Similarly in 2 Corinthians 12:7-10 Paul explains how Christ
refused to take away his suffering because of a better purpose than
To keep me from being too elated by the surpassing greatness of theThis thorny “messenger of Satan” was designed by God for
revelations, a thorn was given me in the flesh, a messenger of Satan
to harass me, to keep me from being too elated. Three times I pleaded
with the Lord about this, that it should leave me. But he said to me,
“My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weak-
ness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses,
so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ,
then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions,
and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
sanctifying, gospel purposes well beyond the reach of Satan. Satan
becomes the lackey of the risen Christ. What was Christ’s purpose
in Paul’s suffering? “My power is made perfect in weakness.” Now
this is unintelligible to those who define love as helping us get out
of pain quickly. It is also unintelligible to those who say that Christ
cannot be loving if he is letting Paul suffer to magnify his own glory.
But that is exactly what he is doing. This is why the love of God in
the gospel looks so foolish to people. How can this be love?
God is the Gospel - Piper, 128 - my emphasis