HUMILITY AND TRIBULATION
2 Corinthians 12:7-10 AMP: And to keep me from being puffed up and too much elated by the exceeding greatness (preeminence) of these revelations, there was given me a thorn (a splinter) in the flesh, a messenger of Satan, to rack and buffet and harass me, to keep me from being excessively exalted. [Job. 2:6.] (8) Three times I called upon the Lord and besought [Him] about this and begged that it might depart from me; (9) But He said to me, My grace (My favor and loving-kindness and mercy) is enough for you [sufficient against any danger and enables you to bear the trouble manfully]; for My strength and power are made perfect (fulfilled and completed) and show themselves most effective in [your] weakness. Therefore, I will all the more gladly glory in my weaknesses and infirmities, that the strength and power of Christ (the Messiah) may rest (yes, may pitch a tent over and dwell) upon me! (10) So for the sake of Christ, I am well pleased and take pleasure in infirmities, insults, hardships, persecutions, perplexities and distresses; for when I am weak [in human strength], then am I [truly] strong (able, powerful in divine strength).
Here Paul reveals to us that increased revelation attracts an increase in satanic attack and tribulation:
Mark 4:17 NKJV: and they have no root in themselves, and so endure only for a time. Afterward, when tribulation or persecution arises for the word’s sake, immediately they stumble.
However, this then leads us to seek God with more humility, which in turn will give us more grace to overcome the tribulation:
James 4:6-7 AMP: But He gives us more and more grace (power of the Holy Spirit, to meet this evil tendency and all others fully). That is why He says God sets Himself against the proud and haughty, but gives grace [continually] to the lowly (those who are humble enough to receive it). [Prov. 3:34.] (7) So be subject to God. Resist the devil [stand firm against him], and he will flee from you.
This is why we should not despair when we are faced with tribulation: rather we should rejoice for the joy of the Lord will give us the strength (Neh. 8.10) to overcome it:
James 1:2-4 KJV: My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; (3) Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. (4) But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.
John 16:33 KJV: These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.
So, we should not pray that God should remove the ‘mountain’ or ‘thorn in the flesh’ or ‘messenger of Satan’, rather, we should become more humble to receive more grace to overcome the ‘mountain’:
Zechariah 4:7 KJV: Who art thou, O great mountain? before Zerubbabel thou shalt become a plain: and he shall bring forth the headstone thereof with shoutings, crying, Grace, grace unto it.
In doing this, God is ‘killing two birds with one stone’: firstly, giving a legal basis for Satan’s eternal punishment and incarceration (Rev. 20.10) and secondly, helping us to permanently overcome pride.
1 Corinthians 8:1 AMP: NOW ABOUT food offered to idols: of course we know that all of us possess knowledge [concerning these matters. Yet mere] knowledge causes people to be puffed up (to bear themselves loftily and be proud), but love (affection and goodwill and benevolence) edifies and builds up and encourages one to grow [to his full stature].
2 Corinthians 12:7 AMP: And to keep me from being puffed up and too much elated by the exceeding greatness (preeminence) of these revelations, there was given me a thorn (a splinter) in the flesh, a messenger of Satan, to rack and buffet and harass me, to keep me from being excessively exalted. [Job. 2:6.]
2 Thessalonians 1:5-6 AMP: This is positive proof of the just and right judgment of God to the end that you may be deemed deserving of His kingdom [a plain token of His fair verdict which designs that you should be made and counted worthy of the kingdom of God], for the sake of which you are also suffering. (6) [It is a fair decision] since it is a righteous thing with God to repay with distress and affliction those who distress and afflict you,
So, more humility will give us more grace to overcome more tribulation that comes from more revelation.
So, instead of the increased knowledge causing us to become more proud, the increased tribulation it attracts causes us to become more humble to get the increased grace needed to overcome the tribulation.
Romans 11:33 AMP: Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unfathomable (inscrutable, unsearchable) are His judgments (His decisions)! And how untraceable (mysterious, undiscoverable) are His ways (His methods, His paths)!