1. Hello, listening friends.
2. Thank you for tuning in and listening to this broadcast.
3. It is our desire to be a blessing to you.
4. And if God has used them to bless you, please write and tell us.
5. We are in the midst of a series of messages entitled, “The Awesomeness of God’s Grace”.
6. And those of you who were listening in the last broadcast are going to remember the three things about the “thorns” of pain and suffering.
7. Those of you who listened to the last broadcast will remember the outline.
8. I also listed the sufficiency of the grace of God to overcome these thorns.
9. But let me refresh your memory.
10. Number One –
11. Satan is the manufacturer of all thorns.
12. Number Two –
13. God’s grace is able . . . to take away the sting.
14. Number Three –
15. God’s grace brings roses out of thorns.
16. Let’s look at these three things in more details.
17. 1st – Satan is the manufacturer of all thorns.
18. In II Corinthians 12:7,
19. Paul said that his thorn was a message from Satan!
20. One of the cruelest things to do to a person who is suffering through no fault of their own,
21. is to be like Job’s comforters.
22. Job’s comforters kept on saying:
23. “You must have a sin tucked away somewhere.”
24. “You must not have confessed all of your sins.”
25. But Job replied:
26. “I have searched all of the closets clean.”
27. “I have confessed sins I haven’t even committed.”
28. “I have done all that is humanly possible.”
29. But Job’s friends insisted:
30. “Well, there must be something that you are not confessing.”
31. On the other hand, there are those who tell you: “Just pretend that everything is all right.”
32. “Don’t confess that you have a problem and you won’t have it.”
33. “Pretend that it is not really what it is.”
34. We must be honest in calling evil evil.
35. We must be honest in calling illness illness.
36. We must be honest in calling suffering suffering.
37. We must be honest in calling pain pain.
38. It is wrong to gloss over evil, pain and suffering, and call it something else.
40. Because the author of all sufferings is Satan himself,
41. and Satan would love to cause Christians to suffer.
42. Satan is the manufacturer of all thorns.
44. God’s grace takes away the sting.
45. In the dark hour, when Jesus died on the cross,
46. Satan was celebrating.
47. Satan appeared to have triumphed.
48. Satan rejoiced all night long.
49. Evil seemed to have succeeded.
50. Evil seemed to have gained the upper hand.
51. But the celebration was short lived.
52. The celebration was short sighted.
54. Because God was planning the resurrection.
55. Because God was bringing good out of the greatest evil that could have ever happened.
56. Don’t let whatever thorn Satan throws at you get you down.
57. Don’t let Satan torment you to the point of not believing that, God is bringing good out of the bad.
58. Don’t get to the point of thinking that Satan is greater than the grace of God.
59. Don’t permit Satan to convince you that God doesn’t love you enough to give you enough grace for the moment.
60. When Paul saw how God was using Satan’s thorn for His glory,
61. Paul was able to rejoice.
62. When Paul saw the hand of God working in his thorn,
63. his eyes lifted away from the thorn and onto the throne.
64. When Paul understood what God was doing with the thorn,
65. Paul stopped focusing on the thorn and began to focus on the sufficiency of the grace of God.
66. Paul prayed 3 times for the removal of the thorn but God said:
67. “I will take away the sting of the thorn.”
68. Paul prayed 3 times for the taking away of the thorn but God said:
69. “When you focus on Me and My strength and My power and My grace, you won’t even feel the goading of the thorn.”
70. Paul was enjoying that his prayers were answered.
71. Not the way that he asked for,
72. or in the same way he would have liked.
73. But the Lord showed Paul how He was using the thorn for His glory.
74. How was God using the thorn for God’s glory?
75. Paul knew that he had so many visions and revelations that could have filled him with too much pride.
76. And Paul knew it!
77. And that is why the Lord said:
78. “I am using what Satan meant for evil to bring good out of it.”
79. “I am using what Satan meant to torment you to bless you and bless others.”
80. “What Satan wanted to use to destroy you, will bring glory to My name.”
81. Joseph was unjustly hated by his brothers.
82. They sold him into slavery.
83. Then in Egypt, he was falsely accused and there he gets unjustly imprisoned again.
84. But what God was doing all along was using this thorn in his flesh to bless him and his entire race.
85. Whatever those thorns are that are causing you suffering right now,
86. God can use them to bless you right now.
87. Whatever thorns may be goading you right now,
88. God is using them for your own protection.
89. Whatever thorns you may be weary of right now,
90. God’s grace will take away the sting.
91. All thorns are manufactured my Satan.
92. God promised to take away the sting.
93. Thirdly – God’s grace brings a rose from the thorns.
94. Did you notice that Paul did not ask for grace?
95. He was doing what you and I do.
96. Namely saying, “Lord, remove this. Lord, remove it now!”
97. But God gave him grace anyway.
98. What does grace mean in this scripture text?
99. Here grace is the all-necessary strength to praise God in spite of the thorns.
100. Here grace is the spiritual power to be able to live triumphantly in spite of the thorn.
101. Here grace is the spiritual ability to be able to see the rose that is blossoming, in the midst of the briar patch.
103. Because without grace, we could never triumph over Satan’s torment.
104. Because without grace, we could never rejoice in the midst of the hurt.
105. You see, God’s grace not only saves us but it also sustains us.
106. God’s grace is always sufficient to more than meet the need of the hour.
107. My listening friends let me ask you this:
108. How can you explain the sufficiency of the grace of God if you have no thorns?
109. How would you know it?
110. How will you testify to the grace of God?
111. God’s grace cannot be manifested when we are strong.
112. God’s grace cannot be manifested when we are self-sufficient.
113. God’s grace cannot be manifested when we think we don’t need it.
114. God’s grace always shines the brightest against the darkness of the circumstances.
115. God’s grace is always displayed clearly when we are weak.
116. That is why Paul was very happy to boast about his weaknesses so that Christ’s power rested upon him.
117. “My grace is sufficient for you.”
118. Is God’s grace sufficient for you?
119. If it is not,
120. then it may be, just maybe you are focusing too much on the thorn.
121. Perhaps you cannot see the rose of His grace developing in you.
122. If that is the case, let your prayer be:
123. “Lord, help me to take my eyes off the thorn and put them on the throne.”
124. And he will answer your prayer.
125. And when he does, write to us and tell us.
126. Until next time, I pray for God’s richest blessing.