My illustration is Paul. He describes a thorn in his flesh in 2 Corinthians 12:7. I don’t know what you think his thorn is. Nobody is going to be able to give you a final answer. Some people think it was his wife; it could have been his conscience, too. I don’t know what it was that the devil buffeted him with. He calls it “a messenger of Satan,” and I feel I am on safe ground if I say that is what his thorn was: “a messenger of Satan.” But I know he was buffeted by the devil. He had held the coats when Stephen was stoned; he had caused Christians to blaspheme.

I am sure that Paul could have had second thoughts as he sat sometimes with blood running down his back after a beating, or in a prison, or as his life was ending and he said, “There is only Luke with me” and all Asia had turned aside and turned against him. (2 Timothy 4:11)

The devil could camp there in Paul’s weakness and say, “You don’t deserve any grace or anything from God when you consider what you’ve done!”

Well, Paul could write, “Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God’s elect? It is God that justifieth” (Romans 8:33), and Christ died and they are the ones who have that right. Paul then could say, “For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 8:38-39)

Are you a bruised reed today? This message is for the church as well as for individuals. He is not in the business of breaking reeds and putting out the flax.