Many times, when we are talking about the "Lord Providing," it is in reference to a financial provision. However, His greatest provisions in our lives come through His grace!
Recently I was speaking with a brother about how he was doing. He is going through a difficult time in life brought on by a fall into sin recently. As we were talking he mentioned some days are okay, however, most days he can hear Satan screaming in his ear about how he messed up and how unworthy he is. Despite all efforts to rebuke the Devil, there are just some days it is a hard load to bear.
Toward the end of the conversation he brought up how he keeps falling back on when Paul said in 2 Corinthians 12 that "Gods grace is sufficient!" That brought to mind the context that was in and how Paul was referring to a "thorn in his flesh" that God had refused to remove. So I asked my brother in Christ if he knew what Paul's thorn was? He of course said "we are never told," but in reality we are. Read this: 2 Corinthians 12:6-9a
6 Even if I should choose to boast, I would not be a fool, because I would be speaking the truth. But I refrain, so no one will think more of me than is warranted by what I do or say, 7 or because of these surpassingly great revelations. Therefore, in order to keep me from becoming conceited, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me.8 Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. 9 But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”
Do you see what His thorn is? That is right, a "messenger from Satan." A demon was assigned to Paul. I am not sure what all this demon was to inflict on Paul. but I do know one of his jobs! He was constantly screaming in Paul's ear 'You are not worthy!"
Do you remember what Paul did before he spread the Gospel of Christ? He was a murderer and persecutor of the body of Christ. He watched as they stoned Stephen (Acts 7:58). He dragged off men and women to prison for their faith in Christ! (Acts 8:3). He gave himself to fully destroy the church of Jesus Christ because he believed with all his heart that Jesus had deceived the people and that his disciples were furthering this evil. With zeal he gave himself to eradicate this false doctrine from Israel.
Though he was radically saved (Acts 9), Paul's memory did not leave him. I know in his dreams those days played over in his mind. I know as he went about sharing his faith, that demon constantly reminded him of those he had harmed and put in prison. I know that day Stephen died while he watched with glee haunted his memories. Paul, of all people could start to believe the lie, "You are not worthy! You have no right to ask people to come to Jesus because you are nothing more than a murderer and persecutor of this very faith."
I can imagine how loud those screams were in his ears, because I heat them just as you do. I have prayed as you have, "God help me forget my awful past and those sins I committed," but he has not removed those memories. However, He does say,"My Grace is sufficient for you, and MY power is made perfect in YOUR weakness!"
I now can join Paul in the rest of verse 9 and 10 where he says:
Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. 10 That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
Although God had not removed the messenger from Satan, Paul had learned to lean into the power of Christ to overcome this enemy in his life. "Yes" he said, "I have messed up, I am a broken sinner who persecuted the church, I did watch as Stephen was murdered, I wrestle with my self worth every day, however, I delight in this weakness I have, because it through those I realize my desperate need for Jesus and know I can lay my weary head to rest in Him. As I rest in Christ my king, His power flows through me and in my weaknesses I am strong because He is MUCH stronger than my weaknesses!
God Himself will provide! Rest in His sufficient grace today and allow your weaknesses to let you live in His strength!