I knew immediately that the person on the other end of the phone was feeling defeated. It was evident in her voice. She had called to tell me that a verse of Scripture was bothering her. After quoting Jesus’ words, “What will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul?” (Mark 8:36), she said she felt that the verse described her.

She was sure she had lost her soul even though she was a Christian. “I’ve done so many wrong things,” she explained, “that I know God could never forgive me.”

The desperation in her voice verified that she really did feel that all hope was lost. So, without denying that her pain was real, I gently attempted to share the encouraging truth that all was not lost for her. Jesus’ death on the cross removed the penalty for all our sin. And when we trust Him as Savior from our sin, we are made right with God and need not fear eternal punishment (Rom. 5:8-9). I could confidently tell her that our Father is willing to forgive her and welcome her back into close fellowship.

The best news we could ever hear or share with others is this: “With the Lord there is mercy” (Ps. 130:7). Just as God kept forgiving the people of Israel despite their backsliding (vv.4,7-8), so also He is willing to forgive us.