From scriptures it plainly stated in James that every individual has their own temptations.


“Blessed is the man who endures temptation; for when he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him. Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am tempted by God”; for God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does He Himself tempt anyone. But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed. Then, when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death. Do not be deceived, my beloved brethren. Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning. Of His own will He brought us forth by the word of truth, that we might be a kind of firstfruits of His creatures.”

‭‭James‬ ‭1:12-18‬ ‭NKJV‬‬


This text suggests that only good things come from God. That by the spirit anything a person does would be an attribute from a good gift from God being produced, in the idea of spiritual fruit.


However each person here on this forum, and our in real life all each have their own temptations they deal with, be it secretly known to them and God, or publicly know to them and God as well as others who may know whom willingly admit their temptations they suffer from, in which Christ may reside with them due to their weakness.


You see Paul here mention


“And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”

‭‭II Corinthians‬ ‭12:9-10‬ ‭NKJV‬‬


What he takes pleasure in, and that he would rather boast about the problems he has in which seems to be addressing honesty with himself but also with the Corinthians who he is writing to and God, in order that Christ may give him rest for his soul knowing and sharing the truth.


Paul also asked a rhetorical question in the letter to the Romans,


“What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?”

‭‭Romans‬ ‭8:31‬ ‭NKJV‬‬


Now had been addressing many issuers prior before coming to this question, talking about being free from sin, abiding in the spirit becoming children of God, suffering for Christ sake.


Then he asked this question, in Romans 8:31.


It’s been indicted in the Bible by the writer of Hebrews a warning to not fall away, from the faith, they hold on to.


“Beware, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief in departing from the living God;”

‭‭Hebrews‬ ‭3:12‬ ‭NKJV‬‬


The answer to the question in Romans 8:31, is that it is ourselves that can be against us. Even though God be for one, as human beings with free will, one can choose to go against God.


Now what was the thorn in Paul’s flesh? I have no idea it would have been nice if he would have written it down, but He pleaded three times, for this personal delivery, (Paul goes on to address his love for his brothers in Romans 10).


“Brethren, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for Israel is that they may be saved. For I bear them witness that they have a zeal for God, but not according to knowledge. For they being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and seeking to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted to the righteousness of God.”

‭‭Romans‬ ‭10:1-3‬ ‭NKJV‬‬


Thank you for reading, thought would share some of my thoughts they may be wrong, they might be right. May you be guided by the spirit and keep fast and hold on to what is good.


God bless you,

Matthew G.
 

Robert Gwin

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Hello to you reader,

Here are some of my thoughts,


If it’s indication of the enemy, can ourselves also be our own enemy? From scriptures it plainly stated in James that every individual has their own temptations.


“Blessed is the man who endures temptation; for when he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him. Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am tempted by God”; for God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does He Himself tempt anyone. But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed. Then, when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death. Do not be deceived, my beloved brethren. Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning. Of His own will He brought us forth by the word of truth, that we might be a kind of firstfruits of His creatures.”

‭‭James‬ ‭1:12-18‬ ‭NKJV‬‬


This text suggests that only good things come from God. That by the spirit anything a person does would be an attribute from a good gift from God being produced, in the idea of spiritual fruit.


However each person here on this forum, and our in real life all each have their own temptations they deal with, be it secretly known to them and God, or publicly know to them and God as well as others who may know whom willingly admit their temptations they suffer from, in which Christ may reside with them due to their weakness.


You see Paul here mention


“And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”

‭‭II Corinthians‬ ‭12:9-10‬ ‭NKJV‬‬


What he takes pleasure in, and that he would rather boast about the problems he has in which seems to be addressing honesty with himself but also with the Corinthians who he is writing to and God, in order that Christ may give him rest for his soul knowing and sharing the truth.


Paul also asked a rhetorical question in the letter to the Romans,


“What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?”

‭‭Romans‬ ‭8:31‬ ‭NKJV‬‬


Now had been addressing many issuers prior before coming to this question, talking about being free from sin, abiding in the spirit becoming children of God, suffering for Christ sake.


Then he asked this question, in Romans 8:31.


It’s been indicted in the Bible by the writer of Hebrews a warning to not fall away, from the faith, they hold on to.


