New Man

Want to receive New Man by email? Sign up here

Severe Mercy

Because the Lord disciplines those he loves, as a father the son he delights in. —Proverbs 3:12

St. Augustine said that God loves every person as though there were no one else to love. Likewise, He deals with each of us as though there were no one else to deal with. He knows all about us and therefore knows what it takes to get our attention. The way God gets our attention and brings us to a degree of humility is by manifesting His glory.

But are you ready for this: the thorn in the flesh is actually a manifestation of God's glory. If you pray for God to manifest Himself to you, you might say, "A thorn in the flesh is not exactly what I had in mind!" But there are many ways God shows up, both corporately and individually. Giving us a thorn is not the only way God manifests His glory, I am happy to say, but certainly this was one way in which He communicated with Paul and to each of us. See your own thorn as God's weighty stature in your life, the dignity of His will for you at this time.

As well as being a manifestation of God's glory, the thorn in the flesh is a severe form of chastening or disciplining. I will never forget my first introduction to the idea of being chastened. In that moment I felt an impulse to turn to Hebrews 12:6, which said, "For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth" (KJV).

This verse gave me some comfort, but the pain did not go away. It was my introduction—not to the thorn in the flesh—but to the subject of chastening. I knew God Himself was behind everything that was happening. I could live with that. Can you? Just to know that the whole thing is of God.

The thorn in the flesh, then, is from God, and it is a way of making us learn. Nothing else will work for us at the time. So God, who knows this, sends the thorn. It is not unlike what C. S. Lewis calls "severe mercy."

Excerpted from The Thorn in the Flesh (Charisma House, 2004).

Best Magazine Deal. Subscribe now and get 3 magazines for the price of 1. Get Charisma, SpiritLed Woman and Ministry Today, all for $24. YES - I want this deal!

3 Reasons Why you should read Life in the Spirit. 1) Get to know the Holy Spirit. 2) Learn to enter God's presence 3) Hear God's voice clearly! Click Here to draw closer to God!

Your Turn

Comment Guidelines
View/Add Comments
  • Roadblock

    6 Roadblocks That Will Stop Your Spiritual Growth

    God wants you to grow in your faith, but many of us get stuck along the way.

  • 2017 is the year that swords will clash.

    Prophetic Word: 2017 Will Bring a Clashing of Heaven and Hell

    "This is a time to cross over and not pull back."

  • Inner Healing Is the Fruit of the Spirit

    Inner Healing Is the Fruit of the Spirit

    I have been puzzled about the subject of inner healing for some time.

  • The devil will try to silence you in any way he can. Don't give him the satisfaction.

    Satan's 2 Most Potent Lies to Render You Ineffective

    There's something in you so powerful that Satan doesn't want it out. Kyle Winkler reveals ...

  • Are you willing to volunteer for God's offensive army?

    Prophetic Word: Preparing for God's World War 3

    God is searching for soldiers of the cross who are willing to volunteer for His offensive army.

  • Cindy Jacobs

    2017: Year of the Breakthrough

    "There will be a significant increase in miracles and signs and wonders."

  • Foot washing

    Shaking the Gates of Hell With a Basin of Water and a Towel

    "When I saw His foot, I knew He had come to take back territory the enemy had stolen from His ...

  • Growing relationship

    2017 Prophetic Word: The Supernatural Key to Growing Your Relationship With God

    It's vital that we understand what comes from God and what comes from the devil.

  • Marriage man and woman

    Why Marriage Is Not Just Between a Man and a Woman

    Marriage is a miracle. Let us treat it like one.

  • Continue Your Journey with the Holy Spirit

    Continue Your Journey with the Holy Spirit

    Follow God on the most fulfilling journey of your life with Encounter the Holy Spirit! Break away from past hurts and press into the One who wants a personal encounter with you.

  • Dream the Unimaginable In His Presence

    Dream the Unimaginable In His Presence

    Reach your full potential and be led by His Spirit. In His Presence takes you to a deeper understanding of who God is and how he communicates with us.

  • Set Your Spirit on Fire

    Set Your Spirit on Fire

    Receive the power and gifts that come through the Holy Spirit Baptism. Don’t go empty-handed; accept all that He has for you! His power is available to those who ask.

  • Put on the Full Armor of God

    Put on the Full Armor of God

    Break every stronghold with the power of the Holy Spirit. Use the power of your tongue to declare and decree the Word of God. Witness heaven move on your behalf.

Use Desktop Layout
Charisma Magazine — Empowering believers for life in the Spirit