Listen to today’s devo!

Therefore, in order to keep me from becoming conceited, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. (2 Cor. 12:7)

For me, this year has been both great and painfully difficult. It began with months of intensifying dental pain continuing as other health problems surfaced as well. What was supposed to be a two-month return to North America became a several-months-long time to heal. I could not help but, like Paul, feel the need to plead with God for an end to my health challenges, or “thorn in my flesh.”

Eventually another perspective emerged, though. The months of healing from surgeries had given me deep and meaningful time in God’s Word. Also, I had much more time to spend with our daughter, without all the normal distractions of work and friends. Many cards and a great deal of encouragement from others reminded me of how God has designed us all to help each other. I felt closer to God and closer to other Christians.

I needed to become like Paul and accept that God has a greater good in mind during times of suffering. Paul learned humility from his situation. What would appear a weakness developed strength of character.

What current hardship seems unbearable to you? What do you wish God would change, and yet, he does not? How could you better allow God to change your character to be more like his? How could you better submit to God’s purposes for your life?

Joyfully accept God’s greater purpose behind challenges you face.

Caryl Aukerman is a wife, missionary, and mother of three, and has served with Global Partners in the country of Albania for over fifteen years.

© 2022 Wesleyan Publishing House. Reprinted from Light from the Word. Used by permission. Scriptures taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®.