“Beware, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief in departing from the living God;”

‭‭Hebrews‬ ‭3:12‬ ‭NKJV‬‬


The answer to the question in Romans 8:31, is that it is ourselves that can be against us. Even though God be for one, as human beings with free will, one can choose to go against God.


Now what was the thorn in Paul’s flesh? I have no idea it would have been nice if he would have written it down, but He pleaded three times, for this personal delivery, (Paul goes on to address his love for his brothers in Romans 10).


“Brethren, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for Israel is that they may be saved. For I bear them witness that they have a zeal for God, but not according to knowledge. For they being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and seeking to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted to the righteousness of God.”

‭‭Romans‬ ‭10:1-3‬ ‭NKJV‬‬


Thank you for reading, thought would share some of my thoughts they may be wrong, they might be right. May you be guided by the spirit and keep fast and hold on to what is good.


God bless you,

Matthew G.


No one knows Matt, but he serves as a shining example of how to deal with it. Every single one of us has our own personal thorns in the flesh, God removes some, but like in Pauls case, not always. One thing is for certain though, Jehovah will never let any of His servants be tempted beyond what they can bear. 1 Cor 10:13 I have never seen Him not make the way out for me in my thorns. I have not always chosen to take the way out He provides, which always leads to regret.
 

VictoryinJesus

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Hello to you reader,

Here are some of my thoughts,


If it’s indication of the enemy, can ourselves also be our own enemy? From scriptures it plainly stated in James that every individual has their own temptations.


“Blessed is the man who endures temptation; for when he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him. Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am tempted by God”; for God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does He Himself tempt anyone. But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed. Then, when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death. Do not be deceived, my beloved brethren. Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning. Of His own will He brought us forth by the word of truth, that we might be a kind of firstfruits of His creatures.”

‭‭James‬ ‭1:12-18‬ ‭NKJV‬‬


This text suggests that only good things come from God. That by the spirit anything a person does would be an attribute from a good gift from God being produced, in the idea of spiritual fruit.


However each person here on this forum, and our in real life all each have their own temptations they deal with, be it secretly known to them and God, or publicly know to them and God as well as others who may know whom willingly admit their temptations they suffer from, in which Christ may reside with them due to their weakness.


You see Paul here mention


“And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”

‭‭II Corinthians‬ ‭12:9-10‬ ‭NKJV‬‬


What he takes pleasure in, and that he would rather boast about the problems he has in which seems to be addressing honesty with himself but also with the Corinthians who he is writing to and God, in order that Christ may give him rest for his soul knowing and sharing the truth.


Paul also asked a rhetorical question in the letter to the Romans,


“What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?”

‭‭Romans‬ ‭8:31‬ ‭NKJV‬‬


Now had been addressing many issuers prior before coming to this question, talking about being free from sin, abiding in the spirit becoming children of God, suffering for Christ sake.


Then he asked this question, in Romans 8:31.


It’s been indicted in the Bible by the writer of Hebrews a warning to not fall away, from the faith, they hold on to.


“Beware, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief in departing from the living God;”

‭‭Hebrews‬ ‭3:12‬ ‭NKJV‬‬


The answer to the question in Romans 8:31, is that it is ourselves that can be against us. Even though God be for one, as human beings with free will, one can choose to go against God.


Now what was the thorn in Paul’s flesh? I have no idea it would have been nice if he would have written it down, but He pleaded three times, for this personal delivery, (Paul goes on to address his love for his brothers in Romans 10).


“Brethren, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for Israel is that they may be saved. For I bear them witness that they have a zeal for God, but not according to knowledge. For they being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and seeking to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted to the righteousness of God.”

‭‭Romans‬ ‭10:1-3‬ ‭NKJV‬‬


Thank you for reading, thought would share some of my thoughts they may be wrong, they might be right. May you be guided by the spirit and keep fast and hold on to what is good.


God bless you,

Matthew G.

thank you for sharing another perspective. It is one I’ve never considered before.
 

