Isn’t it weird how ‘encouraging’ is always one of the words people use to describe Christian music. I’ve just noticed that lately. People listen to it, because it never fails to put a positive influence on their day.
Here’s the cool thing though.
Encouraging= (adj.) giving someone support or confidence; supportive
Someone has to be going through something negative to need support. By negative, I don’t mean that they are doing anything wrong necessarily, or if they are that it is really ‘bad’. They just simply have to be going through something that isn’t positive to need support.
So whether you look at the Christian artist singing the song or the person in their car jamming out to the song, Christian music explicitly states that we are not perfect. Sin, whether ours or not, is affecting us at every waking moment.
This means we all have struggles in our life; we all have thorns.
Paul’s thorn is described in 2 Corinthians 12. The simple definition if his thorn, in my opinion, is that he discovered the power in his weakness. That’s the distinct difference between a struggle and a thorn.
A weakness becomes a thorn when we give it to God, and He reveals His handiwork in making that struggle glorious, in His Name.
The breathtaking thing about thorns is that they make us long for heaven. They make us realize a little piece of heaven; we won’t have these thorns any longer. Once we realize this, it helps us live on earth and experience peace, joy, and all the fruits of the spirit because HE IS the fruits. All of this will happen…
If we let it
He will use our thorns so so so much, if we let him. We can’t dwell on imperfections in our life. We can’t blame God for letting something happen. We have to open our hearts, and realize that God is sovereign and HE KNOWS the greatest and most perfect plan for us, even if it doesn’t seem like it now.
Do you know what God has showed me about this? He wants us to have weaknesses. If we didn’t have weakness, I truly believe we would turn to God less. If we didn’t have problems, we might even actually begin to believe that we are as high up as God, or close. We want to believe we wouldn’t react this way, but lets face it, we are sinners and most of the time, we would react this way. He embraces our weaknesses and says “my grace is sufficient”. I don’t think God means “my grace is good enough”. No, I think God means “You don’t need anything else, but me my child”.
With your willing heart, He will use your struggles and turn them into thorns. He will turn them into something that glorifies Him. He will turn it into something that you can possibly even use to bring another sweet soul to know His Name. He might not ever take it away. Paul talked about knowing God will not take away His thorn. But something about the thorn in my life at least is that I don’t even necessarily want it gone now. He has used it so much, despite that I deal with it daily, that I am okay with it sticking around. He will use your thorn too! Enough that we will be able to boast about them just as Paul did about in 2 Corinthians 12! His strength is PERFECT in our weakness. Not okay, not sufficient- PERFECT in our weakness. Our peace and joy through thorns help others see how glorious our God is!
How do we make struggles turn into thorns? For the longest time I didn’t know. I dealt with my thorn for at least a year before I even knew I could turn it into a thorn, and then probably another 6 months before I actually declared, in His Name, that I would turn my struggle into a thorn.
It takes prayer and it takes spiritual community. If we look at Paul’s life, he participated in both of these. He has people all around him that he was pouring into or that were pouring into him, and he also faithfully prayed to God. He talks about revelations that He has had and not to say revelations can’t come without prayer, I’ve seen them come through to a faithful prayer warrior. Paul is also the one who advised us to “pray without ceasing” in 1 Thessalonians 5:17. Paul was a prayer warrior; that is undeniable. And He experienced a revelation from God declaring His struggle to be used for the goodness of The Kingdom.
One thing I think we often forget is Paul isn’t much different than us. Yes, he is an apostle, but he is a sinner saved by grace. We are sinners saved by grace. If Paul had the ability to experience revelations about his struggles, we can too.
In this picture, and every other picture I post on here, I am dealing with hypothyroidism, my thorn. But somehow God puts this type of joy on my face for the world to see.
Thank you so much Jesus for the joy you have put in my heart. I pray others see my joy and know that it is is from you.
My thorn is hypothyroidism, and I am thankful for it! Read about my story here: https://kps003.wordpress.com/2015/06/29/44/