Does it frustrate you when your favorite vlogger uses a product and then says they’ll post a link for a “similar” product in the description box below? Or what about when you’re trying to cook a meal to match a picture and the recipe calls for a “dash” or a “pinch” of a certain ingredient? What does this have to do with “I messed up, will God forgive me?” It’s this: There’s something about knowing the “exactly” factor that gives us peace of mind.
People like to measure things—and it can become our fatal flaw. Think about this: Everything we’ve ever known has had a starting point and an ending point. A finite amount. A limit. Whether it be an expiration date, a size, the length of time we’re able to record on social media, or the number of class periods before we can go home. If you think about it, the broadest limit we’ll ever experience firsthand is a lifetime, which is still pretty tiny in the grand scheme of things.
So when we ask, “Will God forgive me?” perhaps what we’re really looking for is a limit, a boundary, a target to aim for. Sure we want forgiveness, but we also kind of want to hear, “This much is okay, but that much? Yeah, that’s probably way too far.” So when we ask, “Will God forgive me?” and the answer comes back, “Yes! He already has and will continue to every time,” it’s not a good enough answer for us. Surely there’s a limit, we think. We start making a case for why we’ve gone too far. “I really messed up because …” or, “You don’t know what I’ve done …” We pile blame, guilt, and shame onto ourselves and ask, again, about the size of God’s shovel.
But the good and bad news is this. There is no limit to God’s grace. And even further, God has already made up His mind about giving us more grace than we can use. It’s good news because it covers the depth of our sin and gives us the salvation of our souls. It’s good news because it levels the playing field and makes our “worst” sin as easy to forgive as any other sin. It’s good news because where we are powerless to reach into the unseen realm and slay all our own demons, Jesus is all-powerful. So what’s the bad news? Yeah, sorry. Shouldn’t have said that. There’s no bad news. God’s grace is all upside.
It’s almost easier for us to know we’ve surpassed a limit than it is to accept an inexhaustible grace, isn’t it? It would at least give us some control when it comes to making our way back into good standing. If there’s a limit to God’s forgiveness and grace, there becomes an amount of “goodness” we could achieve to earn back God’s grace. But the Bible says in Romans 11:6 that if we could earn it, it wouldn’t be grace anymore.
Know this. When Jesus died on the cross for our sins, He died for all sins—past, present, and future. You can’t out-sin an eternal, limitless grace. You can’t surprise God by just how much wrong you can accomplish. You’re just not that good at sinning.
It’s hard to wrap our minds around the continuing infiniteness of God’s grace toward us once we’ve accepted Jesus’ grace for the forgiveness of our sins. But you don’t have to be able to fully explain grace to receive it. It’s a gift, freely given to us. The Bible 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. Ephesians 2:8-9 NIV
So the answer is yes. If you are seeking forgiveness from God, God will forgive you, no matter what you’ve done. Romans 8:38-39 NIV reminds us, … neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. God is not mad at you. He is mad about you.