“Anyway, you never know what worse luck your bad luck has saved you from.” – Cormac McCarthy, No Country for Old Men.
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)
One of the ways God uses affliction is to keep us from sin.
At times he hems us in by sickness, poverty, or other circumstances so we’re unable to pursue something that would be harmful. God used Paul’s thorn to keep him from becoming conceited. It was better for Paul to suffer than to fall into pride.
Just as a shepherd may whack a sheep on the side with his rod or staff to keep it from wandering off, so Jesus, our good Shepherd uses his rod and staff of trials to keep us from straying. “Your rod and your staff, they comfort me.”
Who knows what evil we might fall into if God did not deny us things? If he didn’t fence us in and restrain us? Maybe you’re limited physically, or you feel stuck in a certain situation. God may be keeping you from sin. One more reason to give thanks in all things.
Oh the depths of the wisdom of God! Someday in heaven we’ll see the wisdom of God in our trials, and we’ll praise him for them. We’ll kiss the rod of his love. Let’s praise him in our afflictions now.