Brakelite

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I believe he was referring to his very poor eyesight, almost blind. Possible as a follow on from when he was knocked off his donkey. But there are several clues throughout his letters that lead to this, although none of them definitive. First, he wrote only one of his letters himself, all the others were dictated and even remarked in that letter that they should take all the more notice because he wrote it himself.
Second, in his writing to one church he was praising them for their generosity, and suggested that they loved him so much, they would give him their own eyes if it were possible. These are off the top of my head, I think there are other clues as well leading to the same conclusion.
 

stunnedbygrace

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I remember being so excited when I read about Paul’s thorn again and could add it to these others -
1. You don’t have what you want because you don’t ask.
2. You ask and don’t have because you asked with the wrong heart motive.
3. Keep asking and don’t give up in impatience. (You know the parable)
4. No. My grace/power is sufficient. You will not need what you ask for.
 

Brakelite

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I remember being so excited when I read about Paul’s thorn again and could add it to these others -
1. You don’t have what you want because you don’t ask.
2. You ask and don’t have because you asked with the wrong heart motive.
3. Keep asking and don’t give up in impatience. (You know the parable)
4. No. My grace/power is sufficient. You will not need what you ask for.
5. You need Me not to give what you ask for. It'll keep you humble.
 

stunnedbygrace

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5. You need Me not to give what you ask for. It'll keep you humble.

What verse did you get that one from? I always like to hear!

Im thinking about a verse…something like…but so I wouldn’t be puffed up by…the visions? You know the one?
 
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Mantis

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I have a thorn in my flesh and boy has it humbled me. Mine is pain. I would rather have pain than blindness or partial blindness. I think Paul had a problem with his eyes due to the clues in his letters.
 

stunnedbygrace

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I’ll go crazy until I find the verse I’m thinking of! Can’t find it.
That’s the thing about reading so many translations, you have an amalgamation of them in your head in understanding but…hard to find then.

It’s something like…but so that I wouldn’t become arrogant by what God had given me to see…that’s the paraphrase I have in my head.
 
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stunnedbygrace

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Yes I just found it lol. I saw it as, no, you won’t need it in my #4. Paul saw it as no, I am protecting you AND you won’t need it.
Yes, very good!
 
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stunnedbygrace

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So it was exciting at the time when the Lord clicked the verses all together because I was new and…I had been watching tv preachers and knew there was something wrong in what they were saying, even though they were using verses to do it. They were just really using verses unrighteously, using the verses with and for the comfort of the lusts of their flesh. I couldn’t explain what it was at the time because I was so new, but it was : holding the truth in unrighteousness. Scripture is for training in righteousness. It’s for the destruction OF what they were using it FOR.
 
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stunnedbygrace

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I wonder if I should go on that tv channel and see if they are still doing it or if maybe God brought them correction…it’s been over 14 years, maybe they have seen now…
 

marks

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Hello to you reader,

Here are some of my thoughts,


If it’s indication of the enemy, can ourselves also be our own enemy? From scriptures it plainly stated in James that every individual has their own temptations.


“Blessed is the man who endures temptation; for when he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him. Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am tempted by God”; for God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does He Himself tempt anyone. But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed. Then, when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death. Do not be deceived, my beloved brethren. Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning. Of His own will He brought us forth by the word of truth, that we might be a kind of firstfruits of His creatures.”

‭‭James‬ ‭1:12-18‬ ‭NKJV‬‬


This text suggests that only good things come from God. That by the spirit anything a person does would be an attribute from a good gift from God being produced, in the idea of spiritual fruit.


However each person here on this forum, and our in real life all each have their own temptations they deal with, be it secretly known to them and God, or publicly know to them and God as well as others who may know whom willingly admit their temptations they suffer from, in which Christ may reside with them due to their weakness.


You see Paul here mention


“And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”

‭‭II Corinthians‬ ‭12:9-10‬ ‭NKJV‬‬


What he takes pleasure in, and that he would rather boast about the problems he has in which seems to be addressing honesty with himself but also with the Corinthians who he is writing to and God, in order that Christ may give him rest for his soul knowing and sharing the truth.


Paul also asked a rhetorical question in the letter to the Romans,


“What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?”

‭‭Romans‬ ‭8:31‬ ‭NKJV‬‬


Now had been addressing many issuers prior before coming to this question, talking about being free from sin, abiding in the spirit becoming children of God, suffering for Christ sake.


Then he asked this question, in Romans 8:31.


