A couple of months ago at Wed. night bible study at our church, we discussed Paul's thorn in the flesh.
2 Corinthians 12:7-10 And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure. For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me. And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness.Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.
We decided to use the law of first mention and see where the Bible first talks about a thorn in the flesh. The first place is:
Numbers 33:55 But if ye will not drive out the inhabitants of the land from before you; then it shall come to pass, that those which ye let remain of them shall be pricks in your eyes, and thorns in your sides, and shall vex you in the land wherein ye dwell.
See also: Joshua 23:13 and Judges 2:3
People were following Paul around trying to undermine and destroy his work. Scripture tells us that it was a messenger of satan. The devil was using people to come against Paul. Satan could have also used Paul's memory of the Christians he had persecuted before he got saved to try to bring condemnation on him.
Our defense against the devil is the armour of God. We need to make sure we have it on and that there are no holes in it. One of the things that can make holes in our armour is unforgiveness. When we have unforgiveness toward someone else - or toward ourselves -
we have made holes in our armour where those thorns of the enemy can get in and wound us.
If our armour is solid and strong, when a dart from the enemy comes at us, it will just bounce off. When someone says something slanderous or treats us badly, we can just realize that they must be having a bad day and pray for them. Or, we can know that the slanderous thing is not true and choose to believe what God says about us and let their words be ineffectual in our lives.
Ask God if you have any holes in your armour and if so, let Him show you the steps you need to take to remedy the problem.
Grace and peace,