"For I know the thoughts that I think toward you says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope." Jeremiah 29:11 NKJV
This verse, apart from John 3:16 and Psalm 23, was the first verse that I can remember memorizing as a kid. I remember my youth pastor drilling it into me and our youth group again and again and again, because it was so important that we remembered this verse and understood it.
It's important to remember that God thinks about us, surely more than we think about Him. I mean, we can go days without thinking of Him at all, but God, He goes beyond just thinking about us. He makes plans for our futures. He makes sure that we know this, to give us the hope that we so desperately need. It seems like such a simple concept, but it is so important that we remember it.
Because of my youth pastor, in times when darkness seems to be winning, I remember this. Times when I lose hope, times when I've been hurt, times when I lose myself, I can turn from the darkness and remember that God still, STILL has a plan for me. Despite my flaws and failings, despite the times when I walk away. He never walks away from me, and He still has plans for me even in my failures. He can lift us out of even the worst places.
See, we often get bogged down in where we are, in what we are doing, in whatever horrible thing has its sights on us. It doesn't need to be like that. He has given us a future, and we should be focused on Him, not the stuff that tears us down.
Remember this verse the next time the enemy stands against you. You have a future. You have a calling. Most importantly, you have God on your side.