Excerpts from: Andrew Murray. “Humility.” Apple Books. https://books.apple.com/us/book/humility/id1104022862
So that Paul would not glorify himself, which would be easy to do due to his revelation in the Spirit, he was given a thorn in the flesh to keep him humble. Paul’s first desire was to have it removed, and he pleaded with the Lord three times that it would be removed. The answer came that the trial was a blessing. Through the weakness and humiliation it brought, the grace and strength of the Lord could be better manifested. Paul instantly entered a new stage in his relationship to the trial. Instead of simply enduring it, he most gladly gloried in it. Instead of asking for deliverance, he took pleasure in it. He had learned that the place of humiliation is the place of blessing, power, and joy.
Let us learn the lesson: the highest holiness is the deepest humility. Let us remember that it comes not of itself, but only as it is made a matter of special dealing on the part of our faithful Lord to those who faithfully serve Him.
Let us look at our lives in the light of this experience, and see if we gladly glory in weakness, and take pleasure in injury, need, and distress. Yes, let us ask if we have learned to consider a reprimand, just or unjust, a criticism from friend or enemy, an injury, trouble, or difficulty into which others bring us, as above all an opportunity to prove how Jesus is all to us. Have we learned that our own pleasure or honor is nothing, and humiliation is in very truth what we take pleasure in? It is the deep happiness of heaven to be so free from self that whatever is said of us or done to us is lost and swallowed up in the thought that Jesus is all.
The school in which Jesus taught Paul is our school too. He watches over us with a jealous, loving care, lest we exalt ourselves.
The danger of pride is greater and nearer than we think, and especially at the time of our highest spiritual experiences. The preacher of spiritual truth with an admiring congregation, the gifted speaker on a Holiness platform, the Christian giving testimony of a blessed experience, and the evangelist moving on in victory – no man knows the hidden danger to which these are exposed. Paul was in danger without knowing it. What Jesus did for him is written for our caution, that we may know our danger and know our only safety.