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The Thorn in the Flesh [Kindle Edition]

R.T. Kendall
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)

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Book Description

In 2 Corinthians 12: 7 Paul makes the extraordinary admission that he was given a 'thorn in the flesh'. Although we can never be sure what that torment was, many of us will know what it feels like to have a thorn in the flesh, a painful problem which does not seem to go away. In this book R T Kendall explains what a thorn in the flesh is, why we have it, and what we should understand by it. Looking with compassion at the kinds of acute situation in which we may find ourselves - an unhappy marriage, difficult working conditions, loneliness, sexual misgivings or chronic illness, for example - he shows how the grace of God is sufficient for us whatever our thorn, and how it can lead us into unimaginable intimacy with Jesus.

Product Description


Hope for all who struggle with impossible conditions (Steve Chalke)

A must for anyone honest enough to inhabit the real worldof difficulty, frustration and confusion. (Doug Balfour)

Doug Balfour

A must for anyone honest enough to inhabit the real worldof difficulty, frustration and confusion.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 255 KB
  • Print Length: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Hodder; 1st. Edition edition (20 Nov. 2003)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B004M18WJY
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #240,093 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Can we live without the thorn? 1 April 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
A readable and fascinating bible centred study derived from 2 Corinthians 12:7 where the apostle Paul says that, keep me from becoming conceited...there was given me a thorn in my flesh...'

The scriptural premise of this book is that all believers at some time or other are given a thorn in the flesh. The duration and number of thorns may vary, indeed some may be lifelong, however all, argues Dr Kendall, are part of God's purpose to lead us into greater intimacy with Him.

Although there have been many speculations as to the nature of Paul's 'thorn', no clear answer is given from scripture. The fact that the thorn is not specifically identified, states R.T. Kendall, enables us all to identify with Paul in suffering a thorn in the flesh. Eleven of the twelve chapters, explore a range of possible 'thorns'. 'Loneliness', 'Disability' 'Chronic Illness' and 'An Unhappy Marriage' are just four examples.

Written with compassion and humour, this book , containing scripture references, personal testimony and wise counsel, challenges believers to see God's hand in every aspect of their lives and brings hope and encouragement to those who are suffering.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars amazon100 15 Oct. 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
In 2 Corinthians 12:7 Paul makes the extraordinary admission that he had been given a thorn in the flesh, 'And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations,there was given me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan tolest buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure.'Although we can never be sure what the thorn in the flesh was we know from the Bible Paul's history, how he sought to kill christians; him being taught at the feet of Gamaiel, himself a Pharasee and proud of his achievments until he met the Lord Jesus Christ. Then he had a new life and a Christly profession, being used of God and recieving something of the persecution he hoped to inflict on christians. Here he was God's servant being given a thorn in the flesh to prevent him from being conceited (puffed up). Now R.T. Kendall in this book explains what a thorn in the flesh is, why we have it, and what we should understand by it.God did tell Paul tha his grace was sufficient when he had prayed to have this thorn in the flesh taken away. R.T Kendall explains with great compassion coupled with his style of scriptual exposition and teaching mastery, God knows best and relates the whole book to God, you, me,everyone, and himself. This is one of the best books I have ever read outside of The Bible itself. Every Christian should read this book.I hope you know 'The Lord Jesus Christ' personally and live in Christ, there is no other life outside of Christ Jesus. Simpson
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Want insights into you struggles? 7 Aug. 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book does give insights into the positive side of our struggles - how situations, circumstances and people that we find difficult to relate to are actually "thorns in our flesh"; they can be a means of our being made better people.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent 15 July 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Good and excellent product, Highly recommended for others to transact business with,open,authentic and caring person.Kudos, and more grease to your elbow
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 3.9 out of 5 stars  31 reviews
28 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I loved it. 17 Jan. 2006
By Truthseeker - Published on
This is a great book. Once I started reading it I could not put it down until I finished it. It is very true and scriptural. Christians need to stop this rose garden mentality. Life is not all prosperity and blessing. Sometimes it takes a thorn in the flesh to get to the blessing. We have to go through things. It is how we learn and grow and become the people God created us to become. Not all sickness and disease is from Satan, people give him to much glory. God is always in control. He does allow things to happen; for reasons we may not find out until we get to the other side. When we get to heaven, I believe we are all going to be surprised at what we thought we knew and what we actually did know. This is a wonderful book and may help you to realize why things you've hoped and prayed for have not yet changed. They may never change, but his grace is sufficient.
36 of 41 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This book is so insightful 1 Jan. 2005
By L. Bourne - Published on
This book helped me so much in my understanding of why we suffer. Yes, Jesus bore our pain on the cross, but the Bible makes it clear that God uses painful kinds of circumstances to glorify himself. One only needs to read the book of Job to see that suffering IS often God's will (how much scarier to think that it's not--and that Satan is controlling much of our lives outside of God's will). Paul asked God, not Satan, to remove his thorn and God gently said no. This book will help you understand why, and help you to accept the thorns in your life as a way for God to refine you.
25 of 28 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars This book does NOT teach against scripture. 24 Aug. 2005
By Philip - Published on
I recommend this book and a study of the following sections of scripture.

