The word gospel actually means “the good news of Jesus Christ.” I’d heard about this good news my entire life, but it was many years before I truly believed that I too could partake of it.
When you grow up in church, you tend to know all the right answers. You know the Bible character who wrestled with God, and you know who almost sacrificed their son to Him. You know what happened at Pentecost and what happened in the Garden of Eden. You celebrate Easter and Christmas because of Jesus—and not because of cute bunnies or a jolly man in a red suit. You know who denied Jesus three times, and you even know all the verses that speak about salvation. But there is a massive difference between knowing where to find the verses about becoming righteous before God through faith and actually believing that we become righteous before God through our faith.
There was a time in my life where I had to come to grips with the fact that God truly loves me and wants me. You see, growing up in the church and knowing a lot about God wasn’t solving any of my internal problems. I still felt lonely. I still felt worthless. I still felt lost. I still wondered if I could ever truly live up to the plans that God had for me, and sometimes I even wondered if I cared about His plans for me at all.
Knowing about God and knowing God are two very different things.
I knew that God was love, but when I began to believe that God loved me—just as I am—I crumbled. I knew that God forgives, but when I began to believe that God forgave me—all of me—I fell apart. I knew that God used people to do His work, but when I began to believe that God wanted to use me—every part of me—I was undone.
Deciding to follow Jesus when I was 21 meant trusting in God for my salvation, but it also meant trusting all that He says about me in His Word. The Scriptures about all of us falling short of God’s glory (Romans 3:23) and about the free gift of salvation (Romans 6:23) were suddenly new and fresh to me. I was believing them for me for the first time ever. His Word about becoming a new creation because I was in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17) brought life to my dead soul. Understanding and believing that my old self was gone and that I was a new person because of Christ changed my life forever. As I began to truly know God and trust His words, I gradually became a different person. He truly changed my life.
The good news of Jesus has and will always be the most life-changing news ever. But I believe that there’s a moment in every person’s life when they have to choose to believe it for themselves. To believe that they too are in need of a Savior. To believe that they too need Jesus to change their lives. To believe that they too are made new because of His sacrifice. To believe that they too have been given gifts and talents in order to change the world.
Trusting in Him for my salvation over 20 years ago was the best decision I have ever made. I’ve also chosen to trust Him every day since then. Yes, my salvation in Him is secure. But trusting the good news means that I also trust His plans for me. I also choose to trust the life He has given me. I also choose to trust the family He has placed me in. Trusting God is not ever a one-time moment for us as followers of Jesus. Every single day I experience the peace that surpasses all understanding as I submit my requests to Him. Putting my faith in Him daily changes the way I see the world.
God promises to be faithful to us in our lives. He has always been faithful, and that will never change. His faithfulness towards me on the cross changed my life forever. His faithfulness towards me every day after my decision to follow Him is still changing my life. He truly is the good news for all of us.
Jamie Ivey is a podcaster, author, and speaker from Austin, Texas. She and her husband Aaron are parents to four kids, three of them being teenagers, so they are primarily Uber drivers. Jamie loves to encourage women to love Jesus with all of their heart, soul, and mind. She believes stories change the world, and reveals this through her popular podcast, The Happy Hour with Jamie Ivey, with over 18 million downloads. She also shares her own story through her bestselling book If You Only Knew: My Unlikely, Unavoidable Story of Becoming Free. Connecting with Jamie @jamievey on Instagram and Facebook, or visit www.jamieivey.com for more.