Read Isaiah 49:8-10

“I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

—Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV)

During a particularly dark moment, after nearly two years of chronic depression I decided to take my own life. I cold not find a reason to move forward. I had lost hope, even moving away from God. As I tried to carry out my plan for suicide, a song of worship from long ago began to run through my head; I knew then I could not follow through with my plan. I returned to my care and found a Bible in the back seat. I prayed and cracked it open randomly, and my eyes fell upon Isaiah 49:8: “In the time of my favor I will answer you…I will help you” (NIV). I began to cry when I realized all God had done for me and that God was at work even in this painful time.

I saw in that moment that I can praise God no matter what I am going through. I may not understand why or where this is all headed. But knowing God loves me, hears and answers my cries, and restores me helps me to live with hope. Now I take time to reflect on all the good in my life and look for God’s blessings even in the darkness. 

Prayer—Thank you, God, for always being with us and for loving us. Help us to encourage one another and to look for opportunities to share hope with those who suffer. Amen.

Thought for the Day—I am of infinite value because God loves me.

—H. Matthew Francis, Maine

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