To keep me from getting puffed up

(J. C. Philpot, "The Promises Inherited" 1845)

"But to keep me from getting puffed up, I was
given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan
to torment me and keep me from getting proud.
Three different times I begged the Lord to take
it away. Each time He said to me, 'My grace is
sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect
in your weakness.' Therefore I will boast all the
more gladly about my weaknesses, so that
Christ's power may rest on me." 2 Cor. 12:7-9

Depend upon it, the Lord's family have to go through
much tribulation on their way to heaven
. So says the
unerring word of truth, and so speaks the experience
of every God-taught soul. Now . . .
  in these seasons of trouble,
  in these painful exercises,
  in these perplexing trials,
the Lord's people need strength; yet the Lord
sends these trials in order to drain and exhaust
them of 'creature strength'.

Such is the 'self-righteousness' of our heart; such
the 'legality' intertwined with every fiber of our
natural disposition--that we cleave to our own
righteousness as long as there is a thread to
cleave to; we stand in our own strength as long
as there is a point to stand upon; we lean upon
our own wisdom as long as a particle remains!

In order, then, to exhaust us, drain us, strip us, and
purge us of this pharisaic leaven, the Lord sends . . .

What is their effect?

To teach us our weakness, and bring us to that
one and only spot where God and the sinner
meet--the spot of creature helplessness.

In order, therefore, to bring us to this spot, to know
experimentally the strength of Christ, and feel it to
be more than a doctrine, a notion, or a speculation--
to know it as an internal reality, tasted by the inward
palate of our soul--to have this experience wrought
into our hearts with divine power, we must be brought
to this spot--to feel our own utter weakness.