“If your brother sins, rebuke him; and if he repents, forgive him. And if he sins against you seven times a day, and returns to you seven times, saying, ‘I repent,’ forgive him.” (Luke 17:3-4)
Born in Moscow in 1821, Fedor Dostoevski became one of the world’s most influential novelists. But his life almost ended before his writing career was recognized. In 1849, he was arrested and imprisoned along with others suspected of having radical ideas. Previously, he had advocated radical, socialistic ideas. But while in prison, he had a crisis of faith and embraced Christianity.
After spending four years in prison, Dostoevski was sentenced to be shot. Then, a miracle took place and at the last minute, his life was spared. This experience changed him in many ways. He realized that he had been given a “second chance” and dedicated himself to fulfilling his God given potential.
God wants us to realize that He is a God of “second chances.” If we have sinned or made mistakes in our lives, He offers the opportunity to be forgiven, if we will just confess our sins (1 John 1:9). In the same way, we must be willing to forgive others and give them a second chance. But, in every area of our life, God also offers each of us the opportunity to start afresh. He can open up new doors, turn defeat into victory, and even create a way in the wilderness where there did not seem to be a way (Isaiah 43:19-20).
Today, ask God to help you become sensitive to sin. Confess your sins, and receive His freedom. Remember to forgive others who might have sinned against you. And don’t give up if you have experienced failure or frustration. Trust God! He can turn your defeats into victories!
God, I confess my sins to you. Please forgive my sins and cleanse me from all unrighteousness. And help me forgive those who have wronged me. I trust my life to You. In Jesus’ name. Amen.