It would have been bad, that’s what.
Proud people are pretty unusable by God, and so Paul would have been put on the shelf. And maybe we would have missed half of the New Testament, you know the part that Paul wrote (Just imagine the Bible without Romans). And maybe the gospel wouldn’t have gone to Asia. And maybe Peter wouldn’t have gotten that rebuke from Paul that kept The Rock on the right path (Galatians 2:11).
So God kept Paul from pride, and therefore kept him usable, and take note of how the Lord did it…
So to keep me from becoming conceited because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations, a thorn was given me in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to harass me, to keep me from becoming conceited. 2 Corinthians 12:7 (ESV)
Do you see what the Lord needed to do to keep His apostle humble and therefore usable? He had to give him pain.
Now, we don’t know what the pain was – most commentators think it was something physical (because of the word “flesh” – like an eye problem or blindness, for instance), but in the end it doesn’t matter. We just know there was pain…pain enough to make him cry out to the Lord to remove it. But God, in His goodness, refused.
It’s a good reminder, because I know what I do every time pain enters my life – I do what every other believer in all the world does – I ask my Heavenly Father to remove it…and fast. And sometimes, praise His name, He does.
And sometimes, praise Him again…He doesn’t….because thankfully, He wants to use me too.
For Friday, June 12th: 2 Corinthians 13