Are you struggling to forgive yourself or someone else? Don‘t forget that even when things seem impossible, God never stops offering second chances.
Here are some of the most powerful Bible verses about second chances and forgiveness to help you remember that grace is a gift for each of us.
Bible Verses About Second Chances
“‘Even now,’ declares the Lord, ‘return to me with all your heart, with fasting and weeping and mourning.’ Rend your heart and not your garments. Return to the Lord your God, for he is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love, and he relents from sending calamity.”
“He does not treat us as our sins deserve or repay us according to our iniquities. For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his love for those who fear him; as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us.”
“But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved.”
“‘Come now, let us settle the matter,’ says the Lord. ‘Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool.'”
2 Corinthians 5:17
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!”
Bible Verses About Second Chances in Relationships
The Bible is full of stories showing how God and people are willing to give second chances. These examples demonstrate the power of forgiveness, humility, and redemption. An example of one such story is David and Bathsheba.
Here, King David committed adultery with Bathsheba and had her husband killed. However, instead of punishing him for his offence, God chose to forgive him and bless their union by allowing Solomon, their son, to become one of the greatest kings in Israel’s history.
Another example of forgiveness and reconciliation is the story of the prodigal son. In this parable, a younger son spends his inheritance and loses his wealth. Humbled and desperate, he decides to return home where he anticipates being treated as a servant by his father.
Contrary to his expectations, his father greets him with an open embrace and restores him as a son in the family. This parable shows that forgiveness can mend broken relationships regardless of the time that has passed.
These stories show us the significance of humility, repentance, and forgiveness in our relationships. They remind us that even if we have gone astray, redemption may be within our reach if we make an effort to find it and are willing to face the consequences of our decisions.
“Therefore, behold, I will allure her, and bring her into the wilderness, and speak tenderly to her. And there I will give her her vineyards and make the Valley of Achor a door of hope. And there she shall answer as in the days of her youth, as at the time when she came out of the land of Egypt.”
“For though the righteous fall seven times, they rise again, but the wicked stumble when calamity strikes.”
1 Corinthians 13:4-7
“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.”
2 Corinthians 5:17
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!”
“Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.”
Also Read: 30 Important Bible Verses About Surrender
When God Gives You a Second Chance at Life
The Bible contains several stories about people being given a second chance in life. These stories often involve someone having a major realization or experience that leads them to question their values and priorities, resulting in major life changes.
An example of receiving a second chance is seen in the story of Jonah. God commanded Jonah to preach to Nineveh but instead, he disobeyed. As punishment, he was swallowed by a large fish and stayed in its stomach for three days.
After this episode, God gave him the opportunity to fulfill his mission. This experience made Jonah understand how important it is to submit and obey God’s wishes.
Another example of an incredible transformation is the Apostle Paul. Before his encounter with Jesus on the road to Damascus, Paul was persecuting the early Christian church.
This all changed after seeing Jesus, as Paul devoted his life to becoming a passionate missionary, sharing the gospel with all around the world. This second chance gave Paul a new way to use his abilities and enthusiasm – helping in the development of the early church.
These stories remind us that, even in our toughest times, God can provide us with a new opportunity for life, which will lead us to a more meaningful and rewarding journey.
“Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.”
“The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.”
“He refreshes my soul. He guides me along the right paths for his name’s sake.”
“He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand.”
“Though you have made me see troubles, many and bitter, you will restore my life again; from the depths of the earth you will again bring me up. You will increase my honor and comfort me once more.”
Also Read: Top 25 Forgive and Forget Bible Verses
Bible Characters Who Got a Second Chance
Several Bible characters were blessed to receive a second chance from God, showcasing His kindness and mercy. For instance, Peter, one of Jesus’ most dedicated disciples, denied Him three times during His trial. After Jesus’ resurrection though, Peter was given the opportunity to reaffirm His loyalty to Jesus and was chosen to lead the early church.
Another example is Moses, who initially fled Egypt after killing an Egyptian taskmaster. Yet despite this, God saw the potential for greatness in Moses and chose him to lead the Israelites out of their slavery in Egypt, granting him a second chance to fulfil his destiny.
The story of Rahab is another example of God’s grace. She was from Canaanite, working as a prostitute. However, when she hid two Israelite spies and helped them escape from Jericho, her actions showed her faith in the God of Israel. As a result, Rahab was given an opportunity to start anew and become part of the Israelite community.
These stories show that no matter the past mistakes we have made, God is willing to give us new chances if we genuinely repent and trust in Him. He gives us a opportunity to start again.
