When God Says No (Part1)

thorns looking up to the sky

“Thorns for Christ-likeness”

When believers talk about the promises of God, I have no doubt that we would rather wish to remember the wonderful and gracious promises of God to us. But the Lord has also promised that we will go through trials (John 16:33).

Nobody likes going through trials. However, when we pray for relief from these trials, the Lord does not always answer in the way that we hope He would. And when these prayers seem to have fallen on God’s deaf ears, we are tempted to think, “Does God care?”


PAUL’S THORN

We turn to the very clear words of Scripture in 2 Corinthians 12:1-10, and see what we should do when God says, “No.”

Paul boasted about his experience 14 years earlier, though surely with every reluctance, when the Lord had taken him and brought him to Paradise (2 Cor. 12: 2-3). But it is because of these surpassingly great revelations that the Lord gave him a thorn to keep him humble.

Our trials are not God’s knee-jerk reactions to our sins. It is infinite wisdom and love being implemented by infinite power and matchless grace.

What was this thorn from God? There are many possible interpretations, but whatever it was, it was designed from eternity past to humble Paul. It was sent to keep him from sinning.

Whatever Paul suffered from surely was intense, because he cried out to the Lord for healing. He wanted relief from the anguish he was going through.

What is the Lord teaching us in these verses?

Thorns come from the hand of a Sovereign and Faithful God.

We always need to remember that all our dark valleys are orchestrated by a loving and faithful God. He is faithful because He is loving. All our trials are set in motion even before the beginning of time. The Lord did not make a to-do list after creation and think of ways that He is going to mold us into Christ-likeness.

Our trials are not God’s knee-jerk reactions to our sins. It is infinite wisdom and love being implemented by infinite power and matchless grace.

Thorns come to make us holy.

The Lord has apportioned trials in our lives that we might continually be drawn near to Him and walk with Him in holiness.

However, we often react sinfully towards our God-ordained trials because we don’t really agree with God that our sin is ugly. We react badly because we see that “we have done much for the Lord and deserve immunity from such horrific trials.”

But the Lord is not and can never be impressed with the kind of service that we have rendered or can still render.


More Rock Badger's Pit Articles

Pull-quote: Our trials are not God’s knee-jerk reactions to our sins. It is infinite wisdom and love being implemented by infinite power and matchless grace.

Permissions: You are allowed and encouraged to reproduce and distribute this material in any format as long as you do not change anything contained in it and do not charge a fee except for costs in reproduction. In case you need this for web posting, we prefer that you provide a link to our website. Any exceptions to the above must be approved by Higher Rock Christian Church.
Passion for the Word

Sept 25 to Oct 01 -- Galatians 3:28 (NASB 1977) "There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free man, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus."

Announcements &
Activities
Midweek Poster for September 2017 from the Book of Jonah