Have you ever wanted a fresh start in life? Some people hope to get a new start by moving to a different city or state. They think they can erase their past failures by going somewhere new. Unfortunately, this never happens. Why? Because they take with them the same old attitudes and habits that guarantee their continued unhappiness.
People don’t realize that they don’t have to move to start over. They can stay right where they are and receive a second chance in the midst of their failures.
The Bible is filled with stories of people who openly failed but were given second chances. The patriarch Jacob, an Old Testament saint, is an example of this. Jacob’s name means “deceiver.” If you study his life, you will see that he lived up to his name. But Jacob had an encounter with the Lord that changed his life. And with a changed life came a new name—Israel. (See Genesis 32:24–28.)
Moses is another example. In his quest to obey God and deliver the children of Israel from bondage, Moses got ahead of God and messed up. He killed an Egyptian and fled Egypt, escaping to the country of Midian. (See Exodus 2:11–15.) But God gave him a second chance, and Moses later delivered the children of Israel out of the hands of Pharaoh.
Many of us today have messed up as well. In our zeal to follow God, we’ve jumped out ahead of Him and have made many mistakes. But as He did with Moses and Jacob, God will also give us a second chance.
Some people think God is not a God of second chances, but He is. It is His nature to deal with us again and again.
Unfortunately, when some people make mistakes, they keep themselves in a position of failure. They continually make excuses for why they failed. Or they place the blame for their failure on others. Until they accept responsibility for their actions and attitudes, God cannot help them.
Another way people play the “blame game” is by saying, “If only I lived in a different part of town.” “If only my family wasn’t so poor.” “If only I had a better education.” But pointing a finger at all of the “if onlys” in our lives won’t change our situation.
You see, if we really want to do something, we can do it! It doesn’t matter where we live, what our name is, or how much money we have. None of this has anything to do with our success. The truth is, we can accomplish anything with God backing us (Phil. 4:13).
In any situation, either we can motivate ourselves to do something, or we can do nothing and wallow in despair. The choice is ours.
But even when we are in despair, the Word of the Lord will come to us a second time saying, “Don’t remain in defeat. Get up. It’s time to move forward.”
We don’t have to allow the mistakes of the past to hold us captive. The Apostle Paul said in Philippians 3:13, “. . . this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before.” It doesn’t matter what kind of mistakes we have made. They are in the past. If we give them to the Lord, He will help us forget them and move on with Him.
All of our failures, good intentions, and good deeds of the past have already been written on the pages of our life story. Now it’s time to write our future. But before we begin filling the pages of our life, let’s realize that the Lord wants to give us a second chance. He’s giving us an opportunity to change. With His help, we can make our future better. If we allow Him to, He will show us how to make the rest of this year glorious and victorious!