I personally don’t believe Paul’s flesh thorn was a sickness, but supposing – just supposing, that it was, what can we learn from it?
First off, if you read the account in II Corinthians 12:7-10, you will see that this flesh thorn was not of God. For according to Lamentations 3:33, He does not willingly afflict the children of men. The flesh thorn was a messenger of Satan, Paul tells us. Satan’s messages are evil, which is why Paul did not willingly embrace that message. Like any smart believer, he knew that sickness was a form of death, which entered the world through Adam. That’s because Adam accepted Satan’s message that if he ate the forbidden fruit he would be like a god.
So, if Paul’s flesh thorn was an illness – again, I say, “if” – we know that it was not of God. It was Paul’s flesh, prone to the sin of pride, that opened the door. Sin is what opens the door to sickness, for “all have sinned and fallen short of God’s glory,” as Paul tells us in Romans 3:23. Sin is what separates man from God and from His kingdom, which as Paul himself tells us in Romans 14:17, is all about “righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.”
In Matthew 12:28 and Luke 11:20, Jesus said, “If, by the finger of God, I drive out devils, then the kingdom of God has come upon you.” He taught us to pray, “Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.” In Acts 10:38 Peter tells us that Jesus went about doing good and healing ALL who were oppressed by the devil. What does that tell us about sickness? It is the work of the devil, also called Satan. Many times in the gospels we read where Jesus healed people by casting out devils. He never once told anyone to just accept the sickness. Despite their sin, he healed them, so that they would believe in Him and be saved from their sin.
All we have to be healed and to be saved is to humble ourselves, for as it says in James 4:6 as well as in numerous other scriptures, “God resists the proud but gives grace to the humble.”
So then, if – and I do say if – Paul’s thorn in the flesh was a sickness – know that God’s grace is sufficient to heal you. Pride is the only thing that will stand in your way. Are you too proud to receive from Him? You might not think so, but what does God say about it?