When I first made Jesus my Lord and Savior, I had no idea what I’d signed up for. I meant every word when I confessed to God that I was a tired sinner and wanted to change, but I had no clue how I could get by in the world or take care of myself by any other means than the questionable survival skills that I had relied on for so many years. I was alone, in pain, and miserable. But it was that desperation that led me to a moment of sincere surrender. I prayed and asked God to show me how to live and be different.

As I began to read and study the Bible, I learned a lot about God’s role as the provider for His people. When I was in the world, material things and money were all that mattered to me. When I read that God would provide everything I need, I immediately equated His provision with those things. And then the Lord led me to a verse in scripture that changed my entire view on how and what God provides. It’s not just about things. Instead, it was confirmation that He’d heard me in the beginning when I cried out that I needed His help.

Second Peter 1:3–4 NLT says, “By his divine power, God has given us everything we need for living a godly life. We have received all of this by coming to know him, the one who called us to himself by means of his marvelous glory and excellence. And because of his glory and excellence, he has given us great and precious promises. These are the promises that enable you to share his divine nature and escape the world’s corruption caused by human desires.”

I found so much encouragement and clarity in these words. They opened my heart to realize that I had totally misunderstood the Christian life. I thought I would have to do something extraordinary in order to win God’s approval or to get Him to accept me before I could have a real shot at a new life. But His Word says it is by His divine power, not mine, that I am given everything I need to live life His way.

God is calling every single one of us to Himself, and He has a “come as you are” policy. He knows that the deepest need any of us will ever have is for a Savior. He provided that to us through the work of His Son on the cross (John 3:16). We take our very first step in answering His call when we believe with our hearts and confess with our mouths that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and the only way to salvation. We then receive the Holy Spirit into our hearts. That is when our behavior, our thinking, and our desires begin to change. That’s how we find the lasting transformation that none of us will ever achieve apart from Jesus.

Life is not a journey we must make on our own. God assures us through His Word and His promises that, if we commit our life to Him and trust Him, He will establish our plans (Psalm 32:8, Proverbs 16:3). What a relief it is when we learn that God never leaves us where He found us. His plan for our lives is so much better than anything we could ever have imagined on our own (Jeremiah 29:11; Ephesians 3:20).

Because of His glory, excellence, and grace, I have begun to experience the abundance of His promises coming to pass in my life. God knew that my deepest needs could only be met by finding my way to Him through Jesus. Will you surrender your heart and your life to Christ today and allow Him to provide you with everything you need for a better life too?

CHRISTINA KIMBREL serves as VL’s production manager. Once incarcerated, she now ministers hope to those held captive by their past and current circumstances while sharing the message of healing she found in Jesus.