Desperation finds itself solemnly without hope,
This soul has absolutely no reason to dance,
Then within God is the opportunity to elope,
Because God’s the God of the infinite second chance.
I knew a woman once who so strongly identified with the Woman at the Well story (chapter 4 of John’s gospel) she felt as if condemned, because she didn’t know how to “go and sin no more.” I was convicted to explain that you shouldn’t feel condemned; that the Scriptures may convict us to change, but they are not intended to condemn us.
What this woman needed—which is what we all need—was the assurance that God is the God of second chance; and not a literal second chance, but a philosophical second chance, rooted in the type of rule that biblical forgiveness sits under. Depending on the gospel we read, Jesus proclaims that we ought to forgive people not seven times, but either 77 times or 490 times. Either way, it is a lot—i.e. unlimited. If God requires that we be so gracious, imperfect as we are, how much more will the perfect grace of God forgive us?
God is slow to anger and abounding in grace. God is the God of the infinite second chance.
Understanding We Are in a ‘No Lose’ Situation
Having accepted the Lord Jesus, and knowing the role of sin in our lives (not that we ever excuse our sinfulness) we accept the fact of our reborn nature; we have been spiritually transformed, but we are nowhere near done.
We will never be done in this mortal life. In the life of belief in Christ, we must get used to two diametrically opposed realities that coexist.
1. We will see the world differently—as transformed individuals; and,
2. We will struggle with those same struggles we struggled with before we were saved. This is real and grace is our only chance.
When we accept these two very disparate states of being coexist within us, as saved persons, we tend to relax more into the grace we have been blessed to enjoy. We judge ourselves less, and, as a result, we put less performance pressure on ourselves.
We face a no-lose situation.
God has stacked the cards completely in our favour. Other than turning completely away from God, there is nothing we can do that will separate us from this love of God’s. And there’s nothing of the past that condemns us if we have repented of it.
No matter what we have done or where we have been, God has a new history for each of us. It doesn’t matter how many times we have ‘failed’ God; upon acceptance that Jesus is our Saviour, we are forgiven, in Christ, once for all time.
© 2013 S. J. Wickham.