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Second Chances…Through Faith

May 17, 2021 | Dr. Jay T. Smith

In the book of Hebrews, chapter 11 contains the “Great Roll-Call of Faith.” A closer look, though, reveals a cast of questionable characters by today’s standards of success. Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, David, and Samuel had questionable pasts and serious personality issues.

Gideon just couldn’t “believe” that God could call him, and call him to such an onerous task. Barak was not a “credentialed” military man, but rather a Levite of questionable status. Samson was a 10th century B.C. “Hulk” with little thought about his use of strength or moral choices. Jephthah was the son of a prostitute and despised by his father’s family. David was the youngest son of a large family, who struggled with controlling what he said and what he did. Samuel was an absentee parent whose sons were cruel and lascivious.

Good thing this passage in Hebrews 11 is not about moral or intellectual worth; rather, it is about faith, and what God will do through the most questionable people who yet believe.

Faith: The First Chance That Changes Everything

Life is about second chances for all of us. We are born, we make mistakes, our lives get complicated then we make more mistakes, and then we get a chance to live. We might call it our second chance, but I believe it is a first chance. It’s the opportunity we get when we encounter Jesus, and His grace draws our faith to the surface of our consciousness…and we begin to live by it.

Infused with love, wisdom, insight, compassion, mercy, and a desire for peace and justice, we walk in our world, living a second chance, and this second chance is everything. Whoever we were before becomes a shadowy background to who we are now. The Spirit of God now dwells within us. We have become His temple.

God asks us to do things that seem difficult, even insurmountable; yet He is not asking us to accomplish the task in our own feeble-by-comparison strength. He is asking us to allow Him to accomplish the task through us, by faith. Will we act on this call, this “second chance” in our lives? Or, like the young Gideon, will we require God to pass a barrier of ridiculous tests before we take Him at His Word?

Second chances are all about letting God work in us and through us, because in doing so, we become authentically human—what God intended us to be.

A Memorable Second Act…with Jesus!

YTI is a clearing house for second chances and second acts. Remember the first act sets the stage, but the second act has the real action, and that’s what the audience remembers.

God doesn’t expect you to have a great first act, but when He is on the stage with us in the second act, He expects us to do great things with Him! Jesus is the key to our second chances and real life.

Take it, and run!

Dr. Jay T. Smith

President and Bridger Professor of Theology & Ethics

Dr. Jay Smith leads the Yellowstone Theological Institute as its president. Dr. Smith has served as minister of youth, music and as senior […]

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