I was recently turned down for Community Corrections. It was my fourth time to apply. I meet the Parole Board again in October. After being incarcerated for going on 41 years you would think that I would be so close to getting out of here that my expectations would be very high. The problem is, I have been turned down so many times that is hard to still have hope. I have to look beyond my circumstances and rely on the power and ability of God. If I don't, the downward spiral of depression is always there tempting me wo give up and allow the dark clouds to flood over my life.
I have given in before to depression, but I refuse to do it any longer. I would encourage everyone (and Myself) with the following:
1) God knows us and cares for us. In Hebrews 13:5-6 we see that God cares for us, will never leave us, and is our helper. This is a greater truth than any problem or circumstance we can be in.
2) God has not forgotten us. Some of the last words of Jesus on the earth before He ascended to heaven were recorded in Matthew 28:20 when He said "I am with you always to the very end of the age." To be with us, He has to know where we are, always. He has to care enough to track us more exactly than any GPS. He knows our condition, surroundings, and circumstances. One day He will come back for us.
3) God has a plan. Ultimately God's plan is for us to be conformed into the image of Jesus (Romans 8:29). Beyond that He has prepared a home for us in heaven and we will go there one day to be with Him. He also has a plan for our lives right here, now. He has gifted us and wants us to be effective in His kingdom in the here and now.
I want to encourage you to search Him out, read the Scriptures, and know Who this Jesus is and what He has promised us. We need to keep reminding ourselves that if God is for us (and He is) then who can be against us (Romans 8:31).
I would also like to encourage you to search for someone else to reach out to and to encourage. Today. Tight now. You may be the one to give hope to the hopeless today.