Apparently Paul had some kind of "thorn in the flesh"...we may more commonly use "pain in the neck." no one knows for sure what the problem was. We only know he was completely vexed by this thorn, and he begged God three times to take it away.
So how would you like to receive God's answer? The verb Paul uses for "he said" is legei, a form of the verb lego, meaning to stay or speak. But legei is typically reserved for the words of a ruler. God is speaking as king here...and he says no. Not only that, he speaks to Paul using perfect tense. This is what your parents do when they say, "And that's final!"
There are some hopeful elements in this passage. Isn't it good to know that when we are in need of God's grace, our struggle doesn't necessarily mean we lack faith? Don't get caught in the trap of saying, "I asked, nothing happened, and therefore god must not be real, or he must not care about me, or I must not be good enough." He is God. If we dictate his answers to our prayers, we're not really affirming his place as Lord of all.
God depicts our weaknesses as strengths. When we display a strength, it's easy to take credit, but what about when we succeed where all indicators say we should fail? Tim Tebow played his first real football game as starting quarterback for the Denver Broncos in 2011. Though Tebow is super easy to like, he doesn't play like an elite quarterback. He has a funny throwing motion. his arm isn't the strongest. No one expected him to have success. Yet in his first season, Tebow led Denver Broncos into the play-offs. Tim Tebow will be the first to tell you that even on his worst days, God is racking up victories in his life.
It's okay if things are out of order in your life right now. you are a broken vessel. Let God do his thing, which is to glorify himself through you...in spite of your limitations. Let him be strong.
Write your greatest weakness on a slip of paper and put it on your mirror. every time you see it, ask god to glorify himself right there!