The Lord of Second Chances
Do you have a vision that God has given you? May I encourage you NOT to GIVE UP! We have all been through a confusing, challenging, and fearful past two years. 2022 is a New Year of opportunity, 365 more days to pursue your dream. It is not too late. God’s Word gives us several simple steps for our SECOND CHANCE. 1 John 1:9 says, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
Stop making excuses. A barrier to our success is our insecurities. Here is what they sound like:
I don’t have what it takes. Moses, Jeremiah, and Gideon all had insecure moments. But God reminded each one that He is with them, always. God’s answer to our insecurity reminds us that we are not alone. The Lord reminded Gideon in Judges 6:12 that “The Lord is with you, mighty warrior!” I am a failure. Every human who has ever existed (other than Jesus) has failed. Remember what the Lord told Isaiah (43:18-19), “Forget what happened before, and do not think about the past. Look at the new thing I am going to do. It is already happening. Don’t you see it?”
I need to control. We can’t control most of what happens in life, and we handle what we can and leave the rest to God. Proverbs 24:10 says, “Don’t give up and be helpless in times of trouble.”
I cannot trust the future. Ecclesiastes 11:4, “Farmers who wait for perfect weather never plant. If they watch every cloud, they never harvest.” Those words are for anyone ready to give up because they can’t guarantee success.
Take a personal inventory. Most people have more than we realize. Questions to ask:
What assets do I have? What are the spiritual gifts that the Lord has given you? What are the natural abilities you were born with? What are the experiences that have taught you about yourself? What are your physical, financial, and educational blessings? What is the resource God has blessed you with? 1 Corinthians 12:7 says, “To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good.”
What are the lessons I have learned? What have you learned during the pandemic? What have you learned about your family, ministry, the Lord, and in other areas of your life? These lessons are gold, valuable life benefits.
Romans 8:28, “And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.”
Who can I ask for help? Proverbs 15:22 says, “Plans go wrong with too few counselors; many counselors bring success.” Too often, people fail to achieve their goals because they’re too proud to ask for help.
Step out in faith. Our complaints don’t move God. Our faith moves him.
Matthew 9:29, “According to your faith, let it be done to you.”
Developing goals can be a step of faith. Ask the Lord to help us accomplish reasonable, attainable, and measurable goals. God honors our faith. Most people never set goals because they fear failure. I have learned that if your faith goals don’t scare you, they are not big enough. Proverbs 21:5 says, “The plans of the diligent lead surely to abundance, but everyone who is hasty comes only to poverty.”
Renew our thinking. Change the way you think. Ephesians 4:23, “Be constantly renewed in the Spirit of your mind.” The way we renew our thinking is through reading God’s Word. Proverbs 4:23 says, “Carefully guard your thoughts because they are the source of true life.” Romans 12:2 says, “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.”
Trust in the Lord. We may not see or understand what God is doing in our lives, and there are times when He’s at work behind the scenes. God always has what is best for us, and he is always doing good. You can trust Him.
Proverbs 3:5-6 says, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.”
Our Prayer for 2022: Psalm 51:10, “God, make a fresh start in me, shape a Genesis week from the chaos of my life” (The Message).