It’s been indicted in the Bible by the writer of Hebrews a warning to not fall away, from the faith, they hold on to.


“Beware, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief in departing from the living God;”

‭‭Hebrews‬ ‭3:12‬ ‭NKJV‬‬


The answer to the question in Romans 8:31, is that it is ourselves that can be against us. Even though God be for one, as human beings with free will, one can choose to go against God.


Now what was the thorn in Paul’s flesh? I have no idea it would have been nice if he would have written it down, but He pleaded three times, for this personal delivery, (Paul goes on to address his love for his brothers in Romans 10).


“Brethren, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for Israel is that they may be saved. For I bear them witness that they have a zeal for God, but not according to knowledge. For they being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and seeking to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted to the righteousness of God.”

‭‭Romans‬ ‭10:1-3‬ ‭NKJV‬‬


Thank you for reading, thought would share some of my thoughts they may be wrong, they might be right. May you be guided by the spirit and keep fast and hold on to what is good.


God bless you,

Matthew G.
I've considered this before. Matthew, I appreciate your presence here.

The reason I've stopped short of concluding that's what Paul meant, and if I'm understanding you correctly, you are thinking along the lines that his thorn was his feeling of inner weakness? Is that right?

The reason I've stopped short of that is because I don't know his inner life, and don't want to attribute a sense of spiritual weakness without some particular evidence.

But whether or not that's what Paul was talking about there, I feel that I have inner spiritual weakness, and I don't sweep that under the rug and tell myself I'm better than that, and vaunt myself above others.

Knowing what I know about myself, I'd be a fool to think myself better than anyone else.

Much love!
 

marks

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I believe he was referring to his very poor eyesight, almost blind. Possible as a follow on from when he was knocked off his donkey. But there are several clues throughout his letters that lead to this, although none of them definitive. First, he wrote only one of his letters himself, all the others were dictated and even remarked in that letter that they should take all the more notice because he wrote it himself.
Second, in his writing to one church he was praising them for their generosity, and suggested that they loved him so much, they would give him their own eyes if it were possible. These are off the top of my head, I think there are other clues as well leading to the same conclusion.
I've concluded that if the answer is in the Bible, it's in this, that God warned the Israelites that if they didn't kill the inhabitants of the land, that they would be thorns in their sides.

So maybe the unbelieving Jews who followed Paul harrassing him from town to town were that thorn?

Much love!
 

farouk

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I have a thorn in my flesh and boy has it humbled me. Mine is pain. I would rather have pain than blindness or partial blindness. I think Paul had a problem with his eyes due to the clues in his letters.
It makes us prize the grace of God all the more....

(Some say Paul's blinding light experience on the Damascus Road was to do with eyesight problems thereafter. Hard to be dogmatic...)
 
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farouk

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I've concluded that if the answer is in the Bible, it's in this, that God warned the Israelites that if they didn't kill the inhabitants of the land, that they would be thorns in their sides.

So maybe the unbelieving Jews who followed Paul harrassing him from town to town were that thorn?

Much love!
@marks Interesting idea; hadn't heard that before....
 
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farouk

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I've considered this before. Matthew, I appreciate your presence here.

The reason I've stopped short of concluding that's what Paul meant, and if I'm understanding you correctly, you are thinking along the lines that his thorn was his feeling of inner weakness? Is that right?

The reason I've stopped short of that is because I don't know his inner life, and don't want to attribute a sense of spiritual weakness without some particular evidence.

But whether or not that's what Paul was talking about there, I feel that I have inner spiritual weakness, and I don't sweep that under the rug and tell myself I'm better than that, and vaunt myself above others.

Knowing what I know about myself, I'd be a fool to think myself better than anyone else.

Much love!
I've hear a lot of theories about what Paul really meant with this and that, etc., and sometimes it's to try to establish some pet theory. For example, I've heard that because of Paul's divorce, then this or that statement of his needs to be reinterpreted in the light of this, and ppl need to adopt a different pastoral strategy, etc., etc.

(Whereas I don't see any reference in the Bible to Paul's supposed divorce, and ppl who use non-references to Paul's divorce are really arguing from complete silence: something we are quick to accuse the cults of doing.)
 
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