Severe Mercy

by | Aug 19, 2011 | Spiritual Growth

Because the Lord disciplines those he loves, as a father the son he delights in. —Proverbs 3:12

St. Augustine said that God loves every person as though there were no one else to love. Likewise, He deals with each of us as though there were no one else to deal with. He knows all about us and therefore knows what it takes to get our attention. The way God gets our attention and brings us to a degree of humility is by manifesting His glory.

But are you ready for this: the thorn in the flesh is actually a manifestation of God’s glory. If you pray for God to manifest Himself to you, you might say, “A thorn in the flesh is not exactly what I had in mind!” But there are many ways God shows up, both corporately and individually. Giving us a thorn is not the only way God manifests His glory, I am happy to say, but certainly this was one way in which He communicated with Paul and to each of us. See your own thorn as God’s weighty stature in your life, the dignity of His will for you at this time.

As well as being a manifestation of God’s glory, the thorn in the flesh is a severe form of chastening or disciplining. I will never forget my first introduction to the idea of being chastened. In that moment I felt an impulse to turn to Hebrews 12:6, which said, “For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth” (KJV).

This verse gave me some comfort, but the pain did not go away. It was my introduction—not to the thorn in the flesh—but to the subject of chastening. I knew God Himself was behind everything that was happening. I could live with that. Can you? Just to know that the whole thing is of God.

The thorn in the flesh, then, is from God, and it is a way of making us learn. Nothing else will work for us at the time. So God, who knows this, sends the thorn. It is not unlike what C. S. Lewis calls “severe mercy.”

Excerpted from The Thorn in the Flesh (Charisma House, 2004).

CHARISMA NEWSLETTERS

Stay up-to-date with current issues, Christian teachings, entertainment news, videos & more.

The latest breaking Christian news you need to know about as soon as it happens.

Prophetic messages from respected leaders & news of how God is moving throughout the world. 


MORE FROM CHARISMA

Curt Landry: 6 Ways to Open Your Heart and Mind to God’s Voice

Curt Landry: 6 Ways to Open Your Heart and Mind to God’s Voice

We are told that we must listen to God’s voice when we need to make important decisions. What does the Bible say about hearing God’s voice? How do we apply this to our everyday lives? 7 Bible Verses About Hearing God’s Voice “So then faith comes by hearing, and...

Abortion Restrictions Don’t ‘Force Religion’ on Women

Abortion Restrictions Don’t ‘Force Religion’ on Women

After the Supreme Court ruled last week 6-3 that there is no constitutional right to abortion, pro-life supporters cheered while angry pro-choice activists took to the streets to denounce the decision. Abortion advocates carried placards and shouted slogans such as...

Prophetic Word: The Books Are Open and the Scales Have Tipped

Prophetic Word: The Books Are Open and the Scales Have Tipped

As we were coming into the month of June, the halfway point of the year, the Lord began to speak to me that we are at a tipping point. How we position and posture ourselves in this month will set the tone for the next six months. A tipping point is a series of small...

Are You Being Trapped by This Wily Scheme of the Enemy?

Are You Being Trapped by This Wily Scheme of the Enemy?

A predator ensnares his prey with a trap meant to weaken and disarm the life so easily enticed by the bait set before it. Once the predator catches his prey, his goal is to steal, kill and destroy. Do you know this is exactly what the enemy is trying to do to you...

3 Things God Can’t Do

3 Things God Can’t Do

 Most people will be surprised and may even gasp at that statement. You mean there are some things God can't do? Yes, it’s true. He can do anything except for these three things. {eoa} Bill and Annette Wiese founded Soul Choice Ministries in 2000 for the purpose of...

RECENT ARTICLES

What Is the Difference Between Revelation and Understanding?

“I got a word from the Lord, but I don’t understand it.” “I’m feeling called in this direction, but I’m waiting for full understanding before I act on it.” These and statements like them are common...
Prophecy: A Prophetic Insight Into the Roe v. Wade Reversal

Prophecy: A Prophetic Insight Into the Roe v. Wade Reversal

The halls of heaven are rejoicing in the victory for life. The grief our Lord knows over the death of millions of babies in the name of secular humanism, the beast of Revelation 13, has been tempered by our Supreme Court's decision to send the future of abortion back...

Kingdom Economics: When Things Don’t Go as Expected

Kingdom Economics: When Things Don’t Go as Expected

Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24, 2022. Before the invasion, many—probably most—Western analysts expected the war to last from a few days to a few weeks due to Russia’s vastly superior military might. However, the Ukrainians surprised everyone. Due to the bravery...

Why There is Power in Your Song

Why There is Power in Your Song

Do you have a great voice? If so, then sing! Do you have a horrible voice? If so, then sing! There is power in the song. God gave you your vocal cords, voice and ability to sing. There has never been a culture in which music was not part of society. We see music...

How Would an Encounter in Heaven Transform Your Life?

How Would an Encounter in Heaven Transform Your Life?

Have you ever wondered what heaven was like? What does a person see and experience when they are in heaven? Is the arrival in immediate when a believer dies? These are great questions and ones that Rabbi Felix Halpern can answer. A mix-up in medicine brought about a...

Prophet: Learning to Listen With Discernment

Prophet: Learning to Listen With Discernment

Learning to listen with discernment means that you begin to recognize the voice of God so well that other voices sound unfamiliar. In John 10:5a, Jesus told his followers, "Yet they will never follow a stranger." This statement needs to become a reality in your life....

5 Stages of Building a Successful Team

5 Stages of Building a Successful Team

The definition and purpose of leadership are directly tied to organizational models and the five stages of building an organizational model. Let’s talk about those five stages. What we say here may sound somewhat like what you may have heard before about building a...

Pin It on Pinterest

[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]