Someone has said, “God always answers our prayers, either by giving us what we ask for or by giving us something even better.” In Paul’s case, God gave him something even better.
Paul was afflicted with what he described as “a thorn in the flesh” — it was something that caused him constant pain. It was such a deep-felt difficulty that he took it fervently to God in prayer, three times pleading to have his suffering taken away.
The verse above is God’s answer to Paul.
But how was this an answer to prayer? God didn’t remove Paul’s painful burden. In fact, God told Paul that he wouldn’t remove it at all. But God’s answer to Paul’s prayer was even better: my grace is sufficient for thee.
Notice God didn’t say, “My grace is sufficient for this difficulty;” God said “My grace is sufficient for you, Paul.” Paul asked for deliverance from one ordeal, but God guaranteed him grace for every trial, throughout his life.
And, although Paul would still experience much suffering, God reminded him that this simply gave him an even greater opportunity to exalt the name of Christ. My strength, God declared, is even more evident when you are helpless. Therefore, this struggle is an opportunity for you to fulfill your purpose as a Christian, more than you ever could in a pain-free life.
Beloved, rest assured that God’s grace is still sufficient, and that his power is still being manifested through the difficulties you face in your life. What a marvelous answer to prayer this is!
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