2 Corinthians 12:7: "Because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations, for this reason, to keep me from exalting myself, there was given me a thorn in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to torment me—to keep me from exalting myself!"
Today as I prayed for those young people who are on my heart--those who are making bad decisions, some are experimenting with drugs and sex, some are rebellious and disrespectful, saying hateful things to others--I was thinking how much regret they will have some day. I believe God will redeem these who are blinded by the things of this world. I have no doubt our prayers will be answered, but I also believe they will be sorry and regret the things they have done. It is often so difficult to forgive ourselves.
Anyway, as my thoughts were tracking along these lines I thought of Paul. Could that be the thorn in the flesh he speaks about? How could he ever forget the people he persecuted and killed? Wouldn't the devil torment him whenever possible with thoughts of regret and sorrow? Wouldn't that always be a reminder of how far he had come? It certainly would keep him from exalting himself, don't you think?
So maybe these I'm praying for will feel regret, but God, who says He works all things together for our good, will certainly use it to keep their eyes focused on Him when they finally see Him.