Read the story of Joseph and how he was sold into Egypt. When he finally showed himself to his brothers he said, Gen 50:19 And Joseph said unto them, Fear not: for am I in the place of God?

Gen 50:20 But as for you, ye thought evil against me; but God meant it unto good, to bring to pass, as it is this day, to save much people alive.

Joseph said he was in the place of God and that God meant this unto him for good!

In Job we learn that God allowed Satan to afflict him. God could have chosen not to allow Satan to do anything to Job. If God did not allow it, it would have never happened.

Study the life of Paul and see that he endured much physical suffering among other things.

2Co 11:24 Of the Jews five times received I forty stripes save one.

2Co 11:25 Thrice was I beaten with rods, once was I stoned, thrice I suffered shipwreck, a night and a day I have been in the deep;

2Co 11:26 In journeyings often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils by mine own countrymen, in perils by the heathen, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren;

2Co 11:27 In weariness and painfulness, in watchings often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness.

Paul continues to talk about being hungry and suffering need.

Phi 4:12 I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need.

The very next verse is the well known "I can do all things..."

Phi 4:13 I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.

Phi 4:14 Notwithstanding ye have well done, that ye did communicate with my affliction.

This book is a scriptural book.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Some helpful points, not the best ever written. 28 July 2009
By Robin Ventor - Published on
I found this book at a truck stop, and the title intrigued me as I'm just coming off of a season of being devastated by some bad teaching which set me up for major faith disintegration. Though this is not the best book ever written, it does make some good points. I do feel that there are some clear holes in the "encouragement" department. You can finish a chapter and think "so... tell me again how loneliness is good?"

The bottom line in all he is saying is basically that there are times that the Lord allows us to struggle in order to keep us from becoming too conceited and straying far from him. This is a scriptural concept, though there are many ministries who teach that we must not ever simply accept sickness or adversity. The trouble however, with that theology is that it prevents people from having a humble heart before the Lord, and asking themselves the question of whether or not there is a lesson they need to be learning in such seasons of struggle. This book encourages people to apply emotional intelligence [though he doesn't use that term] to adverse situations, and to being open to allowing the Lord to show them their imperfections and mold them in their areas of weakness and struggle.

I believe he falls short in helping the reader find that fine line between striving for better things, and finding contentment in all things. He touches on it, but it's cursory. He does use some scripture, but I think he quotes lyrics from hymns just as much if not more, and I would have preferred some solid scripture.

All in all, I'm glad I read it, as it lead to a paradigm shift in my heart, and made me start to think that my lack of a miracle after walking the walk of faith until it could not be walked any more, might not really be a colossal failure, but actually God's way of refining me and disciplining me to make me more like Him. But it made me want to find the "better" version of this message, which is what brought me to Amazon. I'd say if you can't find anything better, and this is a message you need, then check it out.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Book Review 18 Mar. 2008
By Dave Neeley - Published on
I purchased this book for a writting assignment I had for my Seminary class. I was somewhat disappointed with the lack of discussion on Paul's particular thorn. I expected Kendall to elaborate on this text more than he did. That being said, Kendall did a great job highlighting the important aspects of the text and offering insights regarding modern day "thorns" that believers must face.

All around, I would recommend this book. It would be a great tool for sermon preparation or paper writting. It would even make for good leisure reading.
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