Redeeming the ThornsHave you ever wondered why sometimes we just can’t seem to overcome our battles by shear will power? We do the same things over and over even though we don’t want to. It’s hard, if not impossible, to overcome or deal with a thorn by yourself!

Paul, in his letter to the Corinthians in chapter 12:7-10, describes the thorn that he has and asks the Lord to remove it three times (how many times have we asked?)—and yet the answer Paul is given is, “My grace is sufficient for you, my power is made perfect in weakness.” That goes against every addict’s or person’s thinking in recovery who wants to be self-sufficient or do it in their own way. It also says we may have thorns in our lives and the Lord may chose not to remove them—but He will give us the grace to deal with them.

Many of us may struggle with sexual purity, shame, loneliness, depression and other difficulties. We’ve asked the Lord to remove our thorns, but we still struggle. Maybe we need to reconsider the thorns in our life. Maybe they’re not a curse, but a gift, and an invitation to go deeper with God and experience His grace—to have a more intimate relationship with Him.

In John 15:5 Jesus says apart from Him we can do nothing. In other words, it’s impossible to live the Christian life without complete dependence on Him. It can’t be done alone. We have to choose whether we will move to numbing or escaping our pain and addictions by acting out, which leads to death. Or whether we will have complete dependence on God, which leads to life. The book of James chapter 1:2-4 tells us we will not escape trials and temptation; but if we stand up to them, make healthy choices, and depend on God for help, we will receive a crown of life.

We need His help, but we also need community—people to help us handle our thorns. Yes, we may have put the thorns in our life; but to be in recovery means we aren’t alone. God created community, and He gave us the church so we can heal and recover from the consequences of sin through fellowship with the body of Christ!

If you’re needing additional help resources for your recovery we can help! Call us at 800-NEW-LIFE (639- 5433) to learn about our many audio, video, and print resources, or to find a Christian counselor or Life Recovery Group in your area.