Tag: Thorn In The Flesh

Antidote To Self Pity

Vance Havnerby Vance Havner

Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 2 Corinthians 12:9

After Paul emerges from his height-to-depth experience of the third heaven and thorn in the flesh to rest in the sufficient grace of Christ, he takes pleasure in infirmities, reproaches, necessities, persecutions, distresses for Christ’s sake, for when he is weak then he is strong. He rejoices in the very weakness that drives him to Christ. He does not grumble, he glories. And he does not go on a spree of self-pity. What an opportunity to feel sorry for himself with this trouble that God would not take away!

If God grants you neither a third-heaven experience nor the removal of your thorn, rejoice in whatever He uses to bring you to simple daily dependence on Christ. But do not merely glory in infirmities. Finish the sentence…“that the power of Christ may rest upon me.” All else is incidental to that. Let us major on His strength, not on our weakness.

by Vance Havner

The Supreme Experience

Vance Havnerby Vance Havner

My grace is sufficient for thee.  2 Corinthians 12:9

Within a few verses Paul goes from height to depth and rises again to greater height than ever. His third heaven experience, his thorn in the flesh, his denied request, should settle once for all what is the supreme matter in this earthly sojourn. We like to play up third heavens, mighty deliverances, amazing answers to prayer. The supreme experience of Paul was none of these but a constant dependence on God’s sufficient grace. That does not sound spectacular, sensational; it does not make as good a story as third heavens and startling deliverances, but God rates it higher. After all, in the strength of it Paul outtraveled, outpreached, outwrote, and, in general, outperformed any man of his day.

It is better to be buffeted by Satan’s messenger than to be exalted above measure by a third heaven experience. Better have something you can tell than hear words you cannot utter! Life’s greatest experience is to live in the strength of Another the Exchanged Life – “Christ liveth in me.” It is better for heaven thus to come to earth than for you temporarily to be caught up to heaven.

by Vance Havner