We were made to know God. God designed us for him. Sadly, we often fail to recognize it. From time to time, however, we realize that the life we know isn’t what it should be. Even the best things in life—family, career, success, recognition, possessions, comfort, friendship, romance—don’t ultimately satisfy us. They don’t bring us a lasting and complete happiness. We thirst for something more. That thirst is a thirst for God.

The reason for this thirst is that we are cut off from God. We don’t live as he designed us to live. We fail to trust him; we seek our ultimate satisfaction in other things. Instead of living for God, we essentially live for other “gods.” To state it as the Bible does, we are sinners. As a result, we become trapped by our desires, and we couldn’t break free even if we wanted to. We fully deserve to be cut off from God, to be punished by him. The Bible says that we deserve to die.

The gospel is not advice. Neither is it a list of requirements that we must keep in order to regain a relationship with God. Rather the gospel is the good news about what God has done to restore us to a relationship with Him. God sent us his Son, Jesus Christ. Jesus lived a perfect life, a life fully honoring to God, the life we should have lived. Rather than receiving the reward he deserved, Jesus received the punishment we deserved by dying on a cross. He died the death we should have died. Then God raised him from the dead, and Jesus now offers eternal life to everyone who will trust in him.

What does it mean to trust in Jesus? One aspect of trust is repentance. Repentance is turning away from a life of rebelling against God or disregarding Him, and instead turning toward God. The other aspect of trust is dependence on Jesus and only Him for your salvation.

If you trust in Jesus, God will forgive your sins and credit Jesus’ goodness to you. To express your belief in Jesus, you can pray to God a prayer like this: “I admit that I am a sinner. I believe that Jesus died for me and rose again. I trust in Jesus and nothing else to save me from my sin and restore my relationship with you.” When you believe in Jesus, God will give you his Holy Spirit, and you can be sure that you will have eternal life with God.

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

(John 3:16)