“Then the word of the Lord came to Jonah a second time: ‘Go to the great city of Nineveh and proclaim to it the message I give you.'”
“Now Peter was sitting out in the courtyard, and a servant girl came to him. ‘You also were with Jesus of Galilee,’ she said. But he denied it before them all. ‘I don’t know what you’re talking about,’ he said. Then he went out to the gateway, where another servant girl saw him and said to the people there, ‘This fellow was with Jesus of Nazareth.’ He denied it again, with an oath: ‘I don’t know the man!’ After a little while, those standing there went up to Peter and said, ‘Surely you are one of them; your accent gives you away.’ Then he began to call down curses, and he swore to them, ‘I don’t know the man!’ Immediately a rooster crowed. Then Peter remembered the word Jesus had spoken: ‘Before the rooster crows, you will disown me three times.’ And he went outside and wept bitterly.”
“Meanwhile, Saul was still breathing out murderous threats against the Lord’s disciples. He went to the high priest and asked him for letters to the synagogues in Damascus, so that if he found any there who belonged to the Way, whether men or women, he might take them as prisoners to Jerusalem. As he neared Damascus on his journey, suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him. He fell to the ground and heard a voice say to him, ‘Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?’ ‘Who are you, Lord?’ Saul asked. ‘I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting,’ he replied. ‘Now get up and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do.’ The men traveling with Saul stood there speechless; they heard the sound but did not see anyone. Saul got up from the ground, but when he opened his eyes he could see nothing. So they led him by the hand into Damascus. For three days he was blind, and did not eat or drink anything. In Damascus there was a disciple named Ananias. The Lord called to him in a vision, ‘Ananias!’ ‘Yes, Lord,’ he answered. The Lord told him, ‘Go to the house of Judas on Straight Street and ask for a man from Tarsus named Saul, for he is praying. In a vision he has seen a man named Ananias come and place his hands on him to restore his sight.’ ‘Lord,’ Ananias answered, ‘I have heard many reports about this man and all the harm he has done to your holy people in Jerusalem. And he has come here with authority from the chief priests to arrest all who call on your name.’ But the Lord said to Ananias, ‘Go! This man is my chosen instrument to proclaim my name to the Gentiles and their kings and to the people of Israel. I will show him how much he must suffer for my name.’ Then Ananias went to the house and entered it. Placing his hands on Saul, he said, ‘Brother Saul, the Lord—Jesus, who appeared to you on the road as you were coming here—has sent me so that you may see again and be filled with the Holy Spirit.’ Immediately, something like scales fell from Saul’s eyes, and he could see again. He got up and was baptized, and after taking some food, he regained his strength.”
“When Joseph’s brothers saw that their father was dead, they said, ‘What if Joseph holds a grudge against us and pays us back for all the wrongs we did to him?’ So they sent word to Joseph, saying, ‘Your father left these instructions before he died: “This is what you are to say to Joseph: I ask you to forgive your brothers the sins and the wrongs they committed in treating you so badly.” Now please forgive the sins of the servants of the God of your father.’ When their message came to him, Joseph wept. His brothers then came and threw themselves down before him. ‘We are your slaves,’ they said. But Joseph said to them, ‘Don’t be afraid. Am I in the place of God? You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives. So then, don’t be afraid. I will provide for you and your children.’ And he reassured them and spoke kindly to them.”
“Jesus continued: ‘There was a man who had two sons. The younger one said to his father, “Father, give me my share of the estate.” So he divided his property between them. Not long after that, the younger son got together all he had, set off for a distant country and there squandered his wealth in wild living. After he had spent everything, there was a severe famine in that whole country, and he began to be in need. So he went and hired himself out to a citizen of that country, who sent him to his fields to feed pigs. He longed to fill his stomach with the pods that the pigs were eating, but no one gave him anything. When he came to his senses, he said, “How many of my father’s hired servants have food to spare, and here I am starving to death! I will set out and go back to my father and say to him: Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son; make me like one of your hired servants.” So he got up and went to his father. But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him. The son said to him, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.” But the father said to his servants, “Quick! Bring the best robe and put it on him. Put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. Bring the fattened calf and kill it. Let’s have a feast and celebrate. For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.” So they began to celebrate. Meanwhile, the older son was in the field. When he came near the house, he heard music and dancing. So he called one of the servants and asked him what was going on. “Your brother has come,” he replied, “and your father has killed the fattened calf because he has him back safe and sound.” The older brother became angry and refused to go in. So his father went out and pleaded with him. But he answered his father, “Look! All these years I’ve been slaving for you and never disobeyed your orders. Yet you never gave me even a young goat so I could celebrate with my friends. But when this son of yours who has squandered your property with prostitutes comes home, you kill the fattened calf for him!” “My son,” the father said, “you are always with me, and everything I have is yours. But we had to celebrate and be glad, because this brother of yours was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.”’
