I received Jesus as my Savior as a child and was baptized. After that, I struggled with what to do next. All the sermons that I had heard growing up were about “not doing this,” “not doing that,” “shaping up in this area,” “witnessing more,” and “winning more to Christ.” As a teenager, I was very confused as to why I had to do all these things. Was I saved or was I not?
At that time, I’d read Romans chapters three and four and was convinced that I was saved by grace through faith, not by works. But when I was in college, I thought I committed the unpardonable sin. As a result, I joined a legalistic group, thinking that by doing so, I could earn my way back into God’s good graces. Yet, after four years of working to be right, I was grieved at seeing all my failures and witnesses. I just wanted to do right and be right with God.
By the time I hit my forties, I began to experience doubts about Christianity—doubts I never had before. I got scared and asked God for a miracle to shore up my faith. But eventually, even my faith failed completely. I began thinking that it would be nice if heaven was for real.
After four to five years of living like this, God did a miracle for me and I saw for the second time that salvation was all of Him and none of me.
He found me when I was not looking for Him and I gladly received Him into my heart. He also helped me overcome completely and permanently unforgiveness that I was harboring. Before that, I’d tried so hard in my flesh to forgive by fasting and going for Christian counseling. But when Jesus gave His new life to me, He also gave me a forgiving heart and the forgiveness came effortlessly.
Then in 2011, I heard Joseph Prince for the first time. It felt like water on the dry ground of my soul. What I had come to believe when I was younger was confirmed by this pastor from Singapore. I felt like I was hearing the gospel for the first time. I kept listening to Him and my faith in Jesus’ finished work grew more and more.
I also learned that not only did Jesus give us eternal security, He also blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places.
Since then, my relationships have blossomed, particularly with the person I couldn’t forgive. My health has also improved and God poured a significant blessing upon our finances. During that time, the Lord reminded me of this verse, “Cast your bread upon the waters, for you will find it after many days” (Ecclesiastes 11:1). And indeed, we have. My husband became a believer in the gospel of grace and our marriage has reached such a sweet place. Our God certainly brings us good tidings of great joy. Hallelujah and Amen!
Trenette Barkley | Wyoming, United States