Vs. 7, “To keep me from becoming conceited because of these surpassingly great revelations, there was given me a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me.” In the context of his chapter, Paul is once again defending his ministry and rights as an apostle. But he is also trying to convey to the Corinthians that he not trying to boast. We are reminded of Paul’s thorn in his side. We are not sure what it was, but it was bad that Paul would pray three times to have it taken from him. God would give him this thorn to keep Paul from getting proud in anyway.
Regarding application…Weakness. Vs. 10, “That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” Paul was accused by the Corinthians of being weak…but Paul would use that as his proof that he indeed was an apostle. The world will always look down on the weak…the widows of this world, the orphans of this world, the oppressed & poor, etc. The world respects “Power” “Strength” “Chrisma” “Money” “Intelligence” “Success”….these were things that Paul did not possess (at least from the world’s perspetive). Only when we strip ourselves down…then and only then can Jesus help us to be strong. For if we try to do it on our own power, we were fail. That is why we must weaken who we are so Jesus can give us His power. It is like the attitude of John the Baptist, when he realized that He must become less and Jesus must become greater!