thorn in the flesh

2 Corinthians 12:7

12:7 thorn in the flesh. This “thorn in the flesh” was not some spiritual burden, but a physical ailment to keep Paul continually aware that, despite the abundance of spiritual privileges given him, he was painfully human. The exact nature of this physical problem is unknown, though there have been numerous conjectures. Actually, it is best that it remain unknown, so that Christians of all times and places (each of whom has some “thorn in the flesh,” which God has not been pleased to remove) can better learn to know and appreciate the sufficient grace of God which enables them to continue serving Him despite the pain, and which encourages them to look all the more toward His coming at that day when “there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying,” and not even “any more pain!” (Revelation 21:4).

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