Sometimes you just feel discouraged and down about life. It’s times like these that you wonder if you’re really going down the right path. The devil just starts working on your mind, throwing all kinds of doubt into your head.

I get these emotional bombs thrown at me a lot. For a long time, I didn’t know how to get rid of them, so I would just try to ignore them. No matter how much I tried to distract myself from the ideas or run away from situations that brought up topics such as “faith” and “God,” the devil would find a way to sneak doubt into my head. How to move forward in my walk with the Lord was foreign to me. I did not know where to start or where to go from where I was. I could not move past the walls the devil placed in my mind. It was so foreign and new; it was all Greek to me.

“You can’t do this, you’re not smart enough, loud enough, bold enough, etc. You are too new at this whole ‘Christian thing’, you don’t know enough to tell people about the Gospel. In fact, you are so new at this, how do you even know all this is real? You could just be on an emotional high and imagining it all.”

The longer I ignored the ideas in my head, the more they moved into my heart, and I really started to accept them as truth. The doubt started weighing me down and was hurting my spiritual growth. Every time I went to read my Bible or pray, dozens of doubts and worries would cloud my thoughts. I started to limit my time reading and praying because I just couldn’t stand the mental strain anymore —the devil was getting just what he wanted.

When I started school this fall, I began studying Koine Greek (ancient Greek). One of the first words I had to learn was “πιστεύω”, which is translated as “I believe”. This word, however, means more than just believing. It can also be translated as “I have faith in” or “I trust.” When I read the definition, I felt God speaking to my heart these words: “Belief is more than cognitive knowledge, it is trusting Me with everything, your whole life.”

So when Jesus says “whoever believes in Him,” He is saying whoever has faith in Him and whoever trusts in Him is saved from the power of sin and death. Faith that God will keep His promises, and trusting Him to fulfill them in His own time. It is so fundamental that we grasp this.

I know that John 3:16 is possibly the most recognizable and simple verse in the Christian faith. I want to encourage you not to move past these “basic” verses. They are so powerful and incredible. Don’t ever feel that you have moved past these verses, these God-breathed verses.

I am a “whoever.”.I have believed in Him, but more than that, because I have trusted and put my faith in Him. Now, when the devil starts trying to plant those seeds of doubt and worry in my mind, I take him back to this verse, and all of God’s other promises. I believe in Jesus and His Word. My faith and trust are in Him, and He has said that He loves me and has a purpose for my life. So even though I am a young Christian, still growing and learning a tremendous amount, He can use me, and my youth does not disqualify me from working for God.