Like the rock that was smitten, we too need to be broken, before the rivers of blessing can flow out through us to others. The opposition of men and their false accusations serve to keep us broken before God.
The flesh must be broken. The Lord can use us then, not while it is unbroken. While Paul was writhing under Satan's thorn, he could get some estimate, though not a full one, of what the flesh is as God sees it. When it was broken, and Paul did not know what to do, the Lord came to pour sympathy into the writhing heart of Paul.
Only those who have learned well to be earnestly dissatisfied with themselves, and to be confounded with shame at their wretchedness truly understand the Christian gospel.
Author: John Calvin Source: The Epistles of Paul the Apostle to the Romans and Thessalonians, 1979, 8:135.
A Christian is not a person who believes in his head the teachings of the Bible. Satan believes in his head the teachings of the Bible! A Christian is a person who has died with Christ, whose stiff neck has been broken, whose brazen forehead has been shattered, whose stony heart has been crushed, whose pride has been slain, and whose life is now mastered by Jesus Christ.