Thursday | 13 August 2020
Suffering to be delivered

The fourth aspect of suffering that Paul experienced was ‘a thorn in his flesh’. 2Co 12:7. This suffering resulted because a messenger, or apostle, of Satan stirred up the crowds to whom he was preaching, so that they turned against him and physically set upon him with violence. Significantly, Paul understood that this suffering was given to him by God as a protection from pride. As this propensity of his flesh was removed from Paul’s heart, he was preserved from falling under the same condemnation as Satan himself merited. In this way, Satan’s buffeting of Paul, which he received as his participation in the circumcision of Christ, only served to preserve Paul’s spirit from sin. 2Co 12:7.

Writing to the church in Smyrna, Jesus warned His followers of the suffering that they would endure under the oppression of those who were part of ‘the synagogue of Satan’ in the church. Rev 2:9. He said to them, ‘Do not fear any of those things which you are about to suffer. Indeed, the devil is about to throw some of you into prison, that you may be tested, and you will have tribulation ten days.’ Rev 2:10.

However, Jesus said that the outcome of this form of suffering would not be the avoidance of sin only; it also would be a crown of life that belongs to those who continue faithfully in the fellowship of Christ’s sufferings, even unto death. Rev 2:10. Notably, the Lord promised that if we keep His word and do not deny His name, He will make those of the synagogue of Satan to come and worship before our feet, and to know that He loves us. Rev 3:9.


Further Study:
2 CORINTHIANS 12
Daily Proverb:

References:
2Co 12:7
And lest I should be exalted above measure by the abundance of the revelations, a thorn in the flesh was given to me, a messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I be exalted above measure.

Rev 2:9-10
I know your works, tribulation, and poverty (but you are rich); and I know the blasphemy of those who say they are Jews and are not, but are a synagogue of Satan. Do not fear any of those things which you are about to suffer. Indeed, the devil is about to throw some of you into prison, that you may be tested, and you will have tribulation ten days. Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life.

Rev 3:9
Indeed I will make those of the synagogue of Satan, who say they are Jews and are not, but lie—indeed I will make them come and worship before your feet, and to know that I have loved you.
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