Second Chances …. Third Chances
James 2:23- NLT – “Abraham believed God, and God counted him as righteous because of his faith.” He was even called the friend of God.
Fear Led Choices
Abraham allowed fear to rule in his life in Genesis 12:10-20 and then again in Genesis 20:1-18. Abraham’s wife was very attractive and so he feared that the leaders would put him to death in order to take Sarah for a wife. So he told Sarah to tell them she was his sister. This was a partial truth, which from God’s perspective equals a whole lie. Thankfully, God in His kindness, visited both these leaders and warned them not to touch Sarah and to bless Abraham and he would pray a blessing for them.
Fruit of Fearful Choices
How often have we let our fears get the best of us? And how often have we repeated the same sin? I know that fear and repeat sins have been a part of my life. In fact, I am just recovering from a season where I let the cares of the world (my day-to-day routine) and becoming weary in well doing (really tired from being helpful to others) to allow me to act in very ungodly ways – anger, overeating, bitterness, resentment and general grumpiness. Thankfully, God has given me encouragement through His word and through having time with friends so I can regroup and get back on track. I am not proud of those times— I hurt many people who were close to me and for that I am very sorry.
Maybe God Needs Help Choices
A second example we see from Abraham’s life is found in Genesis 16:1-14. Abraham was promised an heir (he was 75 at the time), he is now 86 and nothing has happened, so he agrees with Sarah to take matters into his own hands and help God out. The result was the birth of Ishmael (Hagar was his mother). This led to much sorrow in Abraham’s life when he had to say goodbye to Hagar and Ishmael.
How many times have I thought, God you promised this and that— why are you taking so long… let me help you out. Too many times! I have had to reap the penalty that comes with such rash decisions.How many times have we tried to help God fulfill His promises to us? Click To Tweet
Lessons We Can Learn
It brings me great comfort when I am able to look at Abraham’s faith walk and see that he didn’t always make the right choices. Why does it bring me comfort? Not because he made mistakes and this makes mine okay, but because we are able to read how God felt about Abraham – in Hebrews 11 and in James 2:23 – and I know that God can feel the same way about us, if we continue to trust, repent, and obey Him in faith.
I am grateful to Abraham for always returning to God to help him through his difficult times and setting the example for me. I know that when I make unwise decisions and when I sin that I can repent and ask God to forgive me and have a restored relationship with Him. I know that God will say of me someday, “My friend, who is righteous because of your faith in Jesus Christ, come enter in and dine with Me at My table.”
What about you? — Let me know in the comment box below how God has helped you pick yourself up and continue to move forward in your second chance (or more).
Trust in and rely confidently on the Lord with all your heart
And do not rely on your own insight or understanding.
In all your ways know and acknowledge and recognize Him,
And He will make your paths straight and smooth [removing obstacles that block your way].