“When they had finished eating, Jesus said to Simon Peter, ‘Simon son of John, do you love me more than these?’ ‘Yes, Lord,’ he said, ‘you know that I love you.’ Jesus said, ‘Feed my lambs.’ Again Jesus said, ‘Simon son of John, do you love me?’ He answered, ‘Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.’ Jesus said, ‘Take care of my sheep.’ The third time he said to him, ‘Simon son of John, do you love me?’ Peter was hurt because Jesus asked him the third time, ‘Do you love me?’ He said, ‘Lord, you know all things; you know that I love you.’ Jesus said, ‘Feed my sheep. Very truly I tell you, when you were younger you dressed yourself and went where you wanted; but when you are old you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will dress you and lead you where you do not want to go.’ Jesus said this to indicate the kind of death by which Peter would glorify God. Then he said to him, ‘Follow me!'”
“While Peter was below in the courtyard, one of the servant girls of the high priest came by. When she saw Peter warming himself, she looked closely at him. ‘You also were with that Nazarene, Jesus,’ she said. But he denied it. ‘I don’t know or understand what you’re talking about,’ he said, and went out into the entryway. When the servant girl saw him there, she said again to those standing around, ‘This fellow is one of them.’ Again he denied it. After a little while, those standing near said to Peter, ‘Surely you are one of them, for you are a Galilean.’ He began to call down curses, and he swore to them, ‘I don’t know this man you’re talking about.’ Immediately the rooster crowed the second time. Then Peter remembered the word Jesus had spoken to him: ‘Before the rooster crows twice you will disown me three times.’ And he broke down and wept.”
Stories of God Giving Second Chances
Throughout the Bible, there are various stories of God giving second chances to people and even whole nations. One such narrative is that of the Israelites, who persistently turned from God all through their history. In spite of their disobedience and idolatry, God continually offered them a new opportunity, sending prophets and judges to steer them back to the right road.
In the New Testament, Jesus’ parable of the unmerciful servant demonstrates why it’s vital to grant second chances. The story goes that a servant was forgiven a considerable debt by his master, but then proceeded to be unmerciful to a different servant for an even smaller debt.
When the master discovered this, he retracted his forgiveness and subjected the unmerciful servant to punishment. This parable teaches us that, just like God has done for us, we should be eager to provide others with second chances.
These stories show God’s great love and mercy. He gives second chances to those who ask for forgiveness and work to better themselves. They remind us that no matter how often we make mistakes, God is ready to help us start anew, helping us get better from our errors.
“Then Noah built an altar to the Lord and, taking some of all the clean animals and clean birds, he sacrificed burnt offerings on it. The Lord smelled the pleasing aroma and said in his heart: ‘Never again will I curse the ground because of humans, even though every inclination of the human heart is evil from childhood. And never again will I destroy all living creatures, as I have done. As long as the earth endures, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night will never cease.'”
“And he passed in front of Moses, proclaiming, ‘The Lord, the Lord, the compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness, maintaining love to thousands, and forgiving wickedness, rebellion and sin. Yet he does not leave the guilty unpunished; he punishes the children and their children for the sin of the parents to the third and fourth generation.'”
“The word of the Lord came to Jonah son of Amittai: ‘Go to the great city of Nineveh and preach against it, because its wickedness has come up before me.’ But Jonah ran away from the Lord and headed for Tarshish. He went down to Joppa, where he found a ship bound for that port. After paying the fare, he went aboard and sailed for Tarshish to flee from the Lord. (…) The word of the Lord came to Jonah a second time, ‘Go to the great city of Nineveh and proclaim to it the message I give you.’ Jonah obeyed the word of the Lord and went to Nineveh. Now Nineveh was a very large city; it took three days to go through it. Jonah began by going a day’s journey into the city, proclaiming, ‘Forty more days and Nineveh will be overthrown.’ The Ninevites believed God. A fast was proclaimed, and all of them, from the greatest to the least, put on sackcloth.”
2 Peter 3:8-9
“But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day. The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.”
