Why God “Allows” N’s to Wreak Havoc – Using Them As Pre-Emptive Constraints


2 Corinthians 12:7

Because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations, for this reason, to keep me from exalting myself, there was given me a thorn in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to torment me—to keep me from exalting myself!


Sometimes, God uses His tools not for “corrective” or “refining” purposes, but for pre-emptive purposes.  In I Corinthians 12:1-10, Paul had done nothing wrong.  The “messenger of satan” was only for the purpose of preventing Paul from exalting himself due to his extraordinary experience.  We as normal humans tend to get puffed up at the slightest “success” we experience – just think of how puffed up we would be if we had had an experience that was many multiples higher than anyone else had ever had.


Paul needed the revelations that God gave him as part of his ministry preparation, but he also needed to maintain humility for his ministry.  So, God gave Paul the revelations, but also provided via satan a pre-emptive means for staying humble – not out of spite, or meanness, but for Paul’s good and God’s glory.


God knows what is in our hearts.  We must consider the possibility that one of the reasons that God allows the N into our lives is to put a hedge around us to keep us from somehow wandering away from Him and putting ourselves in a worse position.


Of course, God also gave Paul grace commensurate with the “thorn”, in order to endure it.


2 Corinthians 12:8-10

Concerning this I implored the Lord three times that it might leave me. And He has said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.” Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me.10 Therefore I am well content with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, with difficulties, for Christ’s sake; for when I am weak, then I am strong.


God knows infinitely more than us, and is infinitely wiser than us.  We may see something as “bad” based on our very limited perspective, but God knows that it is good based on His all-knowing perspective.  While we are pleading with Him to remove something, He may lovingly allow it to remain because He sees that it will be for our good.


Putting “Biblical Perspectives On Narcissism” Into Perspective



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