Sadly, many people believe that God’s given up on them, that they’ve committed far too many sins, but here are four signs from the Bible that God has not given up on you.
Imagine how Jesus felt when Peter told Him that he would never deny the Lord (Matt 26:33). But Jesus told Peter that he would, in fact, deny Him three times (Matt 26:34). “Peter said to him, ‘Even if I must die with you, I will not deny you!’ And all the disciples said the same” (Matt 26:35). All the disciples agreed with Peter, but every single one of them fled at His arrest. Only John was present during the trial and crucifixion. Jesus tells the braggadocios Peter, “I have prayed for you that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned again, strengthen your brothers” (Luke 22:32). After Jesus’ arrest, “the Lord turned and looked straight at Peter. Then Peter remembered the word the Lord had spoken to him: ‘Before the rooster crows today, you will disown me three times’” (Luke 22:61). In Luke 22:32 Jesus, knowing that Peter and all would forsake Him, tells Peter that “when you have turned again, strengthen your brothers,” showing that Jesus gave Peter hope that even after he denied Him three times, he could “turn” again. The word “turn” is close to the word “repentance” and means that he could turn back to Christ and Jesus would forgive him. Even though Peter gave up on Jesus, Jesus never gave up on Peter.
Seventy Times Seven
When Peter asked Jesus how many times he must forgive his brother, was it up to seven times (Matt 18:21)? No, Jesus said up to seventy times seven (Matt 18:22), and that doesn’t mean when you reach 490 it’s done! No, seven is a number of completion, as we read in the creation account in Genesis chapter one where it took God seven days to create everything. And seven days completes a week, so we can see that forgiveness is complete and total by God. Since we are to forgive others up to infinity, how much more is God a forgiving God!? The only unforgiven sin is the one not asked to be forgiven.
In His Hand
I sometimes want to write something down and don’t have paper, so I’ll write it down on the palm of my hand so that I won’t lose it. But did you know that God has engraved your name on the palm of His hand? Isaiah 49:16 says, “I have engraved you on the palms of my hands; your walls are continually before me.” Have you ever had something engraved? That means it’s permanent. It’s not like writing something down in ink, which can fade or wear off. No, an engraving is permanent and is there to stay. Doesn’t that show you the permanence of your standing before Him? Jesus also says that “I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand” (John 10:28-29).
Never Leaving You
In one of my favorite verses in the Bible it says, “I will never leave you nor forsake you” (Heb 13:5b). Never is a long, long time–without end. The author of Hebrews wants the believer to know that God will not forsake us, even when we forsake Him. He will never leave us, even though we might leave Him for a season. God encouraged Joshua and all of Israel by saying, “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you” (Deut 31:6). Believe it; God said it. That’s enough for me.