Does God give second chances?

Does God Give Second Chances?

Kourtney Gage

Have you ever been in a situation where you just thought, “Man, I wish I could go back and re-do that?" Whether it was with a relationship that failed, a test you didn’t study for, a bad decision you made, a rule you broke, or a conversation that didn’t go the way you wanted… whatever the situation was, have you ever just felt so down because you wish you could go back in time and change it all? 

Yeah. Me too girl, me too. 

I wish I could give you a secret potion that could let you go back and change one situation in your life… but I can’t. You know, I almost said “sadly, I can’t,” but I stopped. Why would it be “sadly?" I know that if you are anything like me, there have definitely been times that you regretted a decision or just felt so awful because of the way something turned out. However… out of all those times, how many of them actually ruined your life? I don’t mean “ruin” as in, someone broke your heart and you thought life was over. I mean, something that completely and utterly made you unworthy. Can I tell you a secret? Nothing that has happened in your life has ruined your life. NOTHING. Not one thing. Nothing has made you unworthy. Want to know why? Jesus. 

I would be lying if I told you there was never any decision I made that I didn’t regret. Frankly, there are a lot. There are relationships I wish I could go back and fix, there are conversations I wish I could redo, there are jobs I wish I had or hadn’t taken, there are so many things that I sometimes sit back and think “man, I wish that was different’. So, I want you to know this one thing before I go any deeper:

You are not alone in this feeling!

We all, without a doubt, feel this at least once in our life because we are human and we make mistakes! These mistakes, however, they don’t have to define us. How relieving is that? Yes, it may hurt, yes it may have changed some things, but these mistake don’t make you any less worthy of God’s love and compassion. 

I want tell you a story about someone in the Bible who has gone through this same feeling. His name was Matthew. 

If you have heard the story of Matthew, you can probably guess where I am going with this, but if you haven’t, let me explain. Matthew was a tax collector before he decided to follow Jesus and become one of the twelve disciples. This is important because as a tax collector, he was an agent for the Roman Empire, who was eventually out to kill Jesus.

Being a tax collector, he lost a lot of trust and approval from other Jews and Christians because of all the harmful things the Romans did to religious groups. So, you can imagine how much hate he probably received once he decided to follow Jesus! How would you feel if someone who betrayed you just up and decided to become better and a whole new person? You probably wouldn’t trust them very much at first. If you have ever watched “The Chosen” (a Biblical representation series) you can see how Simon did not like Matthew because of the harm Matthew had done to his family with the taxes.

Matthew eventually realized his mistake, and I can imagine, he probably felt pretty guilty for his actions. However, just because he made a mistake and went against everything Jesus wanted… he was still called by Jesus. How interesting! A sinner (just like me and you) was CALLED by Jesus! Take that in for just a second. A sinner was called by Jesus!

Hebrews 12:11 - “God has a plan for those whom He loves, whom He calls by name."

Romans 3:23 - “We are all sinners but we are all worthy of love and forgiveness."

You might be sitting here thinking “well, Kourtney, you just don’t know my story. I messed up too badly. There is no way the Lord can forgive me and still use me. My story can’t get better." But, I have the BEST NEWS for you! He can and He will and your story will get better!

Think back to the story of Matthew. In many eyes, he wasn’t deserving of the Lords forgiveness and grace, yet the Lord called him still and had Matthew walk along side him during his time on Earth. Can I tell you yet another story? Mary Magdalene was a disciple of Jesus and was one of the first people to see Him when He rose out of the grave (a pretty big deal!) yet before she knew Jesus, she was enslaved by demons. Demons! You can only imagine how she acted because of this… yet it still didn’t stop Jesus from calling her home and setting her free. 

You see, Jesus loves everyone! Yes, truly. He loves me and He loves you. So, no matter what you have done, He STILL loves you. I know it can be hard to feel like you are worthy of love, especially here on earth. It can feel like people hate you, or someone doesn’t forgive you, or you feel forgotten and left out. People might say mean things to you or not invite you places. You might feel like you can never escape your past and it is just a looming cloud above you. But if you have gone to Jesus and asked Him to forgive you, then He says “you are forgiven”. 

1 John 1:9 - “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness”."

I know it’s hard, my darling. Sometimes you just sit and wonder if there is a second chance for you. But I am here to tell you, there is. You may not be able to get things back to the way they were, you may have to deal with the consequences of an action, you may have lost someone and not get them back… but those are not the important things. I know it feels like it now, but what is important is that you are still called. You still have a purpose and you still have a story being written. When you ask for forgiveness, when you go back to your Father… your second chance starts at the exact moment. He hasn’t given up on you, love. He is just waiting for you to come home to him. 

A couple of months ago, I made a decision that I now regret. I was in such a low place and thought there was no way out. I can see clearly now that God had His hands over me the whole time. Even though I felt alone in the moment, He was there. Even though all my summer plans changed, He was still there. Even though I lost someone super close to me, He was still there. Even though I said and did things that weren’t like me, He was still there. I may not be where I thought I would be, I may have some decisions I regret or wish I could change… but I still have a story that is being written. Go ahead, darling, this is me giving you full permission to LET GO OF THE SHAME. Be like Matthew, be like Mary… step into who God is calling you to be. Use your past to help guide you but don’t let your past define you… not when Jesus says “that is not who you are anymore”. 

There is a song that has been on my heart recently called “You Remind Me (live)” by Corey Voss and Madison Street Worship. The Chorus and Bridge stuck out the most to me:

Over and over again, you restore me
Over and over again, you revive me
Over and over again, you remind me
That there’s no fear inside Your love. You’ve done more than overcome. All my battles, all my wars, You have won. There’s redemption in Your blood. It is finished, it is done. Every victory is Yours, You have won.

Wow. just wow! “There’s redemption in Your blood”… in other words, there is your second chance.

I have a challenge for you. I want you to write down all the decisions, all the mistakes, all the guilt you are feeling right now. Write as many of them down as you can. When you’re done, I want you to go to a quiet place, or a room you can be alone in, and one by one I want you to give them to God. Whatever that looks like for you, cry as much as you need to, but one by one, let them go. Ask for forgiveness, and step into your second chance with God.