“When one of the Pharisees invited Jesus to have dinner with him, he went to the Pharisee’s house and reclined at the table. A woman in that town who lived a sinful life learned that Jesus was eating at the Pharisee’s house, so she came there with an alabaster jar of perfume. As she stood behind him at his feet weeping, she began to wet his feet with her tears. Then she wiped them with her hair, kissed them and poured perfume on them. When the Pharisee who had invited him saw this, he said to himself, ‘If this man were a prophet, he would know who is touching him and what kind of woman she is—that she is a sinner.’ Jesus answered him, ‘Simon, I have something to tell you.’ ‘Tell me, teacher,’ he said. ‘Two people owed money to a certain moneylender. One owed him five hundred denarii, and the other fifty. Neither of them had the money to pay him back, so he forgave the debts of both. Now which of them will love him more?’ Simon replied, ‘I suppose the one who had the bigger debt forgiven.’ ‘You have judged correctly,’ Jesus said. Then he turned toward the woman and said to Simon, ‘Do you see this woman? I came into your house. You did not give me any water for my feet, but she wet my feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair. You did not give me a kiss, but this woman, from the time I entered, has not stopped kissing my feet. You did not put oil on my head, but she has poured perfume on my feet. Therefore, I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven—as her great love has shown. But whoever has been forgiven little loves little.'”
“But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”
Also Read: 27 Must-Read Slow to Anger Bible Verses
What does the Bible say about second chances?
The Bible has many verses that talk about second chances. Here are some of the key themes and verses related to this:
- God is a God of second chances. Throughout the Bible we observe many people who have sinned or made mistakes, but are still given a second chance by God. For example, Jonah had fled from God’s calling, yet was given a second opportunity to go to Nineveh and spread His word to the people. (Jonah 3:1-10).
- God forgives our sins and gives us a fresh start. When we confess our sins and turn to God, he is faithful and just to forgive us and cleanse us from all unrighteousness (1 John 1:9). As the prophet Isaiah wrote, “Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow” (Isaiah 1:18).
- Jesus died for our sins and offers us salvation. Because of Jesus’ death and resurrection, we have the opportunity to receive forgiveness of our sins and new life in him. As it says in Romans 6:23, “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
- We are called to extend second chances to others. As Jesus taught, we are to forgive others as we have been forgiven (Matthew 6:14-15). We are also encouraged to show love and grace to others, just as God has shown us (Ephesians 4:32).
The Bible teaches us that God is kind and full of mercy. He is always ready to forgive us and give us a new start. We should do the same for one another and show compassion to those around us.
Does God give second chances?
Yes, the Bible teaches us that God gives second chances. We can see in both the Old and New Testaments various examples of God giving people a way to repent from their sin and turn to Him.
In the book of Jonah, the story of second chances tells how God instructs Jonah to preach to the people of Nineveh who were known for their wickedness. However, Jonah runs away from this task and is swallowed by a large fish. But when he is spit out onto dry land God gives him another chance. This time Jonah obeys and travels to Nineveh. The people repent and turn away from their wickedness, so God does not destroy the city.
Another well-known example of God giving second chances is the story of the prodigal son in Luke 15. In this story, a wayward son squanders his inheritance on wild living, but eventually comes to his senses and returns to his father, who welcomes him back with open arms.
Overall, the Bible presents a message of grace and redemption, emphasizing that God is a merciful being who offers second chances to those who turn to Him. He is willing to forgive and restore those in need of divine grace.
How do I ask God for a second chance?
If you feel like you need a second chance from God, the Bible offers guidance on how to approach Him and seek His forgiveness. Here are some steps you can take to ask God for a second chance:
- Confess your sins: Start by acknowledging your wrongdoing and asking God for forgiveness. In 1 John 1:9, it says, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.”
- Repent: Repentance involves not only confessing your sins, but also turning away from them and making a conscious effort to change your ways. In Acts 3:19, it says, “Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord.”
- Ask for God’s help: Recognize that you cannot change on your own, and ask God to help you overcome your weaknesses and temptations. In Philippians 4:13, it says, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”
- Trust in God’s grace: Remember that God’s forgiveness and second chances are gifts of His grace, not something we earn or deserve. In Ephesians 2:8-9, it says, “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast.”
- Believe in the power of prayer: Finally, believe in the power of prayer and continue to seek God’s guidance and support as you move forward. In James 5:16, it says, “Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.”
Remember, God is a loving and forgiving God who wants to have a relationship with us. If we come to Him with an honest heart and the willingness to make changes, He will show His grace and give us a chance to start over.