DEAR REV. GRAHAM: Does God ever give us a second chance? I've made some bad decisions about my life the last few years and now I'm paying the price for them. Does this mean God has given up on me and things will never get any better? —B.K.
Dear B.K.: No, this does not mean that God has given up on you, or that nothing about your life can ever change. God is the God of the second chance! The Bible says that God "is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love, and he relents from sending calamity" (Joel 2:13).
If God weren't this way, none of us would have any hope, because we all make mistakes. But God isn't like this. No matter how far we've wandered from Him or how much we've messed up our lives, He still loves us and wants to help us get our feet on the right path. Do you remember Jesus' disciple Peter? When Jesus was arrested Peter denied he even knew Jesus — but later he repented, and God forgave him and restored him.
The key is to realize that we can't do this ourselves. We need God's help — and He is ready to give it to us. Begin by confessing your sins to God and asking Christ to come into your life as your Savior and Lord. Then ask Him to help you make right decisions, and to live the way He wants you to live.
In addition, surround yourself with new friends — friends who love Christ and will help you and encourage you. Ask God to help you find a church which has Christ and His Word at its center, so you can find friends like this and learn what it means to follow Jesus every day.