God’s forgiveness can be obtained only by faith. We can’t reason it out. Christ’s gift to us of his blood atonement is so deep, so gracious, so mysterious, it’s far beyond any human ability to understand. We may see the law clearly applied to our sin. We may feel condemnation, fear and guilt over our trespasses, but our heavenly Father always stands lovingly beside us, ready to forgive.

The blood of Christ, the love of the Father, the Lord’s desire to pardon: all these blessings are known only by faith. “But that no one is justified by the law in the sight of God is evident, for ‘the just shall live by faith’” (Galatians 3:11 NKJV).

You may wonder, “How many times will the Lord forgive me for indulging in the same sin again and again?” Rest assured his incredible forgiveness is unlimited. Every time you sin, you can go to Jesus and find deliverance. Yet the Lord’s forgiveness is not unwise or blind. To be sure, our heavenly Father forgives us; but at a certain point, he chastens us to keep us from continuing to sin. “For whom the Lord loves he chastens and scourges every son whom he receives” (Hebrews 12:6). He tells us, “My forgiveness is unending, but while you are on the earth, you will experience the consequences of sin.” He reminds us that sin separates us from intimacy with him and from one another, and it keeps us in a cycle of failure and despair. Our Lord’s deepest desire is to bring us out of that cycle for good to a place of strength and rejoicing in him.

Jesus’ followers said to him one day, “Increase our faith” (see Luke 17:5). He replied, “If you have faith as a mustard seed, you can say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be pulled up by the roots and be planted in the sea.’ And it would obey you” (Luke 17:6). His illustration showed them that when they stepped forward with the smallest kernel of faith, he would respond with vigor!

Give yourself the opportunity to walk in the joy and grace of the Lord. By faith, accept his forgiveness, take his hand, and live the new life that awaits you!