1 John 1:9: “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.”
Erasers are great. You can completely fix a mistake without anyone knowing. If only our life’s mistakes could be erased as if they never happened. Regrettably, we have to live with our blunders and their consequences. Sadly, many of us feel disqualified from serving God because of our past sins, especially when we repeat the same ones over and over again. Besides feeling like a failure, we believe God considers us unworthy. Our peace becomes lost in our discouragement. However, when we read through Scripture and learn that God gives second chances, we sense hope.
Fleeing from his assignment, Jonah ended up inside a fish. God gave him a second chance to deliver the message by causing the fish to vomit Jonah out on dry land. That message caused a nation to repent, avoid destruction, and also receive a second chance. Peter was part of Jesus’ inner circle who knew Him intimately. Peter denied knowing Jesus not once or twice, but three times after insisting he would die with Jesus before he would disown Him. Peter had to feel sick to his stomach after meeting Jesus’ eyes after the third denial. Yet, God loved him and prepared Peter to become an influential missionary and leader of the church, giving him many opportunities to stand up courageously and preach the gospel boldly.
When we repent, God lovingly forgives us and erases our sins. He doesn’t keep a record of our wrongs, so we must not dwell on them. We may have temporary consequences to them, but Jesus took the eternal consequences away from us. He made it possible for us to move on. Now we need to forgive ourselves for our past mistakes. On the other hand, Satan loves to make us believe we are unworthy by bringing back to mind all of our wrong doings and making us focus on our faults. He makes us feel like a failure. Satan causes us to doubt God’s goodness and forgiveness, and steals our hope.
The apostle Paul used to hunt down Christians to kill them before his conversion. God purposely used him as a missionary to the Gentiles and an author of several books of the Bible. His service had an enormous impact on the growth of Christianity. Likewise, we can still be useful to God for He will provide us with opportunities to serve Him and we can respond with gratefulness. God often takes our past failures and uses them for our good and to benefit others. We can be empathetic to others who experience the same situations and help them through their adversity . God will use whatever experiences we’ve had to advance His plans.
God loves us, never fails us, and always forgives us – even repeat offenders. His supply of compassion and grace is inexhaustible. We are awed that God has a purpose and plan for each one of us. Thank Him for His mercy for providing us second, third and more chances. Are there any past mistakes that you need to let go of?